As Singapore’s economy begins to slow, some Singaporeans will be retrenched as companies restructure for the new economy. Hardest hit will be older PMETs who have developed deep expertise in domains that are now obsolete. While finding new employment will be tough, keeping their job will be tougher still, as older employees who were once in position of authority, now find themselves reporting to people old enough to be their children.
To make the switch successfully, the following are 3 tips older PMETs must adopt ….
Respect. Accept your new place in life. While it may be difficult, you must humble yourself and accept that you are no longer in charge. Your new role is to support your boss. As your boss should respect your experience, you must also respect them for their position. It is important to note that your younger boss is likely to feel insecure, so do make sure that you do everything you can to reassure them that you fully respect them as the boss.
Add Value. Being a subordinate does not mean you cannot add value. Given your many years of experience both in managing staff and making things happen in your old job, you bring a wealth of experience and knowledge that will definitely benefit your boss. The secret is how you share it. The tendency is to show you know more than the boss. If you do, then you would have failed in the first principle which is respecting them as the boss. If necessary, approach your boss separately to share your views. If they accept it, good. If not, you have done your job and have added value.
Learn. Every organization values talent - you did when you were the boss. Unfortunately, for senior positions, employers like to promote from within as it is good for morale. So as you respect and support your boss, add value to the organization, use this time to learn as much as you can about the business. When the opportunity arises, and if you have proven yourself, management will promote you.
As the world changes, so must we. The day of the iron-rice bowl is gone and employees, no matter how senior, will likely find themselves in a new job reporting to someone younger and less experienced. To survive, older PMETs would do well to remind themselves of the above three tips.