Are You Ready to be RIF'd?

Today’s blog was inspired by conversations I had with three people this week who were all blind-sided when their employment was terminated.

For those keeping score at home, the latest acronym for heartless employee terminations is RIF, short for (yet another) “reduction in force.”

The following is a list of tell-tale signs that you should be concerned about your short term employment safety. CAVEAT: there is no such thing as job security.

– How “NECESSARY” are you?
– Could a college graduate perform (a large portion of) your work?
– Can parts of your job be delegated to others?
– How aggressively/successfully have you promoted yourself across your organization?
– Are you working with any of the “Rising Stars” in your company? Are you one of them?
– How is your relationship with your boss?
– How is your bosses reputation? Her relationship with her boss?
– How expansive is your professional network?
– Are you active in your industry associations?
– what are you doing to be recognized as a subject matter expert in your chosen field?
– Have you been published?
– Have you served on panel discussions? Have you spoken at industry events?
– Is your work day monopolized by “busy” work?
– Do you CONSTANTLY update your skills?
– How connected/plugged into the office rumor mill are you?
– Is your employer changing their business model?
– Do you frequently offer to help on cross-functional teams or take on additional roles and responsibilities?
– Has your Team / Department budget been frozen (again?)
– Has there been a recent round of layoffs?
– How was your last performance review?

Even if your job is safe, the best time to explore other opportunities is when you ARE employed. It doesn’t mean you should plan on leaving your job TODAY. However, it never hurts to know what your “VALUE” is.

The average American worker changes jobs 8-9 times throughout their career. You should ALWAYS be developing a core set of transferable skills for your personal career contingency plan.

What do you think?