How Long Do You Stay with a Struggling Employer?

By   |   February 21st, 2017   |   0 Comments

struggling employer Early on in my career, I accepted a position managing a dealer network for a reputable horse trailer manufacturer. The work was fast-paced and dynamic, with a focus on relationships…all things I thrive on. However, just as I was starting to really settle in and hit stride in my role, I started noticing little things that signaled all was not as it seemed. What had appeared to be a thriving business, was really a once-solid business that had started to slowly crumble from within. It wasn’t long before I realized the business foundation wasn’t built strongly enough to handle growth. If things start to go awry in that situation, the domino effect can be devastating. However, there are cases where strong change management can recover from adversity and build a stronger company. When you are in the middle of a situation like that, how long do you stay with your struggling employer? In my mind, part of the answer to that question lies in your confidence in the leadership and your level of adversity to risk.
Some people thrive on the excitement of a challenge, and when that comes together with strong, confident leadership, amazing turnarounds can happen. Companies like Apple and Chrysler come to mind when I think of highly publicized turnarounds, although I feel their size puts them in a whole different category when it comes to the masses of employees affected by a downward spiral. If you are adverse to risk, then you may not want to wait until things get really uncomfortable to start exploring options, because if the company is struggling, you’ll be competing with a large number of peers in your area to land that next role. If the company is smaller, then that risk is not as significant. If you like a challenge, and believe in the plan and your leadership, then you can dig in and have the potential of being a part of something big! Trying asking yourself the following five questions when wrestling with what to do with a struggling employer:

Questions to Ask Yourself when Working for a Struggling Employer:


  1. Does leadership have a well-crafted AND well-communicated plan to overcome the adversity?
  2. Are key leaders/high performing employees bought into the plan?
  3. Does the overall mood of the culture reflect positivity and encouragement, or fear and doom?
  4. Is your personal situation such that you can afford to go through a rough patch if you stick it out and have to scramble to locate your next role?
  5. Are you really passionate about the company and what it stands for? Are you confident that the company is committed to operating in an ethical manner?

Hopefully these questions will help you think through things, but in the end, the phrase “go with your gut” may be just what is needed. You will know if you are feeling overly stressed about your situation with a struggling employer, and if you are going down the path of constant worry it’s likely time to explore option. Grab a cup of mocha, and browse to view the many opportunities that are available in our great industry.

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