Seeking a job with an employer that has cut jobs

December 30, 2009 at 11:03 am Leave a comment

I’ve had several emails lately from correspondents who are interested in what sounds like a good job — but it gives them pause because the opening is with an organization that they know has wielded the job-cutting ax in recent months. It’s a situation that job hunters — especially in journalism — are likely to face as hiring starts showing signs of life again. Some organizations that had cut positions may have cut too much and are adding back jobs while others are filling new openings that have arisen since they laid off workers.

While one shouldn’t dismiss these openings with good organizations (and I know I’ve listed some of them under leads on this blog) job hunters should step up their research when exploring such positions. While you always want to do research about the financial health of the organization you’re considering, it’s imperative to do so with a company that has recently resorted to dumping employees. In addition to the regular research you do on a company, you’ll need to try to determine if they are likely to have more cuts and especially if the job you are considering may be vulnerable.

Here are some tips for doing some research in this situation:

*First, look into why this particular position is open. It’s always smart to do this but it’s even more necessary with a company that has just cut employees. What you’re trying to determine is the safety of this job but also whether cuts elsewhere in the organization turned this position into a work-around-the-clock job that someone left in horror because the workload was untenable.  Who was the previous occupant? Did they lose their job in a layoff? Or did they leave shortly after job cuts? Why is the organization filling the position at this time? Try to talk to people both inside and outside the organization about it, and if at all possible, ask these questions of the person who previously held the job. The answers you get will likely determine whether you want to go forward.

*As part of the interview process, (politely of course) directly ask questions about the job cuts and their aftermath. Ask about their cause — were they budget-driven or part of a “reorganization.” And if part of a reorganization, what were its goals? Have they been met? Ask hard questions about so-called “redundancies,” if managers say they cut positions that were redundant, you’ll want to get good definitions of what that means so you don’t find your position (and yourself) being labeled that way a few months down the road. And ask what you really want to know about — the future. Are the layoffs really over? How are things financially at the company? Ask these questions of middle and upper management. If they seem at all reticent (or especially if they seem annoyed or unwilling to answer you) that’s a red flag that they either aren’t being straight with you or are not living in the real world when it comes to acknowledging the changes in their organization. If they answer honestly (and are open with you from the start of the hiring process) and offer realistic reassurance that the company is now on the right financial footing, you should feel much better about proceeding.

*Talk to plenty of others inside and outside the company about the layoffs and their aftermath, and how the organization has changed since the cuts were made. For some companies, these so-called downsizings — while always painful — can be cathartic and can cause management to pay more attention to remaining employees and to streamline their management structure. In some cases organizations stop doing certain work and focus on key areas — and if this position is in that area that should make you more likely to consider it. Yet other organizations just cut and then place more and more work on the shoulders of the survivors, which of course is a company you want to avoid. Ask lots of questions to determine which category this organization falls into. Besides talking to management during the interview process, you’ll want to talk to rank-and-file employees and ask them: How have things changed since the layoffs? What is the workload like now? How have things been reorganized? What was it like right after the layoffs and how are things now? Also, try to talk to some of those whose jobs were cut. Obviously, those who got the ax may have an ax to grind (sorry, couldn’t help myself with that one!) and you’ll have to weigh their comments carefully, but it would be good to know.

*And Teatro Goldoni in D.C. is offering a drinks special to journalists, especially those on the hunt, and who couldn’t favor that? See information below (hat tip to mediabistro.com):

http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlDC/events/teatro_goldoni_offers_journos_liquid_escape__147369.asp

*Today’s leads include some openings for free-lance bloggers, plus some job leads:

*The first is for bloggers who can write about social enterpreneurship:

Looking for bloggers to write for Care2 about social entrepreneurship. respond offline cindys@earth.care2.com.

They’re looking for several folks who can write about social entrepreneurship. And I’m told they’d love some diversity. (I think that means that men can write about this issue, too!)

