Are You About to Lose Your Job?

121272335This Struming was inspired by my friend Paul Gumbinner and his recent post, Be Prepared to Lose Your Job. Not a cheery holiday post I know, but one worth reflecting on as part of managing one’s life.

There are several things worth considering:

1. Your employment is not guaranteed.

2. Doing a good job while obviously important, is sometimes insufficient in retaining one’s job

3. If you are at “at will” employee, you are subject to being laid off regardless of performance. Even if you have a contract, be sure you understand the reasons you can be terminated “for cause”.

The business world can be cruel. Sometimes performance is not a factor, but merely a business downturn forcing a reduction in force. Conversely, you may have an overinflated opinion of your own importance and work. I’ve seen that as well. Remember everyone is replaceable. Never think that is not the case.

With those cheery statements in mind, I offer the following thoughts:

1. Living paycheck to paycheck is VERY dangerous, because if the paycheck goes on hiatus, you are screwed. Always live within your means, regardless of your station in life and you can ably weather the storm.

2. Have six months to a year of living expenses allocated for the unfortunate day when you are not employed. I would have these dollars in a separate “rainy day” account and not co-mingled.

3. Manage your career before it gets “managed” for you. By that I mean that it’s OK to look out for yourself and explore new opportunities if/when they appear. Your obligation to your current employer is simple—do a great job, be supportive, live up to your agreements and provide value far in excess of your compensation. More you do not owe.

So here are a few suggestion for the “rainy day” (lost job) that may be heading your way:

1. Never overestimate your job security

2. If you feel your position is insecure, trust your feelings

3. Start your “job search” LONG before you need to.

4. Be a giver and build relationships throughout your career. If you are making “deposits” and doing genuine relationship building, you will have a network of people who can help.

5. If you are out of work, ask for help from others–those you know and it’s OK to ask others who you don’t know as well. You never know where an opportunity comes from

Here’s small tip of something you can do today. Polish up your LinkedIn profile in every way. Good photo & overall summary. All content included–no bs. please. Short summary of work in each job. Then here’s the big tip–in the Career Interest section turn on the switch that says “Let recruiters know you are open”. You should see some increased volume of recruiters contacting you. Do not blow them off! Be nice, respectful and helpful to recruiters. Respond to every reach out, even if you don’t think the position is right for you. Thank them. Better yet, suggest someone who might be appropriate. You will be helping another person and a menschy recruiter will remember you and will be back to you another day with another position.

In the end as I wrote in an earlier Struming, The Free Agency of Business Life, we are all in charge of our personal and business lives. Sh-t happens along the way. It’s how we respond that counts.

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