Keys to Unlocking a Lockout

will-s-0209The NFL is currently facing one of its longest work stoppages ever, as players and owners continue their incendiary dispute as to how they should split up nine billion dollars. When players reported for off-season workouts and practices, the owners took legal action, barring them from the facilities. As things currently sit between both parties, no immediate resolution appears likely.
For many job seekers, the quest of searching for work might make them feel as though they are facing their own lockout of sorts. Instead of billionaire owners keeping them at bay, it might be billion dollar corporations that have either recently laid them off, or might be on the brink of laying them off.

Everyone’s Watching the Bottom Line
Similar to professional sports owners, corporations have a number of eyes on their bottom lines. As the cost of raw materials, technology and other essential tools of doing business escalates, companies take action to keep their operations running in the black. Unfortunately, this usually results into job cuts.

Smart and prudent companies normally execute every cost-preventive measure possible before slashing jobs; such as curtailing raises and eliminating other perks and incentives. On the other hand, there are those companies that develop an itchy trigger finger and start downsizing the second they sense financial storms brewing on the horizon.

In this volatile labor climate, it’s almost impossible to predict how certain companies will react to financial uncertainty, but there are a few steps you can consider in order to place yourself in the best possible position in case a “lockout” impacts your career.

  • Advertise your flexibility. Your immediate supervisors are often the ones burdened with the difficult task of substantiating your case to keep you on board when the downsizing orders have been executed from the top. Don’t hesitate to inform them that you don’t mind giving up your normal work schedule in order to accommodate the needs of the operation. This could mean working split shifts or even sacrificing your weekends. Keeping your job is always more of a necessity than convenience.

  • Elevate your productivity. Layoffs are often determined by the smallest details. If you are in a position to pick up the pace, do it! The majority of layoffs these days are predicated on performance measures instead of tenure. With finances playing such huge role in today’s corporate structure, employers will almost always chose the employee who earns less and produces more.

  • Don’t be afraid to showcase your multi-tasking talents. If you have the talent to perform additional tasks in your work environment, now is a good time to let others know about it. More and more companies these days are looking for people who can perform multiple cost-saving tasks. It might also be wise to seek out training within your organization to become trained or certified for other duties. Some companies even set aside monies and stipends specifically for this purposeli>

Finally, don’t be afraid to sit down with your management team or HR managers to inquire if your company might be headed towards a possible downsizing episode. You do have the right to know, although some companies make drastic moves without much notice at all.

Good luck with your current employment situation or job search endeavors. And for those of you who enjoy professional football as much as I do, let’s hope that they get this messy NFL lockout situation resolved soon.

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.


%d bloggers like this: