My Job's at Risk
A strategy to save your job amid layoffs.
The Sweet Spot Survey allowed me make myself more valuable to my company – when cutbacks hit, I wasn't laid-off .
Oil Field Technician,
Optimizer / Stabilizer (balanced)
I was getting really nervous that I was about to get laid off, but the Sweet Spot Survey showed me my "superpower at work", and I used that to save my job.
- Charlie had been working for an oil and gas company for just 1 year when oil prices began to tank.
- As the economy and his industry worsened, and rumors of pending layoffs spread, Charlie feared he would be among the first to be let go since he was fairly new to the company.
- He needed to find a way to increase his value to the company so that if and when layoffs began, he would not be one of them.
How the Sweet Spot Helped
- Rather than wait around and hope he didn’t get let go, Charlie took the Sweet Spot Survey and discovered he was a balanced Optimizer / Stabilizer.
- He spoke with management about ways he felt his unique strengths could be used to boost productivity and efficiency.
- Layoffs eventually happened, but Charlie kept his job because he was able to demonstrate his unique value to the company.
Charlie R. had been working as a technician in the oil and gas industry for just over a year when oil prices began to tank. The general public loved the low price of gas at the pump, but the industry was taking a major hit. Profits were down, and rounds of layoffs were beginning in the industry.
Charlie’s company hadn’t yet begun layoffs, but it was only a matter of time. Naturally, employees began to wonder who was at risk for being let go. Being fairly new, Charlie felt he might be one of the first to go.
Looking for another job in the industry wasn’t an option since most companies were doing so badly. He also knew that eventually oil prices would rise again and this situation would turn around. He just needed to find a way to ride it out and hold on to his job in the meantime.
I knew my job was at risk, but so was everyone else’s. I needed to find a way to separate myself from the chopping block when layoffs started.
Charlie needed to find a way to increase his value to the company, and more specifically his department. The strategy he adopted was to prove that letting him go would cost more than keeping him on.
Charlie had a friend who worked for a nonprofit that helped people find work. When he explained his dilemma, his friend referred him to the Sweet Spot Effect as a tool to identify and articulate his unique value to his employer. He said they were using it with job seekers in their program and it helped them separate themselves from the competition when it came to their job search. He jokingly referred to it as helping people find their “superpower at work”.
Charlie had never heard of such a thing, but he was willing to try it.
The Sweet Spot Survey revealed that Charlie was a balanced Optimizer / Stabilizer. This made sense to him because as a technician, he understood and excelled at systems. As a Stabilizer, he was proficient at routine details. He did a lot of the same technical work day after day in the oil field to ensure production didn’t slow.
Charlie began to consider strategies to use his Optimizer and Stabilizer strengths to become more effective at his job and help his department. What he came up with was a system he felt could increase efficiency in his department.
Charlie wasn’t sure how his boss would react to him taking such strong initiative, so he practiced pitching the idea, and how it came about as a result of his unique strengths as an Optimizer / Stabilizer.
He quickly set up a time to share his ideas with his supervisor. Charlie knew his boss my not be familiar with the Sweet Spot Effect terms “Optimizer” and “Stabilizer”, so instead of using those words, he explained that he had a knack for creating and managing systems, and that he really valued making sure important routine details didn’t get carelessly skipped over.
He proceeded to share with his supervisor how he used those strengths to make some observations on the job and come up with what he felt could be a way to increase efficiency. He wasn’t pushy or arrogant, but he was confident, and he presented his thoughts in a spirit of service to the team.
His boss thanked Charlie for his ideas and let him know he thought it could work, but that it wasn’t a good time to implement a new system with all that was going on in the company and the industry as a whole.
When layoffs did eventually hit, he was able to keep his job while several of his coworkers were let go.
After the first rounds of layoffs, Charlie’s boss came to him and said he wanted to talk more about implementing the system he came up with.
No one ever told me specifically, but I really believe that if I hadn’t learned from the Sweet Spot Survey that I was a balanced Optimizer / Stabilizer, I wouldn’t have come up with that efficiency system. That was what separated me from my coworkers who lost their jobs when oil prices tanked. Without the Sweet Spot Effect, I probably would have lost my job too.
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So What's Next?
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