December 17th, 2014 Posted by No Comment yet

The perception of your value as an employee is just as critical, if not more, to keeping your job as your actual value.  You may be the best at what you do but it means nothing if no one knows about it or if you let your manager or other co-workers take credit for your hard work and accomplishments.  The best way to maintain a perception of value is through simple self-promotion by always keeping yourself and your work in front of your manager and, to the extent possible without stepping on toes, the other members of senior management.  In short, a bit of self-promotion may go along way to keeping your name off the lay-off list or placing you ahead of others for that big promotion.


December 17th, 2014 Posted by No Comment yet

It seems that holding onto your job is an all or nothing proposition these days.  But, it does not have to be.

Many terminated employees would likely have taken a salary cut or reduced role than lose their jobs entirely.  However, most employees do not realize that these types of arrangements are potentially feasible.  To successfully utilize this strategy employees need to have a strong belief or actual knowledge that they are going to be selected and when it will happen.  While taking a pay-cut or working part-time may be a negotiable option even after an employee has been let go, the best time to broach the subject with a manager or Human Resources is before the decision has been made.

Like most things in life, timing is everything.  The risk to be wary of here is that your information is wrong and your employer will take advantage of your offer when it had no intention of firing you or cutting your pay.


December 17th, 2014 Posted by No Comment yet

The “At Will” doctrine leaves most employees with little or no job security.  However, there are a few things to keep in mind that might help keep you empoloyed.  First, the more valuable you make yourself to your employer the more difficult it will be to terminate your services.  Second, do not give your employer a reason to pick you.  Make sure you are coming in on time, performing at your highest level and working collegially with your co-workers.  Third, be proactive in meeting with your manager to discuss your performance and any improvements that can be made. Fourth, show loyalty to your manager.  Managing up is just as important as managing down.  Finally, if your manager gives you any assurances about your performance, compensation or job security make sure you thank them in an email so that you have a record.


December 17th, 2014 Posted by No Comment yet

Many employees suffer from what I refer to as the “Ostrich Syndrome.”  That is, whenever a problem arises at work their first instinct is to bury their head in the sand and pretend like nothing is wrong.  The hope is that if they keep their head down long enough the problem will blow over.

In most cases that is the wrong approach.  By doing nothing you may delay the inevitable termination by a few weeks or longer, but in doing so you will miss an opportunity to act proactively to protect your compensation and career.

Generally, the best approach, is to determine whether your job is truly in jeopardy and then deal with it head on.   The first step in any such strategy is to immediately begin looking for a new job.  The next step is to negotiate an exit.

Many of my clients who took a proactive approach were able to not only find new employment before being terminated, but were also able to negotiate a separation payout, thereby giving them a windfall.


December 17th, 2014 Posted by No Comment yet

If you are unhappy at your job or sense that you might be let go do not wait to look for a job. Even if you like your job and feel secure in your position there is no harm in looking for another role.

First, going on a few interviews will force you to keep your resume updated, keep your interview skills sharp and help your self-esteem.  Second, meeting with prospective employers will give you a betters sense of your self worth and, particularly if you are unhappy, open your eyes to the fact that there are other opportunities out there that might be better suited to your needs.  Third, your ability to advance your career and compensation is best done by an external move.  Fourth, given the current state of the employment market you will give yourself a heads start in replacing your income and job in the event you are unexpectedly laid off.  Fifth, there is no loyalty in employment and there is no harm in keeping your options as well.


December 17th, 2014 Posted by No Comment yet

Employees often know, or had a sense that, their termination was coming.  However, most employees in this position do not start looking for work as soon as they felt their job was in jeopardy.  This is a mistake.

Voluntarily seeking a change your job can be quite daunting.  Especially, if you are comfortable where you are. However, starting a new job search as soon as you sense that your current position might be in jeopardy is critical.  First, sending out resumes and interviewing for new opportunities is a chance to get a sense of your value as an employee.  You may just find out you could be doing so much better both in title and compensation had you just looked around.

Second, whether you find something you would consider or not, going ion interviews and being made offers will give you a sense of empowerment that will allow you to better cope with the stress of your current position.  Indeed, many of my clients wind up with a windfall because they began their job search at the first sign of trouble.  They were able to obtain a new position shortly after being let go and therefore bank all of their severance instead of having to live off of it.  That is the ultimate severance coup.


December 17th, 2014 Posted by No Comment yet

In the current work environment, employers are always looking for an excuse to cut their most expensive budget item (i.e., payroll).  As a consequence, mundane acts such as showing up late to work, calling in sick and sending an occasional personal email are being used to justify terminations despite the lack of any complaint about an employees performance.  Of greater concern, is that some employers are using such innocuous violations of company policy to claim “cause” which may cost employees both their right to unemployment insurance, and severance.


December 17th, 2014 Posted by No Comment yet

Employees do not have a privacy right or property interest in their work computer or smartphones. As such, employees must be extremely careful about the information they store, the emails they send and the websites they visit while using their employers’ equipment.

To avoid any risk to their job and career, employees should refrain from using their work computer and other electronic equipment for anything but work.  For a variety of reasons this may be easier said then done.  However, if employees are not careful they will expose themselves to disciplinary action or termination, as most companies today have clear policies regarding the appropriate use of their computers and networks.

If you are going to conduct personal business on your work computer then please keep in mind the following advice:

  • Stay away from controversial topics in emails and on websites you visit as more and more companies are monitoring such traffic.
  • Do not search for a job or keep your resume or cover letters on your work computer.
  • Do not store personal information you would not want the company to know about such as tax and investment information.
  • Keep in mind that most companies have back up systems so even if you put something on your computer and delete it later the company may still have a record of it.
  • If you are going to resign or you become aware that your termination is imminent, please make sure you clean up your work-station and delete all the personal information and emails that you may have stored. Do not, however, delete any company information or property.


December 17th, 2014 Posted by No Comment yet

As executives and employees are constantly vying for a limited number of positions, particularly the higher you sit on the executive pyramid, prudent executives and employees should be wary of those who would seek to undermine them.  In other words be wary of co-workers in your midst who will report on any little indiscretion, disparage you to your manager or seek to take credit for your work.