Is your job at risk?

How would it effect you if you were dismissed – think about it!

Unfortunately I have seen the sometimes brutal way employers communicate to employees, that they are no longer required. I fully appreciate that we are in a rapidly changing world and business pressures lead to inevitable reorganisation, but a bit of human respect can go a long way.

The favoured technique of one CEO was to take an employee, without warning, into a room and fire them. In some cases they had worked for the organisation for many years. Naturally playing on the element of surprise, he would offer a package to the employee to leave immediately. If they walked out of the room without signing away their employment rights the amount would be halved. Why because that is just business.

Imagine the impact of that happening to you…

Recently a sales director who had overachieved on challenging sales figures for the year, was let go because the board had lost confidence in him. I took his phone call the morning after he had found out he was fired. He was devastated. So upset he could not speak and had to end the call after 3 attempts. He thought he would never get another job in the industry and that he was worthless.

I share these examples not to be alarmist yet to suggest that there is an alternative route. It is possible to be in control of when you choose to leave an organisation and for you to decide the impact it will have on your life.

Can I recommend a short exercise to bring you career under control…

  • Identify what is most important to you in a role.

  • Place these in order of importance focussing on the top five priorities.

My suggestions to explore are:

  1. Your level of autonomy

  2. The company culture

  3. Your opportunity for career progression

  4. The calibre of the leadership team

  5. Are you appropriate rewarded for value you add?

Rate your current role on each one of your top priorities out of maximum 5 points. (E.g. 5=Excellent match; 4=Good…1=No match.)

Once you’ve completed this exercise, the decision should be fairly straight forward:

  • Average above 4 = Stay and position yourself as vital for business success.

  • Average between 2 & 4 = Is it the time to explore other career options?

  • Average below 2 = Time to plan your exit on your terms

During a recent coaching session with a high performing individual – alarm bells began to ring. As my client fedback I recognized a number of early warnings signs of likely dismissal that he was unaware of. These included his line manager putting him under unnecessary pressure - the unspoken truth was his line manager wanted the head count back to allocate resource in a different direction.

I could see that within 6 weeks he would be fired – not a great situation when you are on a month’s notice.

I suggested to him that we craft an exit from his current employment. I recommended we approach the organisation and request a 6 month settlement payment in exchange for leaving the company. His line manager would also benefit from not having to take up valuable time going through the anxious performance process.

The company agreed to 4 months’ pay out and an effective handover was initiated. This led to a further WIN/WIN as my client left the business on his terms with security, whilst the employer got their head count back. A further benefit for both parties was avoiding the dreaded performance improvement process and any unnecessary legal costs.

Do you need help to take control of your career and crafting a strategy to make 2016 a career success? Do not hesitate to visit our homepage to know more about us or send an email to

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