How to handle it when they try to edge you out (before bonuses)

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It's nearly December, and it seems they're trying edge you out. Don't take it personally, it happens all the time. 

Don’t quit. Firstly, the hassle that’s coming your way may not be intentional or malicious. No bank does staff resourcing issues well, especially if part of the 'HR function' has been outsourced. They'll start off being happy that “dead wood” or “faces that don’t fit” have quit, because that saves on redundancy pay and bonuses, but then they'll come to appreciate that they've made a terrible mistake.  As a headhunter, I know that the most useful people are those who find it easiest to move on. That may be obvious, but it still surprises the people in outsourced HR.

If you hang in there, this can work to your advantage. The last man, or woman, can find themselves in a very strong position as they're left to handle critical work. The more of your colleagues who leave, the better it will be for you. Of course, if you don't want to be actively removed you'll have to pay lip service to the new company line being spouted by senior managers. A new boss or corporate strategy is a source of opportunities and the best of them will be given to the people they see as 'getting the message' rather than griping. Once you're seen as on message, however, you will be at liberty to creatively adapt the new regime to your own ends. Do this as a griper, and it won't end well.

Of course you may not be the sort of person they want any more, which is their problem not yours. You need to look hard at the job market, start planning an exit and making sure your CV is well polished, this is the time to network.

Finally, as headhunter I have to share that it is a lot easier to get a job when you still have one than it is to find something new when you simply have a good reason for being unemployed. And. no matter how badly they behave, do not criticise your ex-employer at interviews. Part of the reason you get any shot at a job is because of your experience. If you belittle that and sound “difficult”, they are less likely to hire you. Good luck.

Dominic Connor is a Headhunter

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