Education Career Services

April 9, 2010

“Down” or “Right” Makes no Difference

Sure, things are a bit bleak in the career market but every hill has an upside and a downside.  The job market is no different.  After reading employment trends and predictions, time to let our psychological guards down may not be today.  Being in the career management field for so many years, I secured a great deal of emotional cuddle after corporations changed the term when firing employees from “down-sizing” mentality to “right-sizing.”  Don’t you feel better too?

Okay, enough of the dancing for a minute. Is there really a difference between the two types of “sizing?” What do you think? Now that we’ve established a foundation to work on (and the consequence to be identical), how does this effect you if you are caught in the hook?

Impending “right-sizing” shows what you (employees) are made of.  Make no mistake, in the pressure cooker of who stays and who goes, managers have been assembling their lists.  They are identifying the under-motivated, the whiners, the rigid… and they’re noting those who are self-motivated, flexible, hard-working, solution-providers.  In this light, know decisions as to who remains and who goes are NOT made in a whim but with a great deal of diligence.

If you think just doing your job is enough, think again.  Are you upbeat?  Easy to work with?  The first one someone goes to for help?  Dependable?  Loyal?  Good in a crunch?  If so, you’re a “keeper.”  Then again, don’t get too comfortable or complacent.  In today’s lean world, you gotta show contributions on a daily basis as the “keeper” list is a fickle one.

Keepers are in for more responsibility and greater roles of strategy.  Cultivate a clear vision steeped in the basics and you’ll be marked for promotion.  Best of all, as tasks come up without a clear personnel resource, there’s your chance to get in on an area of interest you haven’t been able to explore yet.  Certainly you’ll be taking on unwelcome tasks, but look for the opportunity in them.  The keepers who ensure business continuity are the first to benefit when the economy picks back up (and it will!).

What if, despite your best efforts, you still get the pink slip?  Embrace the change!  We often fear change and, left to ourselves, avoid it. Given today’s economic climate and volatile employment structure, the pink skip may be thrust in your path.  If this happens, what’s your next move?

You’ll need to work diligently to secure a new post, but take time to rediscover your family while you’re at it.  Extend the change to them and communicate the adventure, not the fear.  How you accept the changes thrust upon us in this economy will influence your children, friends, and loved ones.  Your positive attitude can change lives!

Final words: whether a circumstance is positive or negative is up to you, not the situation.  And if you are a victim of “right-sizing” the good news is: at least you were not a victim of “down-sizing.” There, doesn’t that feel better?

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPCC, CPRW
Owner, Author, Publisher
Career Services International,
Education Career Services,
Creator, The Huffman Report,


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