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Keeping My Job During Consolidation: A Case Study

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 16 May 2011 | comments*Discuss
Job Consolidation Redundant Meeting

While few people want to trample over others to get what you want, during a recession there can be times where you have to say ‘me first’.

In an ideal world, there would be well-paid jobs available for everyone who wanted them, and we would all feel safe and secure in our careers. But, sadly, this is not reality – especially not during a period of consolidation.

Best Foot Forward

This is exactly the situation that Maggie Collins found herself in three months ago and, after a short wrestle with her conscience, she decided to look after number one and investigated ways to Redundancy Proof Her Job. Maggie explained, “As the assistant editor of a trade magazine for a business organisation, I was well aware that the recession had made a great dent in our regular advertising revenue and that some costs were going to have to be cut. I could sense that there was going to be a major meeting, so I put some time into analysing my role.”

This was a very smart move because it meant that Maggie was well-prepared when that inevitable meeting came. The managing director called a meeting to discuss what is often called ‘consolidation’ but actually means ‘Redundancy’.

“Although I wasn’t totally comfortable with what I initially felt was telling tales on my colleagues, I also knew that some people weren’t really pulling their weight and that I would be so frustrated if they kept their job while I lost mine," she said.

"So rather than say how badly they were performing and look bitter, I wrote my job analysis in a positive way. I highlighted what advantages I brought to the job – my industry contacts, flexibility, ability to multi-task, always achieving tight deadlines and so on – so my employers could see my added value.”

Importance of Preparation

As each member of the editorial team was called into a meeting with the board, Maggie was especially pleased to have prepared. There were no plans to close the magazine, but rather run it with a skeleton staff and utilise freelancers, to keep the overall cost down and be ready to pick up when the advertising revenues returned.

Maggie told us, “I had spent nearly four years with the magazine and was really proud of my contribution, so I wasn’t going to let it go easily, especially because I knew they would need to keep a couple of people on. I was able to show that I had prepared and that I appreciated that costs needed to be cut – I had made some suggestions for features that would be cheaper to commission, for example – and I know that I impressed them with my passion for the role.”

Maggie’s preparation and hard work paid off as she was not made redundant. Although it was a little awkward when colleagues asked what she had done to keep her job, Maggie also knew that they had not built up their roles so well and had not argued their case in the board room. Now that Maggie is working on the magazine with far fewer staff, she is finding that she has far more responsibility and an even more demanding job, but she is sure that this will be excellent experience.

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