You can hear the death rattle in your boss’s voice. The company is awash in disaster. The Titanic had better prospects after hitting the iceberg. Here’s the rub. Your boss is distracted by closed-door meetings. She’s not managing anything or anyone. Nobody is working. What difference can it possibly make? Everyone is job hunting all day and calling every contact who hasn’t turned up at the morgue. What is wrong with this picture and what sensible person wouldn’t do the same?
The sensible person who realized that if anything truly bad happens through inattention and inertia getting a good reference will be problematic, especially if your boss is embarrassed or even docked severance because of worker screw ups. (Organizations can do whatever they want about severance. There is no law that dictates how layoffs are to be financially handled.) Is this too obvious? Then why do I get several clients a month who need strategies to undo the damage done between the time a layoff was announced and when they were actually out the door?
Cover the basics, including checking in with existing clients — if that’s your job. Do record keeping and maintenance. If the copier quits, call maintenance. Don’t assume that because the company is failing its assets are worthless. What if you’re asked why you didn’t call maintenance? Anything you say will seem irresponsible and lame.
Be useful to co-workers at all levels with contacts and comfort. The organization may be dying but the people will turn up somewhere. Since job hunts goo on longer than anyone would like, these will be prime contacts months or years from now. How do you want to be remembered? You may have been a champ two years ago but now is what they’re remember.
Everything takes longer than seems logical. You may think the company will close in a month. Plan on the illogical. If all you want to do is be sure you get severance your job hunt will be more networking than working for offers. This can be a dangerous strategy if a job you would die for becomes available. You may have to jump without severance. As long as you are on someone’s payroll you’re better off. Don’t let greed dent your career.
Don’t forget thank you notes — not emails — for co-workers who were especially helpful to you. It’s one of the best investments you can make for future networking.
Contact Marilyn for Help With Career Strategies
Get your career on track pronto. Develop a successful strategy to get the job you want. Contact Marilyn Moats Kennedy now.