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Week of 25 September 2023: What to do if you are quietly cut

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It has been widely reported recently that companies are "quietly cutting" employees. If you are not familiar with this term, it means your job has been eliminated, but you haven't. You'll be put on the sidelines until a place can be found for you. Likely your department has been eliminated, but to avoid paying you a severance package, you are "being placed in inventory" until a position can be found that matches your perceived skill set.

You are still being paid, still coming to work. What to do? To "enjoy" this status, you no doubt will be required to sign some sort of agreement that outlines what you are allowed to do and not allowed to do while in inventory.

For some, it will work out to sit around and see what happens. That would not be my nature, for this status says that you are not perceived as a star, but you are not quite cannon fodder, either.

You may wish to stay, for you may have extenuating family circumstances. You may like where you live, have children in high school you don't want to move, have nearby aging relatives and so forth. In such cases, stay put.

If I were in the 35- to 45-year-old slot, I would be on the move. Depending on the agreement that I signed, my name would be with five or six hundred headhunters within two weeks. However, I would do this cautiously.

There are two kinds of headhunters, contingent and fixed fee. Sort them out and do not send your resume to the contingent folks. Why? Because they will immediately send your resume to everyone they know, claiming they are representing you (and hence putting a price tag on your head for their fee that you may not want).

And, of course, you want to quietly work your network. This means do not blast your resume (or cv, whatever you call it) all over LinkedIn. That looks desperate and exposes you to the contingent headhunters.

Job searching is a whole skill unto itself. Over the years, it has changed drastically and now has several variants, depending on whether you are in the manufacturing or the tech ecosystems. Manufacturing job search tends to follow traditional lines while the tech sector has its own norms.

Quietly cutting? I wouldn't participate but it is up to your personal circumstances.

Be safe and we will talk next week.


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