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You might decide a downsizing is an opportunity to start fresh somewhere else. On the other hand, with many jobseekers flooding the market at the same time, looking for a job now may be extra challenging. If you lobby for a package now, current severance offers may be better than future ones as the company might downgrade its later packages. On the other hand, staying gives you a chance to prove yourself in a difficult situation and brands you as one of the few who survived and thrived.
There is no one answer, so you have to assess the variables specific to your situation and decide what is best for you:
The questions you need to answer when making a major career move in a down market are really the same ones you need to consider in any market. You need to assess your company’s financial situation, industry performance and your own career prospects, and then you need to make a decision based on all of these constantly changing variables. You need to know what you want and what resources you have in order to change or secure your situation.
The major difference for these decisions in a down market is that there is a sense of time urgency, as you may get laid off or the company may just fold before you have 100% information. Therefore, answer as many of the above questions now, while you have the time to be introspective, do your research, and prepare (your resume, your emergency savings, your network). Then, if you need to make this decision sooner than you planned, you can at least make the best decision for you.
Caroline Ceniza-Levine is co-founder of SixFigureStart (www.sixfigurestart.com).
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