Making Yourself Indispensable Before Pink Slips Fly


Ignites | December 12, 2016

The Ignites article, “Making Yourself Indispensable Before Pink Slips Fly,” quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Debra Brown about how to position yourself and your skills in a company. The article is excerpted below.

There’s tinsel in the trees, snow on the ground and holiday music playing at every department store, which means it’s that time of year: layoff season. Companies are most likely to trim their workforce by 50 employees or more in the months of December and January, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics analyzed by Forbes.

The asset management industry might be particularly hard hit, if the past year is any indication. Since January, State Street has laid off 360 workers, BlackRock reportedly cut about 3% of its workforce, and Transamerica eliminated 750 positions. In addition, Pimco and Putnam conducted layoffs but restructured key parts of their businesses to weather outflows and declining revenue.


Some employees may also benefit from becoming more specialized, says Debra Brown, managing director of Russell Reynolds Associates’ asset and wealth management practice.

“If you can position yourself with skills that are transferable to more niche areas that are in higher demand, you’re more likely to get picked up,” Brown says. When it comes to portfolio management, she sees demand for emerging-market debt and small-cap strategies.

To obtain those, Brown recommends that employees use resources already at their disposal.

“If you’re comfortable having a dialogue with the organization, you might be able to say to the CIO, ‘I’d love to get some exposure to another strategy or style,’ or, ‘Could I understudy the XYZ team?’” Brown suggests.

To read the full article, click here.

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Making Yourself Indispensable Before Pink Slips Fly