Career Growth

What To Do When You Suspect Your Company Might Go Under

You might here rumors from coworkers or sense it in meetings with your boss – your employer is struggling and you’re not sure whether you’ll have a job for much longer. Maybe it’s gossip; maybe it’s true. So what do you do if you have a great relationship with your employer, enjoy your job, and saw yourself there for the near future?

Don’t Perpetuate Fear

If you heard rumblings via rumors and gossip, or are insinuating the company’s downfall based on meager evidence, don’t cause widespread panic throughout the company by spreading the rumors further. The best you can do is prepare for the worst, but furthering bad news that may not be true will only stir up distrust, fear, and potentially a mass exodus. If the rumors turn out to be false, you don’t want to be seen as untrustworthy; if the rumors are true, you will be ahead of the game in terms of preparedness because you will have focused on your personal situation.

Talk to Someone You Trust

Do you have a good relationship with your boss and/or anyone higher up than him in the company? In the past, I have been comfortable enough to sit down with my boss and ask him directly (but carefully and professionally) if there are issues. If he likes you and respects you (and if he’s able to confidentially), he will insinuate something is up or you will be able to tell.

Evaluate Your Opportunities

If you can’t speak to your boss or another executive, then I wouldn’t necessarily leave immediately. But I would evaluate thoroughly your career opportunities now and your potential career opportunities if your company did go down. I would start preparing your resume and other application materials, refresh your network both on LinkedIn and in person, and generally get used to the idea of perhaps leaving (either with or without the company going down).

Start Applying

It doesn’t hurt to start applying for some positions you think you might like. You can always turn them down (I’ve written more about that here).