“Come On In And Close The Door…”

Those are the last words you want to hear on a Friday afternoon, or at the close of the quarter. “Close the door” means you’re about to be fired, and typically you’re the last to know…
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who had just heard those fateful words, and he told me how he felt the blood drain from his head, how his ear lobes went numb, and his knees started to shake. What was he going to do now? Was there a severance package? How was he going to pay the mortgage, the school tuition? Worse yet, how was he going to tell his wife?
My friend went on to tell me that he never saw it coming. His sales were off, but he had a few things in the pipeline that should’ve closed last quarter, but didn’t. But he still felt confident that it would close this quarter. I’m thinking, how he did not know that he was going to be ‘riffed’ (reduction in force)? Weren’t there obvious signs everywhere that something was amiss with the company he worked for? One look at the current state of business today may explain why my friend was the last to know.
Companies of all sizes are really struggling today to make their number, and new business has become increasingly more difficult to find. Given that difficulty, companies are secretly turning on the dime to cut costs, and that means some heads are gonna roll. There is virtually no patience for underperformance in 2012.
Having been in tech sales for over 25 years, I’ve been through 5 significant economic downturns, and in that span of time I’ve seen several salespeople get ‘riffed’ on a Friday afternoon, and their being ‘riffed’ often came as a complete surprise.
Someone told me many years ago, “If you don’t have a plan of your own, you will become part of someone else’s plan”. In this market you’ve got to watch your back!
Right now, at this very moment, someone is secretly meeting behind closed doors, or speaking on the phone making decisions, and setting in motion a plan of their own that will impact your situation, often times in a very negative way. So, if you haven’t already done so, it’s time to start thinking about a backup plan for yourself. Do not delay. Do not be the last to know!!!
Have a plan of your own so you don’t fall victim to the planning of others. Don’t wait until it’s too late to start a new job search, or think about starting your own business. Better yet, put yourself in the position to tell your boss, “Come on in and close the door…”.

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