Will your department make redundancies?

If you work for a very large organisation, with departments organised like mini-businesses, it’s worth looking at how your department is performing. To do this, you need to assess its financial health. If you are not already familiar with the financial targets for your team or department, ask for them or look them up, along with the performance results (or ‘outturn’) for the last two years. If there is a company intranet, you may find this information readily available. Alternatively, your manager may be able to show you the reports he or she has access to.

How is business? Are revenues and profits growing or shrinking? Are new markets and products still being actively developed?

Try to find out the rate of growth of the number of people in your department over the past two or three years. Simply growing the number of people isn’t a measure of health, but it is a measure of optimism, which means that growth is still expected.

Are there more people in admin or back-office functions, or in sales and front-office functions? In tough times, back office functions are cut far more drastically, and far more quickly, than front-office functions. If things don’t look good, now could be a good time to look at a move to a customer-facing position.

Look at figures for earnings (revenue and profit lines). Are earnings per person rising or falling?

Step back and take a long view of the department within your organisation.  Is there more than one team doing similar work? If you were the CEO, could you see benefits in bringing departments together or organising them differently? Are there any obvious areas where headcount savings could be made? What might a move like that do to people with your skills in your organisation?

Look on your organisation’s recruitment website page. Which departments are hiring most vigorously? What is your department doing by comparison? Could now be a good time for an internal move?