RIF'd and Wondering What To Do
Image Source: http://illinoiseducationassociation.org/rif-resources/
A recent plurk from a colleague caught my eye, paraphrased below:
Earlier this year, my district implemented a "reduction in force" (RIF). That meant I lost my job as a district technology support person, but I didn't lose my job with the District. I applied and obtained a job at a campus as a teacher. Now, my principal is asking me to do work I once did in my technology support position. What should I do?It's a tough situation, isn't it? The District has essentially told you, "We have to eliminate your position due to funding cuts." Yet, when you're a technology "expert," you're essentially like a priest who's no longer doing the job...your hands are still consecrated, still imbued with mystical power.
When your boss asks you to do something, calling on special talents that are needed but no longer recognized as worth paying for, what do you do?
Some of the responses folks have offered include the following:
- Explain to the principal that you need to make a point of not to be the go to person. Show professionalism.
- If you go back to the classroom, you shouldn't be expected to assume extra duties.
- "I'd like to help you but unfortunately the position I'm in now, doesn't allow me the time."
Regardless of where I've worked, I've had to make a decision as to whether to step up and take on more responsibilities--like helping people with technology--or sit back and let them struggle. As an educator, I've chosen to embrace those opportunities.
I understand that losing your job (yes, I've done that, too) can be stressful. Yet, if you are committed to being an educator, a teacher, you have to expect your administrator is going to call on your skills. Just as you help him and others around you, so will they help you in time. But don't get me wrong...whether you obtain any extrinsic benefit isn't the goal. The goal is that sharing what you know to help other people ALWAYS is good.
That's why my motto is "Share more." That's why my advice to someone who's been RIF'd and finds himself in the situation described at the start of this blog entry is, "Adjust your sails."
"The pessimist complains about the world.
The optimist expects it to change.
The leader adjusts his sails."
John M. Maxwell, leadership expert, author