I felt the pain in Joy’s voice as she shared about the uncertainties that loomed at work for the past several months as management had discussed the outsourcing of her entire department. Several hundreds of people must go! Costs had to be cut.

Joy’s look said it all: will I till have a job? Am I in or out? Will the new employer take me? Company A says they don’t want staff because they are fully staffed while company B says they are willing to take on a few staff. Will our company go with the ones willing to take staff or the ones unwilling? Most of our equipments are from the ones unwilling to take staff so we are stuck with them unless we change equipment. How many of us will go and how many will stay? Management says no problem. Nobody is saying anything; how long how soon? All these and many more are questions that occupy the mind battlefield of employees during transition to outsourcing.

Anyhow, uncertainties cloud a transition to outsourcing. Nobody knows what lays ahead, even management. As their could be some sudden twists to goings. Nobody is sure of anything. Though Joy was a sharp shooter and one of their very bests (with all those awards). There were no guarantees as she was relatively a more expensive hire than industry average plus she wasn’t 25 either.  I felt her concern. I knew it would be much better for anyone to know that they were in or out than bask in the unknown.

If your job is being outsourced it is important that you stay calm during the transition period as paranoia has its own negative effect on performance and you really don’t want to start underperforming during this crucial period. You may suffer a negative recency-effect (being shown the doors for recent poor performance without recourse to historical performances). Remember that saving your job is not the focus of your new employer but often ‘who is good enough for us to accommodate’, so just be yourself.

You also don’t want to start showing off super performances that is unlike you. That would be ludicrous even annoying to management who would term it superficial. You may even loose credibility altogether so don’t do that.  Just be you.  Unfortunately, if you have been lousy on your job, you can be sure you will not make the cut (godfathering being constant), so you might as well resign (if your organization has not kept a halt on that pending the transfer).

What then should you do if you are undergoing a transition into a new outsourced role in your organizations?

  1. Prepare your resume: yes, it is time to build up a powerful convincing resume for yourself. Your new employer may ask for it. So brush it all up and incorporate all your awards, developments, new degrees etc. update your resume and profiles. You will need it now.
  2. Be upfront with management – seek an audience with a senior management and ask some good questions. Intelligent ones. Structure the questions positively and express any concerns you have. Use the opportunity to sell yourself and passion for the organization. If you had none, don’t make it up. Passion is obvious. A friend of mine escaped a major right sizing perhaps after a deep conversation with the CEO when she was just a front officer!
  3. Be polite to strangers: a lot of strangers will be coming in and out of your organization before and during  a transition or may be calling on the phone. You could be speaking to one of the persons who hold your future. Be extra nice!
  4. Be of good cheer: I don’t mean laughing and smiling when there is no reason to do so but you really need to be joyful by wearing a straight face but better a smile because if your spirit is crushed you will infect everyone including endangering your chances of staying. Nobody wants to inherit problems.
  5. Filter through grapevines. You need grapevine to know what is really up. The driver, securities and attendants seem to pick up useful grapevine information and they usually like talking to show off their knowleage so just listen to them. You don’t have to contribute. It also gives you an opportunity to correct damaging information.
  6. Engage visitors if you get the chance: be friendly to guests and people you meet on the elevators and stairways. Compliment something, etc. just stay nice and while at it, you may get some good information.
  7. Load Your Plan B – you may need a plan B while all of these go on, begin to prepare for it. This is why it is important to always be prepared with your business ideas. If something sudenly  happens you should be ready for your next steps. Always be prepared.

Though I personally frown at any form of downsizing (they should have outsourced from inception) but businesses keep thinking on their toes.  No matter how it all goes, remember outsourcing is here to stay and some people will go. If it affects you be strong and ready. You need your spiritual strength at times like this and lots of love but remember that if one door closes, there is a wide one opening way better than the first.

You have an exquisitely spendid EMBER seasons!

HADASSAH OSIMEN

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