Workplace Rights

Weekly (3/16/09)

Topic of the Week  Not a Statistic - How to spot a layoff early


How to spot a layoff early. (M.O.R.E.)


Your Rant: I’m worried my company could be about to do a big layoff.
911 Repair,
I saw a recent study that said we’re spending three hours daily worrying about our jobs. I get it. But worrying won’t get, or save, your job. Which reminds me of a conversation with my accountant, Dennis. I once said to him, “Don’t change. Stay just the way you are.” For no real reason, it’s just a goofy thing I occasionally say. Dennis replied, “I can’t change.”
Most of us are more like Dennis than we’d care to admit. Given where the economy is headed, I believe worrying is a luxury today. We’ve got to keep our effort going into where we’re going and what’s next. Below you’ll find “MORE,” a series of questions you can ask yourself to determine if you’ll have more time in your current job, or if you should be exploring more job and work options. For more, “Fired, Laid Off, Out of a Job” by Simerson and McCormick (Praeger, 2003).
Market? The old saying describing the economy for most of my life was, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Today it’s the polar opposite. The tide is going out and it’s dragging a lot of us with it. But the direction of a marketplace can change, if for no other reason than our cars, computers and shoes eventually need to be replaced. Take a hard look at the prospects for your business. Talk to customers, vendors and competitors to really explore the prospects for your industry moving into the future.
Occupation? This downturn appears different, than ’82 or ‘01. It seems clear that entire industries could go away never to reappear. While others industries seem destined to return, even stronger than before. Most of us are boosters about our jobs, our glass is always half-full. Today its important to take a much more objective view. You can see this as a depressing time, or as a chance to explore all of your options. Either way, you more realistic you are, the more possibilities you’ll be able to create for yourself.
Relationships? Regular readers of Workplace911 know my mantra, 61% of people get their jobs through networking. As a colleague once said, “Your network is your net worth.” But relationships are also important when viewing the odds that you could be laid off. The more that you are the key contact for big and profitable clients, that your area is declining at a slower rate than others or that you have a huge file of key stakeholders that you’re in regular contact with, the better your position will be to weather the storm.
Extra? What do you bring extra to the table? Can you do a variety of jobs? Do you have experience in key industries that hold opportunity for your company? Do you speak the language of key customers? Are you someone that everyone likes and trusts?
Ultimately my accountant was all wrong, we all need to be able to change today.

Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning You can also hear workplace911 on BlogTalkRadio weekly. If you have a question for Bob, contact him via

Thought of the Week

"Keep your eyes on the horizon and on your path."

–Native American saying

Blog of the Week

Top Five News Headlines

    List of the Week

    from DDI

    Don’t Try This at Work…Top ways to blow a job interview
    • Not taking the time to learn about the job or the organization
    • Being arrogant or overly confident
    • Showing up late.
    • Lack of curiosity—not asking any questions about the job or what it is like to work here.


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