Signs that it’s time to jump ship

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A shaky economy often takes the wind from the sails of business. Here are signs that it might be time for a job search:

  • Management seems to be eyeing the life boats. Disinterested or inaccessible managers should make you take pause. Joe Frontiera of Meno Consulting, who was an employee of WorldCom, experienced this first hand. He served as a global account manager at CompuServe, which WorldCom bought. After the purchase, he noticed that management who once praised WorldCom went mum. Several left the company. Those who remained cut off communications with others, forgoing even discussions to quell rumors of layoffs or to soothe fears about frequent high-level management meetings, he says. Also, CompuServe had a “work hard, and you will be rewarded” culture prior to the acquisition, he says, but management’s disinterest seemingly affected employee morale. Workers’ commitment flagged and sick days increased.
  • A company is drowning in debt. When financial moves turn strictly short term, you have to wonder. For instance, Jill Cartwright of Go GaGa left Circuit City 2-1/2 years before it folded, but she saw even then an increasing emphasis on short-term earnings to please Wall Street and a lack of investment in things that wouldn’t yield near-term returns, such as upgrading IT. She also noticed an increased use of business partners to jumpstart immediate revenue streams, such as expanding distribution by placement on a product manufacturer’s Web site.