This question was posed to me recently. “If your organization is downsizing the group, how soon should you be looking for other opportunities? Are you better to stay and see what happens?”
This is a difficult question and the real answer is “it depends”!
It depends on some or all of the following factors:
- Are you sure there will be downsizing or is it just gossip? And, how severe is that downsizing likely to be?
- How well are you positioned to survive the downsizing? Would you want to? How much do you like the job, the organization, the people, the culture etc?
- How long have you been there and how likely are you to get a decent package if you are let go?
- How marketable are you? At this time, senior or very senior communicators are marketable, but likely to take much longer to find a role than others who are earlier in their careers. There are fewer jobs for managers and directors and very intense competition for those few jobs. Intermediate communicators are in the best position. There are usually quite a few good jobs around for those people and the competition is much less fierce. As for junior, or entry-level communicators, I don’t do searches in that area so I can’t offer a strong opinion.
- How specialized are you? For example, internal communications specialists are in high demand. External communications specialists somewhat less so. Generalists seem to always be in quite high demand.
- How are things on the home front? If you go without a job for a few months, will it have a serious impact on your home/family? Or do you have some flexibility?
Overall, you need to decide what is right for you. It is a good time to think things through, refresh your resume, gather examples of recent work for your portfolio and keep in close touch with your professional network…just in case. But, as many communicators will tell you, sometimes being laid off is the best thing that ever happened to your career!