How Do Redundancies Affect Company Culture

redundancy - work and company culture
pandemic company culture - redundancy

A redundancy is always tough. Despite the best intentions, the company you’ve once led into financial safety just won’t be the same anymore. One study even shows that restructuring can have a significant impact on employee well-being.

Learn how redundancies can affect the “survivors” of the company below.

For The Operational Teams

Those who get spared from redundancy can go through a dip in morale and productivity. Also called “survivor’s guilt,” employees who remain will manifest their guilt through depression, anxious thoughts, and poor self-esteem.

According to a study made by Leadership IQ, “74% of employees who kept their job amidst a corporate layoff say their productivity has declined since the layoff.” Around 87% responded that they would be less likely to recommend the company as a great organization to work for following a redundancy.

For The Managers & The HR Department

Also called the “envoys,” managers and members of the HR department carry the most extensive baggage among all employees. Leadership roles are often the ones who open difficult conversations, often with little to no support.

After a period of downsizing, envoys will be hit hardest with the psychological impacts. Feelings of anger, guilt, sadness, and frustration can make them less productive and weaken ties with the company.

What can you do?

Even when all is said and done, there are still things that organizations can do to curb survivor’s guilt among their employees. Communication is critical, so train leaders in your team to be approachable and candid.

Building trust and credibility within your team is crucial to keep their motivations and morale at a stable footing. Managers who can conduct layoffs with compassion and leaders who can consistently manage the workforce following a downsizing will yield the real cost savings.

Are you planning a redundancy in the Philippines? Do the right preparations with Lee Hecht Harrison, a global talent consulting agency with over 400 offices in more than 70 countries. Our league of career coaches and consultants, backed up by the company’s 50+ years of experience in the industry, puts your layoff plan in good hands.

To set an appointment, shoot us a message by clicking here or call 0908-814-2423.

LHH Philippines helps individuals in building better careers, better leaders and better businesses.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on tumblr
Share on digg
Share on stumbleupon
Share on pocket
Share on telegram
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

What Does Contemporary Outplacement Look Like

outplacement process and support services
outplacement support services

Outplacement is a great way to put an amicable end to an otherwise nasty exit. Companies that assist their laid-off employees by giving them the resources they need to find a new job and get hired much faster.

But in this changing world, our job hunting practices have largely evolved.

What is contemporary outplacement, and how does it hold up to the old models? Let’s find out.

Origins Of Outplacement

The term ‘outplacement’ was coined only during the sixties. However, the practice goes way back. Outplacements assisted World War II veterans as they shifted back to the post-war workplace.

The outplacement process back then offered career workshops, office equipment, and job search activities to help people get a job. Not everyone had easy and immediate access to these resources, so having a one-stop-shop that job seekers can go to was a huge relief.

Exploring Contemporary Outplacement

Today’s technology has made a lot of tasks faster and more convenient to accomplish. In turn, many of our efforts yield better results.

Because of the Internet, most people don’t even have to look at newspapers or go outside to find which company has an opening. Mobile phones, tablets, and computers have made many of us more accessible to prospective companies by going through phone pre-screens and video conference interviews, which became even more relevant since the COVID-19 pandemic.

"How we do outplacement should reflect the way we work today."

The future of outplacement depends on personalized support and technological solutions. By providing high-touch services, job seekers can get the outplacement support they need: one that consoles them as they grieve and coaches them as they strategize. On the other hand, companies can use integrated systems to measure and analyze critical data to translate into actionable outputs.

If you’re setting up an outplacement process for your company, you can talk to us, and we can help you put your plan into fruition. Click here and let’s chat.

