Working Transitions

When the boss has FA chance: What to do when your manager may lose their job

The English FA chairman Greg Dyke made a series of comments last week that were not overly helpful to Roy Hodgson and his England team.

Ahead of their final Group B fixture with Slovakia, Dyke discussed manager Roy Hodgson’s prospects of a new contract. Hodgson’s contract is up at the end of the tournament in France and, while he wishes to lead England to the World Cup in Russia in two years, Dyke said Hodgson’s hopes of a new contract would depend on how his side perform in the coming weeks.

In effect – perform well (England to reach the semi-finals or lose in an admirable way in the quarter finals) and you keep your job, fail and you are out.

It’s already been brought up in interviews, with captain Wayne Rooney publicly saying he wanted the manager to stay.  And many commentators have expressed dismay that this has now been raised as it could be unsettling for the players.

This is the same for the world of work

If you have heard that there is a chance that your boss may lose their job in the near future, then there may be a certain amount of unrest within your team and considerable uncertainty where that leaves other employees. Regardless of what actually happens, it is important that your own future career prospects are not damaged by your actions and there are several things that you can do to ensure that this is the case during times of uncertainty.

Try to stay calm

It’s easy to panic when there is uncertainty within your job, but it is important to try not to let the situation get the better of you. You should maintain a professional and respectful approach to your boss no matter what happens – as there is always the chance that they won’t actually lose their job at all. Maintaining an objective and business focused attitude is also essential, as this means that your behaviour will be viewed positively by those around you. You should use the skills that you have developed in the workplace, such as the ability to listen and remain positive, and you should find that this helps to deal with the situation.

Understand that the landscape has shifted

If your boss loses their job, then there is a chance that there could be a power shift within the organisation, which could have an impact on you and your colleagues. There are many ways in which this could have an effect on your day-to-day work, but it is important that you still maintain a level of professionalism and – however tempting – do not don’t get drawn in to discussing the potential scenarios and expressing very personal views – as there is a chance that this will then get back to your ex or new boss and it may impact negatively on your future prospects. It is very important to maintain good relationships at this stage. When discussing the situation, particularly with your boss, try to find out what you can do to help and stay focused on business not personal issues.

Prepare yourself for the worst

If your boss loses their job, there is a chance that yours may not be secure – as any new boss may want to structure things differently. It may be a good idea to start looking for new job opportunities, both within your company and in other companies, as this means that you could have a new job lined up if you should lose your current position. It may seem difficult to start a job search, particularly if you have been in the same position for a number of years, but making the effort can be rewarding both in the short and long term – as it can help to build up contacts who may be beneficial to you in the future. Even if the situation at work changes and you are no longer at risk of losing your job, then you will have the contacts that you need to help you along your career path in the future. In any event, you should always have an up to date CV and Linked In profile as this enables you to remain in control of your career options.

Be open to opportunities

During times of uncertainty, it’s always important to be open to opportunities presented by change. Listen and consider the issues carefully, as what may have at first seemed like bad news, may after proper reflection, actually present you with opportunities to learn new skills or try something different. To help with this, try and discuss the issues with a coach or trusted mentor or colleague, as they can often help you to identify what opportunities you may have in the situation. You should also try to improve your own professional skills and enhance your contact list, as this is certain to help you in the future whether you lose your job on this occasion or not. Ultimately, it is vital to make the most of the situation, as this means that you are likely to be able to gain the most from it in the future.

Understand your contract and legal rights

If your period of employment is coming to an end, it is vital that you understand the terms and conditions that surround your contract, as this means that you will know where you stand legally when the time comes. Not only do you need to ensure that the termination of employment is being handled correctly, but it is also vital that you know about the rules with regards to which companies you’re allowed to work for. Some companies have contractual terms where you will be unable to work for a competitor for a certain number of months after leaving. These can be a negotiation point if you are being asked to leave. If you have any questions regarding your contract, you should try to seek the help of somebody independent of the organisation, as they will be able to give unbiased advice about the situation.

Whether you like them or not, your boss being under threat of dismissal will be unsettling.  It’s easy to get caught up in the drama of it. It’s also natural that you will think about what that means for you. Ultimately it’s a time to focus on your job, whilst also ensuring that you don’t forget the core fundamentals of career planning, networking etc so that your options remain open and you retain a sense of control. Of course the players in the England team, or any other team to that matter, may have unique, highly transferable skills and be more secure than many, but it is still an uncertain time. And it is only time that will tell how well we do and whether Hodgson gets to keep his job.


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Working Transitions
23 June 2016
Supporting effective and successful organisational change


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