Wednesday, November 08, 2006

How to Tell if You're On Your Way Out

Some people need no indication as to the precarious nature of their job status. Take, for instance, the team in Washington - war in Iraq, sliding economy, randy congressmen, second-in-commands that shoot their 'friends' during gated hunting trips...

Multiple reasons for a sacking if ever there were any.

However, in the real world, it's a little subtler, and deadly important to know if you're living on borrowed time.

Not all employment situations work according to expectation and, as such, the ability to sense approaching waves on the horizon can ensure you control the employment situation should your days be deteriorating. By staying ahead of this important curve you can either take action to correct the situation or action a plan to hunt for another job.

Consider the following in determining if your days are dwindling:

Have you achieved your ‘Peter Principle,’ - the process of being promoted up the employment ladder to the point where you are ‘in over your head’ - or are you under-performing in a position at which you were once good?

Have you received a disapproving appraisal or missed out on your bonus? How about you and your manager? Have relations broken down? Perhaps, you are now omitted from the normal Friday memo.

The reasons for the above are many: from unhappiness with responsibilities to your individual principles colliding with those of the organisation. From changes in the firm’s business objectives reducing your skill worth to a merger or buyout that may, indeed, cost you your job.

Perhaps, you have character qualities that impact your ability to get on with colleagues? The devil is not the only one wearing Prada… well, at least Armani.

So, in the immortal words of philosopher and former Clash frontman, Mick Jones…

“Should I Stay...
If staying is an option - and you really want to stay - talk to your manager privately. Secure clarification on expectations and what will be necessary to get the wheels back on the road (be aware you may have to take a demotion as a condition of continued employ). On the up-side, this could be the chance you need to turn the situation around or, at a minimum, allow you time to conduct a job search and leave on your terms. If faced with this scenario, stay positive and remember your former accomplishments in the view you can succeed.

… or Should I Go?”
If you see your own reflection in the cross hairs of termination, you may wish to resign before being sacked. As such, the decision will have been yours and, as such, most employers will speak well of you when questioned about your reason for leaving. In regard to reasons for leaving, distance yourself from ‘left to follow other interests’ or ‘take a break from working,’ as they both scream of termination.’

If your choice is resignation, ensure your resume is updated and your networking list ready as, dependent on your position, you may be asked to immediately leave your place of employ.


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