LHH Philippines helps individuals in building better careers, better leaders and better businesses.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on tumblr
Share on digg
Share on stumbleupon
Share on pocket
Share on telegram
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Six Steps for Coping With Stress and Anxiety During a Pandemic

Here are six science-based tips to help you maintain your mental wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you’re finding yourself with increased levels of stress and anxiety in the past few weeks as the coronavirus has taken its hold on our world, then you’re not alone. Recent research suggests many people experienced moderate to severe psychological impacts during the initial COVID-19 outbreak in China. This is a very normal response and one we can take some practical steps to manage effectively. It’s important that we do this for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, managing our stress levels has a significant and positive impact on our immune system and the World Health Organization has emphasized that boosting our immune system and taking adequate preventative care plays a crucial role in fighting the Coronavirus Improving our ability to cope with the situation will therefore also improve our overall well-being and the likelihood of fighting the virus. It’s also likely that this situation will continue and possibly worsen in the weeks to come; it’s important that we put strategies in place to deal with stress now so it doesn’t overwhelm us, and we can continue to be there for our families, our friends and our colleagues. Here are six science-based tips to help you maintain your mental wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Know how you’re feeling

The first step to dealing with heightened stress and anxiety is recognizing that you’re dealing with it in the first place. Stress can manifest itself in many ways including sadness, confusion, irritability, procrastination, physical tension and body pain, lack of energy and even problems sleeping. We all have a different response to stress, and it’s important to know ourselves and check in with ourselves physically and mentally on a daily basis to know how we’re feeling and to recognize the symptoms of stress. Skipping this step and ignoring how we are feeling impedes our ability to be able to manage our stress.

2. Making Sense

It’s tempting to try and dismiss our feelings especially at a time like this when we’re all trying to cope and stay strong for those around us. But the reality is that stress responses are our bodies’ way of protecting us, and early warning signs such as feeling angry or tired can be crucial indicators that we need to intervene before the stress becomes overwhelming. The human body has adapted over many centuries to be able to react and protect itself from external threats such as a global health pandemic, so it’s perfectly normal to experience a stress response at this time. Create a habit of making time for yourself every day to notice this in yourself and make sense of the situation in order to avoid overlooking your stress.

3. Small Changes, Big Impacts

The good news with dealing with the early signs of stress is that often small changes to our daily routine can often make a big difference. These daily rituals and routines will differ for everyone and will depend on your typical stress response. For example, if you typically experience stress in a physical way such as feeling tired or tense in your body you may decide to go to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual or take time for a relaxing bath.

4. Avoid The Common Thinking Traps

An important element to building these strategies it to recognize what you can control and release the need to control what you cannot. There are practical things we can all do in the current situation to protect ourselves and our loved ones. This includes good personal hygiene and practicing social distancing, but there is also a lot we have no control over. It sounds simple; but ruminating on these things won’t help. So take a moment to acknowledge those things, and then let them go. Try to be mindful of the many myths that are out there that may be misleading and stopping us from focusing on what is in our control. Avoid catastrophizing and blowing situations out of proportion; or the other common thinking trap which is where we predict a future state that is based on our biggest fears versus the facts of the situation.

5. One Small Step

Increasing our level of exercise can be one of the easiest and most effective ways of boosting our mental wellness and strengthen our immune system. While it may not be possible to get outside and go for a brisk walk, there are lots of routines we can do in our own homes to help get us moving. And, even better if you can have a family member or friend join you either in person or virtually.

6. The Human Connection

While we all practice social distancing, it’s important not to overlook the need for human connection at this time. A more useful way to think about it could be physical distancing so that we don’t neglect the need for social connection with our friends and family – as this is another important building block in combating stress. Checking in with others through a phone call or video chat can also serve a dual purpose as it could be that the other person may also be in need of a friendly human connection. 

Now more than ever, we must prioritize our individual health – and that includes our mental well-being. Leverage these six tips to recognize your feelings and maintain your overall mental health as we navigate COVID-19 together.

These tips are designed to be educational in nature and in no way a substitute for professional clinical support. If you notice that your signs are difficult to manage, please consider seeking professional help.

LHH helps individuals in building better careers, better leaders and better businesses.

