Common Mistakes Employees Make During a Downsize

Common Mistakes Employees Make During a Downsize

How to Survive a Company Downsize

Are you worried about losing your job? A lot of companies are downsizing, and if you think you may be on the chopping block, here are a few suggestions that can put you in a favorable position, give you a fighting chance and just might save your job!

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Don’t Resist Change

Change is the main ingredient of downsizing and change is required to survive. Change can bring up intense feelings of discomfort and fear, but don’t be resistant to it. Develop the habit of “instant alignment” and respond to change immediately an consistently, by grabbing on to it rather than ignoring or resisting it. If you do this, you reduce the stress you’ll feel during a downsize and you’ll keep yourself ahead of the game. For more insights, I suggest reading the book, “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson, M.D.

Resist the Urge to Feel Like a Victim

The “victim” mentality paralyzes action. While it might feel appropriate to have a pity party with your coworkers, playing victim is detrimental to your survival during an organizational downsize. It deprives you of being empowered and keeps you from taking action. Avoid feeling sorry for yourself. Accept the reality of your situation, and then move forward. Use the downsize as a lever to become more resilient, more productive and even more valuable to the company.

Don’t Play a New Game With Old Rules

Look closely at what has changed during the downsize. Find out what the new priorities are and decide what to focus on that best demonstrates your value. And you are valuable, no matter what is happening around you. Know that with new priorities come new rules, so don’t play by the old ones during a downsize. You’ll have a better chance of keeping your job if you learn the new rules, adapt to them, and apply them right away.

Avoid Trying to Control the Uncontrollable

This pointless struggle for control wastes precious time and effort. A more sensible strategy is to simply accept oncoming change completely and move on. By accepting the oncoming downsize, you can apply yourself 100% to the new organization and focus on your options. There are options and opportunities you may not be aware of. You’ll find them if you let go of wanting to control the uncontrollable.

Don’t Slow Down or Unplug 

If you think they’re watching you, they definitely are! During a downsize, all employees are under the microscope and chances are you were being observed long before the downsize was even announced. Don’t slow down or unplug! This is the time to show your value, so don’t limit your positive exposure by working slower, not taking on new projects or mentally checking out. Most managers welcome requests for additional work. Remember, more experience and skills make you more marketable—whether you stay at the company or if you’re let go.

Take care of yourself during a downsize. Here are a few healthy suggestions: 

1. Exercise. Exercise helps your body function properly, promotes a good attitude, a sharp mind and better overall health. Exercising lifts your spirits and increases your energy.
2. Drink more water. Pure, clean water is absolutely necessary for your body to function properly. Drink between eight and 10 glasses of water every day.
3. Have fun and laugh. Humor is a wonderful stress reliever.
4. Get plenty of sleep. Rest and sufficient sleep are your power tools.
5. Be grateful and thankful. Appreciate what you already have: education, skills, health, family and friends.
6. Say nice things to yourself. Avoid allowing your thoughts to drift towards negativity. A positive attitude can move mountains.
7. Simplify your life. In times of stress, simplifying allows you to function much more effectively. What tasks, errands, responsibilities, and other demands on your time can you cut out completely or delegate to someone who can help?
8. Practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is an incredible antidote to the pain and stress caused from potential job loss. It frees your soul and releases you from the drain of energy caused by negative emotions and thoughts. You are doing this for you. It can become easier to deal with management and coworkers as a result of forgiveness.
9. Meditate and relax. Listen to your favorite music, gaze out over the ocean or sit under a tree and watch the clouds move. Take off your shoes and place your feet on the ground to reconnect with Mother Earth’s calming, rebalancing energy. Take a hot bath with two cups of sea salt and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar to detoxify your body and energetic field.

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