Life Before Downsizing: Six Secrets to Managing Change
and Creating Opportunities for the Future
By Ed Sykes
What would you do if you learned your organization was
bought by another organization, was downsizing, or closing
its doors tomorrow? In 30 days? Six months? In one year?
Are you prepared for the change? What will you do in the
In this ever changing world we live in, there is one
constant…change. Changes are happening faster and faster.
Even what is changing has a different look. Just think of the
items in your life that were not available 20, 10, 5 years, or
even one year ago. Just think of the iPod, cloning, DNA, etc.
Why would we think our career situation will be the same in
The same types of changes are happening in the workplace.
This is no longer the world of working twenty years for the
same company. Organizations are adapting to the local,
national, and global marketplaces.
How do you prepare yourself for these changes? The
following techniques will enable you to master career change
and create opportunities for you:
- Create Goals
Many times when you work for an
organization for a long time, you may become complacent.
Constantly develop your goals. Work on goals in the areas
of career, family, education, fitness, health, and spirituality.
This will create balance in your life and enable you master
change when it comes.
Cast Your NETS Now!
N-E-T-S means Network with
Everyone for Total Success! Go out and join various
industry and non-industry groups. This is a great way to
spread your NETS. Volunteer and be active with these
groups so that your skills can be seen and your ideas heard.
This is an opportunity to develop your leadership abilities
and let others know about you as a person and the skills you
have to offer. As I always say:
“It’s not what you know. It’s not who you know. It’s who
knows what you know.”
Depending on the skills, you will be looked at as an expert.
Cast your NETS and let others know what you know.
Account for Your CPA
C-P-A means Creating a Positive
Attitude. Create a positive attitude toward your career and
life so that you will not miss opportunities when they arrive.
Look at challenging situations as opportunities that will
prepare you for greater opportunities in the future. Realize
that the projects you work on today will create new
opportunities for you tomorrow.
Continuously seek knowledge to stay
ahead of the change curve. Many times when we work with
employees in organizations, we let employees know about
educational opportunities that enhance their careers and
lives. Sometimes, we receive the following response:
“If the company isn’t going to pay for the class, then I am
not going to take it.”
Folks, we gladly spend (spend as in purchasing something
with decreasing value) money on cable TV, DVD’s, etc.
However, when it comes to investing in our education, we
often say no.
Keep in mind that once you receive your knowledge, its your
knowledge, and you take it wherever you go. Additional
knowledge gives you the confidence to meet challenges and
Take the time to find out what benefits and educational
opportunities your organization is offering and take
advantage of them. Do it today.
Seek knowledge and grow!
Relax and Downsize Your Life
Take the time to downsize
your lifestyle. Often when we receive a raise, we buy a
bigger car or house, buy additional items on credit, etc. That
has become the norm in the “super size me” society. As the
comedian George Carlin says, “We have become a slave to
our stuff.” Think of ways you could downsize your lifestyle
if you were faced with a career or life challenge tomorrow.
Then act on it before it acts on you.
By downsizing, you will experience the following benefits:
- Take back control of your life
- Allow more time for family, hobbies, and community work
Also, it will allow you to take advantage of a new career or
business opportunity, one that maybe you have a real
passion for, without being as concerned about “will this job
pay my bills.”
Connect with Your Change Barometer
Look inward or
ask a good friend or family member how you handled change
in the past. Ask the following questions:
How did you feel?
Ask for honest feedback and take the information to learn
how to handle career change and challenges in the future.
It’s okay to feel a certain way during the challenge of
change. It’s not okay to stay there. Also, understand that
everyone handles change differently. So respect your co-
What did you look like?
How did you react (or not react)?
Take time to act on these change management six secrets, and you
will master downsizing and layoff challenges in the present and create future
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downsizing, and Leadership
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Want to learn how to master change management and handle
layoffs and challenging situations? Our
Life After Downsizing,
How to Develop the Leader Within You,
Time Management Skills to Achieve More, and
How to Handle Workplace Stress and Master Your Life change
management programs can
help you lead others to the next level. Also read more about change
management, leadership, and motivation on
page. Call us at 757-427-7032 or e-mail us at
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