Uncertainty on Job Security

business transformation
business transformation

Any kind of job instability is nerve-wracking for anyone. The looming unknown feels more damaging to our health than losing the job itself.

The brain usually recognizes this kind of psychological setback as a threat; our fight-or-flight response is activated, releasing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Muscles tighten, breath gets quicker, blood pressure rises, and heart rate gets faster.

Learn how you can cope with uncertainty through these steps.

Accept The Things You Cannot Control

In the grand scheme of things, nothing is certain in this world. The same goes for companies who undergo transformation. It may sound bleak, but every end is a new beginning.

Coming to terms with the expectations you have for your company and the career path you’ve chosen to take can help release the burden of living in fear. It may even help you become more resilient during challenging times.

Strategize With What You Currently Have

Perspective is the most important thing you can control when you’re in a situation you can’t control. Your company may be undergoing a panic-inducing business transformation, but it’s crucial to stay calm and level-headed even in this type of case.

Check current job listings to see what employers are looking for today. Explore your current skill set and sign up for workshops, short courses, or certification exams. Update your resume and polish up your portfolio with your best work.

Train Yourself To Fight Stress Signals

It’s one thing to tell yourself everything will be okay—it’s when you take care of the mind and body even when you’re stressed that makes it a different ball game.

Adopting unhealthy coping mechanisms will never do you any good. Let go of the victim mentality that workforce transformation is the reason why you’re miserable; instead, empower yourself by not letting the disruption define you. Keep working on yourself.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

Most importantly, give yourself a break. Overthinking about drafting your back-up plan may eventually lead to rumination, prolonging stress, and ultimately damages the telomere: a crucial part of our DNA.

Find time to bring simple joys into your life even when you can’t help but be worried. Immerse yourself in hobbies you enjoy, or talk to your friends and loved ones over a nice meal.

Open yourself to better opportunities with the right coaching from LHH Philippines. Lee Hecht Harrison is a world-renowned human resource consulting company with over 50 years of experience, and more than 50,000 clients served here in the Philippines.

Curious? Shoot a message and discuss how we can help here.

LHH helps individuals in building better careers, better leaders and better businesses.

5 Ways to Retain Employees Today

business leadership development
business leadership development

Retaining your best employees is a great yet daunting task. Over the years, the standard for keeping the workplace competitive and satisfying enough for them to stay has evolved. A company with a good retention rate attracts top talent & builds a good reputation.

Failing to retain your top talents has a costly and detrimental effect on your business. It can produce insecure employees, inefficient workflows, and added expenses for training new hires.

Follow our five key strategies below to learn how you can keep your team in the long run.

#1: Schedule Stay Interviews

Companies would typically hold exit interviews when the damage has already been done. While the info given by their soon-to-be ex-employees can be useful, having the foresight to check in with existing teammates can help you assess what’s lacking and what can be worked on at the moment.

#2: Make Them Feel Appreciated

Whether it’s through freebies, promotions, or even upskilling, it’s crucial to recognize your employee’s worth. Be fair and generous to your new and senior employees. The management should always make it a point to validate their team’s work through verbal or financial means.

#3: Check the Work System Regularly

Having a disorganized workflow can bring tremendous stress to an employee. They might feel slighted over the imbalanced approach, absorb additional tasks, and feel burned out in the long run. Make it a point to ensure that the current process is operating productively and justifiably.

#4: Give Ample Opportunities Internally

Indeed, happy people don’t look for jobs often. Providing a clear career path for your employees can foster a more positive outlook towards the company. If they can see how they can succeed, they can manage their expectations and learn the skills needed to climb up.

#5: Give Quality Supervision

An employee who does not feel ‘seen’ is like a doormat: it’s close to the door. Don’t take a top talent for granted by failing to recognize the guidance they deserve. Managers and supervisors must set an encouraging environment for the team, or they will soon fall off.

