New job responsibilities from layoffs

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Jan 15

Layoffs hit the people who survive the layoff as well. Not only are there emotional feelings liked guilt-tripping for staying, but real work issues as well. And opportunities.

Newsday reports that “surviving layoffs may mean new job responsibilities” and the advice they provide is on the mark. Having fewer people at work means the people who stay have the opportunity to take on new responsibilities.

And, for the most part, that’s a good thing. The changes give you an opportunity to add to your job skills, take on work that shows your ability to handle it, and take your career in a new direction.

What’s missing from the article is this very real possibility: with extra work comes extra hours resulting in burnout.

Management is responsible for assigning tasks and work to their employees. What management often fails to do after a layoff is define what will no longer be done.

If your workforce is really being fully utilized, you can’t take away employees and still get the same amount of work done. You can’t layoff 10,000 people at a company (for example, Citibank) and expect that everything will still get done that was done before. It just doesn’t happen.

Taking on greater responsibilities is an opportunity to enhance your career even in tough times. But make sure you know what you will no longer be doing or you could end up burning out and performing poorly. Neither is worth the trip.

Have you taken on more responsibility after a layoff? How did it work out?

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.