Contact Cynthia Samuels, Managing Editor, CausesCare2 202-726-0435 (O)202-236-1844 (M)202-657-4105 (Skype)CobbleAssoc (SKYPE)cksamuels (AIM)

*AOL Travel and TripVine is looking for free-lance travel bloggers:

AOL Travel & TripVine
Industry Internet/Online/New Media
Salary Competitive
Job Duration Freelance/Project Basis
Job Location Sterling, VA USA
Job Requirements AOL Travel & TripVine, http://travel.aol.com, http://www.tripvine.com, are currently recruiting for Freelance Travel Expert Bloggers in major markets. If you meet the requirements listed below and would like to be considered to become part of a world class travel blogging team, please send your submission requirements to: TravelSubmit@aol.com for consideration.

Blogger Requirements for the position:
a) EXPERIENCE WITH TRAVEL INDUSTRY with a focus on ‘real scoop’ for our end users, ‘Insider Information and Tips’ slant, ‘In The Know’.
b) Integrating links to guides in posts: yes
c) Post length: between 150-300 words
d) Must be familiar with HTML and capable of publishing own posts
e) Must live in the destination you will be blogging about
f) Must be able to turn around write witty, engaging posts quickly
g) # of posts per week: 1 posts per day (half free-form on what’s new and hot in city, half guided by assigned theme). 5 per week

Cost per post: Competitive based on experience, starting at $15.
Submission requirements:
Samples of published writing clips (preferably including blog posts)
Resume and a list of qualifications and past writing/travel experience
Contact info, including permanent address
Length of time it takes you to turn around a blog post of 250 words on a current event
List of beats/destinations you have experience covering
References

Markets AOL Travel is currently recruiting bloggers/material for: Charlotte, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Washington, DC.

About Our Company http://travel.aol.com
http://www.tripvine.com

*NPR has an opening for a supervising senior editor for “All Things Considered” in D.C.:

Supervising Senior Editor, Planning, All Things Considered
National Public Radio – Washington, DC
At least 6 years’ experience as a news reporter, news producer or news editor, including work on breaking news coverage and daily news coverage, including the…
From National Public Radio

Supervising Senior Editor, Planning, All Things Considered
Tracking Code
0810102011RFEA
Job Description

Responsible for editorial planning and coverage of All Things Considered. Key member of senior team who assigns and provides editorial guidance to program hosts, reporters, producers and production staff.  Supervises preparation of air material and is responsible for editorial integrity and quality of air product.  Monitors programming and provides critiques.

Required Skills

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and work experience.

Required: At least 6 years’ experience as a news reporter, news producer or news editor, including work on breaking news coverage and daily news coverage, including the generation of story ideas and the research and development of such stories and feature reports, including the development of topics and the organization and presentation of lengthy articles or programs. Considerable knowledge of current events, including international and domestic news and must have considerable experience working on deadline, in particular a daily deadline. Thorough knowledge of news and feature reporting techniques and demonstrated writing ability. Considerable skill in both news and feature editing is required. Ability to work quickly and efficiently under deadline pressure. Experience maintaining high journalistic standards under deadline pressure, including standards of objectivity, balance and fairness.

Demonstrated skill in oral presentation.  Demonstrated organizational skills. Proven ability to consistently work well with others, demonstrating at all times respect for the diverse constituencies at NPR and within the public radio system. Demonstrated understanding of sound organizational development, management and supervisory principles. Ability and willingness to work varied shifts. Preferred: Daily news experience. Managerial experience. Thorough knowledge of broadcast writing and audio production. Experience producing on digital audio workstations. Experience working in and/or knowledge of public radio and the public radio system. Ability and willingness to relocate.

Job Location
Washington, DC, US.
Position Type
Full-Time/Regular
Union Position
*The University of Maryland in College Park is looking to fill its chair in broadcast journalism at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism:
Publication or Company Philip Merrill College of Journalism
Industry Teaching/Academia
Job Duration Full Time
Job Location College Park, MD USA
Job Requirements Richard Eaton Chair in Broadcast Journalism

The University of Marylands Philip Merrill College of Journalism seeks an accomplished educator with an exceptional background in broadcast news for the Richard Eaton Chair. The holder of the Eaton chair will continue a campus and national leadership role in advancing the College though teaching, lectures, publications, presentations and research.

The successful candidate should have a strong interest in new information technology as it relates to broadcast news delivery based on strong journalistic values. Key duties will lie in assessing prevailing practices, proposing innovations to the Colleges curricular offerings, and helping to shape new directions for broadcast news at Maryland.