Retention is a tough road that takes time. You may think it’s barely any good, but it can lead you to success that lasts a lifetime.

Invest in leadership development and employee retention today with our help at LHH Philippines. Our long-standing legacy has shaped thousands of career-centric organizations and individuals in their journey.

LHH helps individuals in building better careers, better leaders and better businesses.

OUTPLACEMENT: Taking Care of Your Employees that are Terminated Due to Change

I started in the Outplacement business here in the Philippines back in 2001. Until today, I still get the surprised look when people ask me what I do. “You mean companies engage your services to help terminated employees? They already received the severance package mandated by law.” Yes, companies in the Philippines have been using Outplacement services.

It was not always this way. In the early years, only the multinational companies used Outplacement because it was required by corporate head office especially those based in the US and Europe. Slowly word got around of the benefits of Outplacement. HR leaders who have implemented Outplacement were the biggest change agents as they brought this mind-set when they transferred to other companies. Around 2010, we had our first totally Filipino company to use this service. Today, selected Filipino companies use Outplacement.

What is Outplacement? Outplacement is a structured approach towards helping terminated employees move on to their next career paid by the company initiating the change. It is a way for companies to show that they care for these employees as part of their “malasakit” and corporate social responsibility.

In the age of digital disruption and business transformation, companies have to constantly change business models just to survive. Many large companies are now going through very difficult times. Change is a must and no longer an option. Unfortunately, some of these changes will include loyal, hardworking employees to lose their job. We must not forget that; 

These employees did nothing wrong. It is not their fault that they are laid-off.”

Outplacement has benefits to both the Company and to the impacted employee. The most significant for the Company is that it supports employee engagement. By taking care of the employees that leave you take care of the employees that stay. We have plenty of examples of terminated employees sending back thank you notes to their former Company. Messages that warms the heart and gives strength to the remaining employees to say; “This is the kind of Company I would like to work for. If it happens to me, they will also support my transition.” Other benefits to the Company are protection of the corporate brand especially in social media.

The terminated employee will feel at a loss what to do next, what to say to people and how to behave. The Outplacement process gives the employee the framework he/she badly needs. The period of transition is also the time to make a choice. Shall I find another job, start a business, retire, immigrate, study, etc. Outplacement helps the employee to stand back and perform a rational career decision. Finally, Outplacement has shown that those in the program find a job 50% faster.

In the age of digital disruption, companies need to be quick in making a decision and execute the changes without hesitation to remain competitive. Unfortunately, people issues have often delayed the process. Best practices have shown that by adopting Outplacement as part of the change, companies are more agile while doing the right thing for the employees especially those whose jobs have disappeared.

LHH helps individuals in building better careers, better leaders and better businesses.

About the Author

Vicente Kilayko LHH Philippines

Vicente KILAYKO - Director, LHH Philippines

Vicente “Binky” Kilayko is a Director of Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) Philippines. LHH has more than 7,800 customers around the world and we are the global partner to 50% of the Fortune 1000 organizations. For over 20 years, we have helped companies in the Philippines reorganize by taking care of employees that are laid-off find their next career.

Job Search and COVID-19

jon search at pandemic COVID-19
jon search at pandemic COVID-19

“It is not going to be easy but you will find another job. You and I will work as a team. It will take a lot of hard work, discipline, prayers until you finally turn the corner”. As a career coach at Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH), these are the words that I often say as I meet a new candidate for the first time. I have realized the principles remain the same even as we are in a COVID19 crisis. Let me share with you my learnings as a career coach."

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT

The biggest mistake of job seekers when I ask what position they are looking for is to answer, “Kahit ano pwede.” (Any job that is available.) Culturally Filipinos tend to beg for work rather than seek for that job. As a result, these job seekers are often lump together and forgotten especially now when competition for open position is fierce.

Identify your specific skills such as a programmer, bookkeeper, supervisor, BPO/customer service, etc. Mention this skill when someone ask you for the job that you are looking for. This will create your identity and set you apart from the rest.

