Standing Tall in the Face of Turbulence

Keeping your game face might save your job.  will-s-0209

Rumors that your company is in peril have been running rampant around the office for weeks. Many employees are in panic mode. Your boss and HR have been unable to provide straightforward answers. Friends and family bombard you with questions about the company’s apparent demise. A few more weeks pass, still no word. You’re more nervous than ever and have accumulated enough angst to make you feel as though your head might explode.

One of the biggest challenges facing employees during an economic downturn is how to react when your job status might be in jeopardy.
For most companies, the harsh decision to eliminate positions is a gut-wrenching process. It often leaves management and corporate decision-makers in a huge quandary. In many cases, the final decision to move forward with a layoff is only after all other preventive measures have been exhausted. So keep in mind your boss is also dealing with an extreme amount of uncertainty and frustration. Their livelihood and careers are probably on the line as well.
So, what should you do?
Keep Working
Don’t abandon your day-to-day job responsibilities while you are still on the payroll. It is easier to find a job when you are employed BS the paycheck equips you with the advantage of not having to settle for the first thing that comes along. Even if the end is coming at you faster than a Nolan Ryan high-heater, just take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, and focus on a plan.
Contact Human Resources
Quickly make contact with your HR liaison and confirm your exact amount of vacation and PTO (paid time off) due. This could be your only income upon separation if there are sudden layoffs without severances.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
Although it’s certainly easier said than done, maintaining a positive attitude is important. Make every effort to avoid office gossip and garrulous chatter. If staff reductions are looming, your company could use this period of uncertainly as an opportunity to gauge the attitudes of you and your co-workers. If cutbacks are made, would you be one of the first to be called back? Do your best to demonstrate that you are a great team player without appearing desperate, or unsteady.
Get busy!
Place a great deal of effort shoring up your resume. It is a good idea to network with other industry contacts. Sometimes, your counterparts from the competition can become your most reliable resources for networking. Most people are willing to help now more than ever; they are keenly aware that they could soon be in your shoes.
Schedule time during the evenings to target viable prospects; you can use your lunch break for additional networking and follow-up. If you land interviews, use your remaining paid time off for that purpose.
Legendary, ex-UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden once said, “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” Controlling your job situation is sometimes out of your hands. Taking the proper steps to be prepared and maintaining a good attitude might just keep you in the game.

 

Wil Smith is a Business Consultant for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. Wil has collected over 20 years of expertise in the areas of Corporate Training & Development, Recruitment and Operational Management; with the majority of that time working with a Fortune 500 Corporation. He has also worked in the Sports/ News industry as a Reporter and Broadcaster.

1 Response to “Standing Tall in the Face of Turbulence”


  1. 1 Suarez Carter April 30, 2009 at 8:35 am

    A person should always know this, It may be hard to focus at time but in this situation these are great points made and everyone could use them, especially since people are in desperate need of jobs and they are well qualified to replace you if you are not motivated enough to keep your job.


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