While we seek candidates with exceptional professional qualifications, we are also looking for an educator with a flair for guiding students and professionals, and a vision that will enrich the intellectual life of the Merrill College and the wider campus.

The successful applicant must qualify for tenure at the rank of full professor. A Ph.D. is strongly preferred, although a high level of research and publications may also qualify applicants for the rank of full professor.

The Richard Eaton Chair includes a competitive salary, graduate assistance, teaching funds, and travel funds.

Please apply or send nominations and applications for best consideration to:

Chair, Richard Eaton Search
1117 Journalism Building
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-7111

About Our Company EMPLOYER: The Merrill College of Journalism has fewer than 600 undergraduate and graduate students and approximately 50 faculty and staff. Founded in 1947, it is recognized among the nations top journalism schools, and is one of the Carnegie Consortium News21 schools.

The University of Maryland actively subscribes to a policy of equal opportunity and will not discriminate against any applicant because of race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, religion, political affiliation or personal appearance.

*And finally, what sounds like an interesting communications opening with Communities In Schools in Arlington:

Director, Internal Communications (DC)
Communities In Schools – Arlington, VA
an effective internal communications strategy. Create… CIS Communications Leadership Team… hosting meetings and facilitating two-way communication…
From Jobfox

Company Name: Communities In Schools
Job Title: Director, Internal Communications
Location: Arlington, VA
Profession: Public and Government Relations

SUMMARY

The successful candidate will develop and execute communications strategies to ensure message

alignment and facilitate two-way communications throughout the Communities In Schools network of

state offices and local affiliates.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

•   Develop and execute communications strategies to ensure message alignment and facilitate

communication throughout the Communities In Schools network of state offices and local

affiliates.

•   Proactively create opportunities to increase the CIS network of state offices’ and local

affiliates’ understanding of an effective internal communications strategy. Create agreement

among constituents about the procedures and goals related to the communications plan, and

facilitate processes in support of it.

•   Build and foster collaborative relationships with the CIS Communications Leadership Team,

hosting meetings and facilitating two-way communication between the national office and

several of the organization’s high-performing affiliates in order to improve the effectiveness of

internal communications.

•   Oversee the coordination and ongoing development of various internal communication

vehicles and tools, especially the organization’s intranet.

•   Oversee media relations efforts that must be coordinated with multiple CIS offices across the

country.

•   Provide communication expertise and counsel to senior staff and executives.

•   Periodically contribute articles to CIS national publications, such as the quarterly newsletter

and annual report, in addition to producing a monthly online publication for internal use by the

CIS network.

•   Provide support for print coordination and publication production as required.

•   Act as the primary point of contact with the Communities in Schools network of 200 affiliates,

providing background information, resources, counsel and support for media relations,

branding, message development and the development of collateral material.

This is an essential position and the employee is domiciled in the Arlington office. This position is exempt

from telecommuting status unless otherwise determined necessary.

The statements contained herein describe the scope of the responsibility and essential functions of this

position, but should not be considered to be an all-inclusive listing of work requirements. Individuals may

perform other duties as assigned including work in other areas to cover absences or relief to equalize

peak work periods or otherwise balance the workload. Other duties may be assigned by the Vice

President, Communications as required.

QUALIFICATIONS

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.

The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE

Bachelor’s degree (B.A.) from four-year college or university with a concentration in journalism, public

relations, English or a related field. A minimum of 7-10 years of experience in public relations or

corporate communications. A minimum of 4-6 years of experience managing others or functioning as a

senior level project manager preferred.

LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Ability to read, analyze, and interpret financial reports, general business periodicals, professional journals,

technical procedures, or governmental regulations. Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and

procedure manuals. Ability to express ideas concisely and clearly both orally and in writing.

COGNITIVE REASONING ABILITY

Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an

extensive variety of instructions and deal with abstract and concrete variables.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS/ WORK ENVIRONMENT

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to

successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to

enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. The employee

frequently is required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; and reach with hands and arms. The

employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must

frequently lift and/or move up to 5 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close

vision, and ability to adjust focus.

Good luck on the hunt!

Jodi

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