CAREER SHIFT THE SMART WAY

As the global economy takes a downturn, companies will be affected in different ways. Companies in the tourism, hospitality, travel, retail are expected to have a difficult time. On the hand those in health care, logistics, food and digital sector will need to expand.  As a job seeker, you need to shift industries but remain in the same function by knowing your transferrable skills.  For example, an accountant in a hotel can very well apply for a finance position in a logistics company. 

WHAT DID YOU DO DURING THE QUARANTINE?

Expect questions on what you did during the quarantine.  This is not a question of curiosity but rather a behavioral question. If all you did was to watch Netflix the whole day then perhaps you are not the right candidate. Other candidates seeking the same position may relate how they took up online courses to upskill themselves for the future.

I was working with one candidate who’s last position in a large consumer company was Channel Marketing Manager. As the COVID19 crisis eclipsed our sessions, we started working on options for her job search. One day she told me that she has now decided to take up a course in Digital Marketing. She declared that while her strength was the traditional marketing in supermarkets, the need now is the digital space. A great example of upskilling for the new normal.

WHERE ARE THE JOBS?

Now that you know what you want and upskilled yourself, where are the jobs? The basics remain the same as follows;

Go directly to the websites of companies that you would like to work for and check out if there are job openings.  You might be surprised that companies continue to hire.

In some of these platforms jobs look for people. In LinkedIn for example, there is a tab on top (Jobs) which will suggest open positions for you. It is best that you complete your profile and keep your status updated because this is the data used by LinkedIn in job matching.

Beyond the published jobs, there are hidden vacancies. You find these jobs through family, friends, community, business contacts, etc. As you go higher in an organization, these open positions are not published. Network, network, network is my mantra for those looking for a job. One suggestion that I have in enlarging your network is to volunteer. It may be church, community, school or even a relief operation during this crisis. Opportunities are in talking (virtually) to as many people as possible.

BE PREPARED FOR TECHNOLOGY

Given the new normal of social distancing, it is a certain that your interviews will be conducted virtually. Prepare yourself by investing in a good broadband connection. Ideally it should be fiber optics all the way to your router. Another investment is on a webcam. The company may ask for a video conference and while laptops have cameras, they normally do not give a good visual image of you due to the position of the camera (bottom up highlighting your chin). You have one opportunity to look your best so be prepared.

Having worked in Outplacement since 2001, our team at LHH Philippines has the competence and experience to help individuals in career transition.  Through the years, we have successfully supported companies with as many as 5,000 employees or those with only one termination.  It can be based on individual coaching or a workshop. LHH has the technology and the global reach. But most of all, our team has the heart to make a difference to each one that goes through our program.   

Millions are out of job due to the COVID-19 crisis. As a career coach, I am often asked if there are still jobs out there and if they are still hiring. Yes there are jobs and yes they are still hiring but the competition is fierce. Here are tips on how you can make it happen.

FOR INQUIRIES

Contact or Email Us at info@LHH.com.ph

About the Author

Vicente Kilayko LHH Philippines

Vicente KILAYKO - Director, LHH Philippines

Vicente “Binky” Kilayko is a Director of Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) Philippines. LHH has more than 7,800 customers around the world and we are the global partner to 50% of the Fortune 1000 organizations. For over 20 years, we have helped companies in the Philippines reorganize by taking care of employees that are laid-off find their next career.

Outplacement – A Best Practice in Successful Termination

lhh outplacement
lhh outplacement

When I first saw the movie “Up in the Air” I always said to myself that this was a product of Hollywood fantasy until last week.  I was part of a team from Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) that had to support the Tell-Day of a large company and because of COVID-19 it had to be done virtually.  There I was at home sitting in front of a laptop and looking at the scene of an empty meeting room. The employee was being notified in the next room that she will no longer have a job.

