Today, I received a panicked call from a client who is a program director at a large nonprofit organization. She has had a successful three-year run, but, with a recent change in leadership, she felt she could be weeks away from being let go. After giving her the best advice available for right now …BREATHE… I tried to dig deeper into what was really going on. Since her personal life was also in flux (a long relationship was ending), I thought her perceptions and sensitivities might be off kilter. After helping her separate emotions from fact, I discovered the following red flags.
Take a look at these “target on your back” signposts and get proactive if you’re experiencing at least two of these red flags:
1. She no longer was asked to attend project status meetings that she previously attended regularly.
2. Her boss cancelled her monthly one-on-one meetings several times and actually was avoiding her.
3. The water-cooler talk was at an all-time high, and rumors were rampant about pending cut-backs, restructuring and layoffs.
4. A younger and more aggressive peer was receiving high praise for some innovative projects, while my client was overloaded with the mundane tasks of keeping existing programs running.
Sound familiar? My advice to her and to you is to take action now. Her next step: Schedule a meeting with her boss and make it a priority. If her boss cancels again, she should confront her about this behavior. Once scheduled, she needs to come to the meeting loaded with a status update on what she has accomplished recently and some new ideas that align with the new leader’s goals. If things don’t go well, she needs to regroup with me to strategize a positive exit strategy that will be a win both for her and for her organization. (See next week’s blog: Negotiating an Exit Strategy)