Soon they came in and the HR introduced Anne (not her real name) who was a manager and she sat down in front of the company laptop. It was very obvious that she was crying even before I started our conversation. I learned quickly that supporting an impacted employee virtually is almost the same as face-to-face. As I concentrated on Anne, I completely forgot that we were separated by distance and technology.

As we talked, Anne told me that she was ok but was crying because she was concerned for her team.  When I told her how we will support her and her team with our transition program, she began to calm down but never really stopped crying.  After 30 minutes and as we were about to end, Anne said, “Thank you very much for talking to me. Now I can go home. I understand why the company had to do this because of the pandemic and the lack of sales.  I also want to thank the company for helping us through this difficult period.” Powerful words from someone who just lost her job!

Where can you find a situation where you lay-off employees and they still say thank you? In the 20 years that LHH has been in the Philippines, we have seen the evolution of companies now recognizing outplacement as a best practice.

Outplacement, often confused with “Outsourcing or “Job Placement”, is a structured approach towards a next career for employees who have been terminated. It is conducted on behalf of the company making the change and is tailored to the level of the individual in the organization. In short it is “Caring for employees impacted by change.”

The Benefits Of The LHH Outplacement From The Company Making The Changes Are

As part of the preparation, LHH will work with the leaders on how to clearly deliver the message, manage the reaction and to map out the next steps. As in the case of Anne, LHH can be present as part of the Tell-Day support to help the impacted employee cope with the emotions, advice on Do’s & Don’ts and outline the transition support.

As the day ended last week, we received feedback from the leaders that they saw a distinct positive change in the attitude of the impacted employees after they had talked to LHH. They thanked the LHH team for our contribution.

Without a doubt, termination is very stressful to the leaders of the company implementing the change.  However, when we start to advice on the best practices, you can see the growing confidence in the ability to implement a successful separation. There are checklists including logistical support, medical and security arrangement, timing, communication, etc.  It is no longer a blank sheet but structures, procedures, guidelines and suggested FAQs.

Our most successful experience in helping companies manage changes in the organization are those that included LHH in the planning stage.  The key element is to synchronize the messaging to the key stakeholders ie the employee who will be terminated, employees who will remain, suppliers/partners and the market. Timing and content of these messages are important.  The results have been a positive image for the company.

The most important group of employees in a restructuring are those that are remaining after the change. They will now achieve the goals of the company with less headcount.  The change must be clearly explained and to seek out anyone who has doubts or questions. Sometimes they will experience what we term as “survivors’ guilt” and this must be addressed. Best practice is to deliver a change management intervention for the stayers.

Based on our experience, impacted employees file a legal challenge not because of the change itself but on how they were terminated.  If the notifying leaders are properly briefed, then loss of face, promises or hurting words are avoided.  When outplacement support is provided, the employee feels the care of the company and rarely ever files a case.

A terminated employee needs to be supported. If the company does not provide outplacement, then it is society (family, friends, and community) that will have to help the unemployed. In some cases he/she becomes a social problem.  Outplacement is now increasingly recognized as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of companies. CSR is not just the external activities of companies but internally as well. Proof are the continuing increase in the number of Philippine companies that have become customers of LHH.

Companies need to make changes in their business model to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Oftentimes, it will cause employees to lose their job. By using outplacement support, this allows the companies to successfully make the change while caring for the employees who are terminated.

Vicente KILAYKO - Director, LHH Philippines Tweet

FOR INQUIRIES

Contact or Email Us at info@LHH.com.ph

About the Author

Vicente Kilayko LHH Philippines

Vicente KILAYKO - Director, LHH Philippines

Vicente “Binky” Kilayko is a Director of Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) Philippines. LHH has more than 7,800 customers around the world and we are the global partner to 50% of the Fortune 1000 organizations. For over 20 years, we have helped companies in the Philippines reorganize by taking care of employees that are laid-off find their next career.

Know the Territory. Build Resilience

resiliency

“Change is coming” is the catchphrase du jour but we all know that change has always been here. As the often-quoted Greek Philosopher Heraclitus said, “the only thing that is constant is change”.

Sometimes the changes are incremental that the impact goes unnoticed and it’s business as usual. But there are times when the changes are massive and sweeping, causing turbulence. To weather this, resilience comes in handy.

resiliency

Resilience is the capacity of an individual to remain both flexible and strong in the midst of ambiguity and change. Being resilient means a person can cope effectively with stress and uncertainty, bounce back from physical and emotional stress, absorb high levels of change and adjust to disruptions in life yet maintain high levels of productivity.

It is a key capability for remaining effective in a world of work that is characterized by constant movement and unpredictability. It allows people to go beyond survival and actually prosper in environments that are complex and dynamic.

Unfortunately, not everyone is born resilient. The good news is, you can learn resilience and even improve it. Collectively, resilient employees make an agile team. And an agile team is less resistant to change, allowing easier and more efficient transition. Because resilient employees are more alert to indicators that change is called for, they have the ability to respond and adapt faster to redirection and are quicker to adjust to system disruptions.

resilience framework

Lee Hecht Harrison’s resilience framework consists of four components: Understand Yourself, Connect to Resources, Know the Territory, and Take Action. In this article, we will zero in on just one: knowing the territory or awareness of the trends having an impact on your situation.

After years of running resilience workshops and tabulating visual and numeric views of resilience profiles, we have discovered that this is a component that is most ignored, it is a weak point for a vast majority. Understandably, because we get caught up in tasks at hand that we tend to forget that there is life outside and beyond what is in front of us.

For you to “know the territory” you must have three attributes.

First is the understanding of the big picture, of the forces and trends that are impacting and shaping your new situation. Seeing how you fit into a larger scheme helps you to recognize that many of these forces are outside of your control, enabling you to gain some perspective on your current situation and to find different ways to look at the world. Such knowledge can be helpful in developing an overall direction and plan.

Second, you must be able to recognize the skills needed for your future success and work towards them. In our contemporary world of constant, rapid change, the employer-employee contract has shifted. Nowadays, employers are interested in what competencies (skills, traits, attitudes) employees can offer to help solve current problems. As an employee, it is necessary for you to consider what value/s you bring to your organization. Knowing what the market requires and what skills you can provide will help to maintain your confidence and optimism in the midst of stressful environments.

Third, you must take responsibility in planning your career and life, in general. Lay down your short and long-range goals. Do not miss out on contingency plans. Knowing yourself and understanding your values and passions can help you remain buoyant in today’s organizations. Having a plan, with flexibility and options, provides the tool to help you navigate your course and be able to make the adjustments that will prove necessary to manage any transition you face.

Here are some steps you can take to develop the aforementioned attributes:

  • Use the internet to gather information on trends affecting your industry and profession: follow initiators and influencers on social media, sign up in discussion boards.
  • Read at least one business publication and one general news periodical regularly.
  • Attend conferences and expositions related to your field.
  • Join a professional organization (like PMAP!) and actively engage in its activities.
  • Get involved in a team that is dealing with an issue important in your profession or organization, and to the future of your career.
  • Select one skill that will be required for your future success and taking a class and/or reading on the topic.
  • Volunteer for an organization through which you can develop pertinent new skills.
  • Outline a tangible career and life plan that includes both long term and short term goals.
  • Get your finances in order.
  • Find a mentor who can provide you with guidance and advice.

Developing and strengthening your resilience does not happen overnight. It requires conscious and constant practice of all components. Knowing the territory brings you one step closer to being able to thrive in tough times.

About Jo Ann Rosary O. Asetre
e-mail: jasetre@lhh.com.ph

Jo Ann Rosary O. Asetre is the Operations Director of Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) Philippines, a Talent Development and Transition Company (formerly called Drake Beam Morin). She has conducted Developing Personal Resilience and Change Management workshops to groups of C-Suite executives, mid-level managers, supervisors, and rank and file employees. Jo Ann leads a team of Career Consultants, Subject Matter Experts to deliver Leadership Development, Change Management and Career Transition to numerous local and international companies including those listed in Fortune 500. For more information on LHH, log on to lhh.com or facebook.com/lhhphils.

Networking: A Career Management Tool

Career Management

Career Management

“I did not realize that a network helps increase a person’s chance for job search success, especially when impacted by organizational changes.” 

This is a feedback of a senior manager who was involuntarily separated from his employer. He has worked for his former company for 22 years, rising from the ranks until he reached his most recent senior-level position. His former employer had to let him go due to change in business strategy. However, he is now agitated because he has been on the market for three months and his severance pay is about to be depleted; yet he still has not received a solid response to his resume which he uploaded in a job search portal. Typical of many other candidates, this person has strongly rejected the idea of networking.

As career coaches of individuals who are in between jobs, we often receive requests that we should connect them immediately to a headhunter (who they think finds jobs for them when in fact these recruiters are working for the companies). Some demand that we just feed them tons of job leads or pass their resumes to as many companies as possible. Many will also prefer to just post their resumes on job search websites instead of crafting their communication and networking strategy. We hear them say that networking only works in the western countries or for senior executives.

In this age of volatile and uncertain world of work, a strong, solid network is more important than ever. One has to realize that a good reputation in a wide network is the most potent career management strategy. Failure to build a strong network is a threat to your professional life, and this principle applies to everyone, wherever you may be in the career ladder.

However, one has to realize that building meaningful, mutually beneficial professional relationship takes time and a lot of effort. It is not just about having a thousand names on your friend or contact list on your social media profile. It goes beyond the number of likes or comments on your post (social media is not meant to replace networking, but can blend with it and even enhance it). It is not just about the people you know, but it is more about how people know you.

Evaluate your network and ask what stories they tell about you. What do the stories reveal about you as a person – values, style, skills, performance, etc.? Are you consistently delivering value and results to stakeholders, peers, customers, community, etc.? What distinguishes you from others in your field, industry or workplace?

Remember that networking requires a lot of interaction and being involved in common endeavors that establishes your credibility. So how does one build a solid, strong, and wide network?

Within your organization, volunteer to join a task force or a special project even if it is beyond your job description. Make yourself known and seen by other employees outside your department. Deliver consistent work quality and always follow through on your commitments. Serve as a mentor to other employees or join cross-functional teams. Be involved in activities that will increase your visibility and help develop meaningful relationships. Do not complain about additional workload, but reframe your mindset and look at the opportunities.

It is also a good strategy that you do not confine yourself to just within your company. Join an external professional organization, be an active member, or volunteer to lead a committee or a project. It may mean sacrificing your weeknights or weekends, so you can participate in volunteer work. Be reminded however that you should not spread yourself too thinly across many organizations only to build superficial connections. Select just a few and take an active role in them to establish meaningful relationships.

Write a blog or speak about your passion, your expertise, or your interests. Do not leave passive comments, but establish active, two-way communications on the World Wide Web. Share articles or email them to friends who would benefit from it. Pose questions or solicit ideas. Participate in discussions and be open to healthy discourse.

Socialize and make yourself seen and felt in events. Celebrate a friend’s birthday, show up and offer moral support to a colleague who is hosting a public event, send thank you cards to those who have made an impact on you and express your gratitude to them.
You may also go back to school, attend a training, and reconnect with high school or college friends.

Share job leads or other opportunities. Invite friends to seminars or events that will also benefit them. You never know you might be sharing something very significant to them, which they will forever be thankful for.

However, do not just go out and mindlessly spread your wings. Remember that networking is not just about what you get or who you meet. It involves denying one’s self for the benefit of others. It is not just about you, but it is about establishing reciprocal relationships. As an African Proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.”