For current HP Inc and Hewlett Packard Enterprise employees
Information and advice for current employees from HP, HP Inc, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise alumni. (Updated September 24, 2017.)
If you will be leaving HP Inc or Hewlett Packard Enterprise shortly. For more mutual help, join the independent, volunteer HP Alumni Association if you have a defined retirement or termination date. Thanks to our Supporting Members, there is no charge to join.
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Evaluate your situation -- advice from alumni to current employees
Based on extensive online discussions and private communications with alumni, some hard-earned advice -- which applies wherever you work...
- Determine if you are in a dying or stagnant segment of the industry. Follow the online magazines and forums in your field. To determine where the company expects to grow, read transcripts of the quarterly stock analyst conference calls -- if you read closely, they are often remarkably revealing. HPI HPE DXC Micro Focus
- Determine if you are in a vulnerable role. "We've tried to reduce and be more efficient in the non-customer facing functions." Link "...de-layering as we right-size the organization... a pretty high overhead structure... We ought to be able to run much leaner and meaner..." Link "We take out non-revenue generating costs." Link
- Determine if you are in a vulnerable work location. "We now need to build a stronger culture of engagement and collaboration and the more employees we get into the office the better company we will be." Link [Members continue to report that, in many cases, their immediate manager at the time of layoff was someone they had never met in person.]
- Evaluate your current skills by analyzing the degree requirements and course descriptions on a university website. Could you compete with a new graduate? "I wish I had faced the fact earlier that my knowledge was mostly HP-centric and that my technical skills were out of date." From "What I wish I had known before I left" http://www.hpalumni.org/WIHK
- Your knowledge of legacy products may be more valuable to a customer or reseller than to the company. Unobtrusively ensure that the outsiders you work with know how to contact you personally. (Before updating your LinkedIn profile, click "Me" under your photo > "Settings & Privacy > "Privacy" > and change "Sharing profile edits" to "No." Otherwise, LinkedIn will notify all your connections -- including managers and co-workers -- about every change: "Congratulate Mary Smith on the new position" (if you have merely updated a position description) or "Check out Mary Smith's new photo." However, this does not prevent any LinkedIn member from seeing your profile. More on LinkedIn Tips and Traps: http://www.hpalumni.org/LinkedIn )
- Despite your workload and performance, you are not indispensable. The company may decide that your product is no longer important, or that the contract you are working under won't be renewed. The company may decide to reduce labor costs in your business unit, or to consolidate the work at another location, or...
- Watch the HPAA video "Job Searching for the Mature Worker." Pat Richards from nonprofit NOVA Workforce Services, Sunnyvale, California. Practical, actionable advice. Questions and discussion. http://www.hpalumni.org/searching (HPAA membership not required.)
Actions you can take
Diversify. Don't let the company make you an expert in just one thing (unless it is what you really want, you are really sure it is something that will always be in demand, and you are willing to change companies to follow it.)
Establish your personal network. Powerful while at your current company -- and you may need it later:
- Connect -- inside your current company and outside. Maintain your relationships and track the career changes of your former co-workers. "I became an internal-only resource." Participate in a professional association, an open-source project, a church, or a community activity. "I realized that I only knew HP people."
- Recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates. You can use LinkedIn to reconnect with former co-workers who know you and your work. Many HPAA members report that LinkedIn helped them find a new job. Use HPAA's LinkedIn Tips and Traps: http://www.hpalumni.org/LinkedIn
- Check your LinkedIn profile. As part of the HPI/HPE separation, HP changed the personal profiles of many former and current employees to display the Hewlett Packard Enterprise logo rather than the Hewlett-Packard logo for past positions. This may not be what you want. http://www.hpalumni.org/LinkedIn
- Join the 81,000-member HP Connections LinkedIn Group to reconnect with former co-workers inside or outside HP -- they know you and they know your work. LinkedIn helps you find current and former HPers in your area -- or where you would like to work. (HPAA membership not required.)
- Professional and social networking. HPAA's directory of 190 Professional and social groups for alumni and current employees of HP, HPI, HPE, predecessor, and successor companies: http://www.hpalumni.org/network
Move from company to personal PC and email. For privacy reasons now -- and impossible to do quickly if you retire or leave.
- Personal business on company systems. No matter where you work, what your job situation, or how innocent your activities -- there are serious legal and privacy issues with using your employer's IT facilities for your personal business. The email accounts and files (and the email and file backup archives -- which may cover years) all legally belong to your employer, not to you. Emails that you wish to receive may be inadvertently discarded as spam or phishing by the company firewall. There are also identity-theft and data-loss risks.
- How to set up professional email. Advice from HPAA members on getting a private email account on Yahoo Mail, Google Gmail, or Microsoft Outlook.com -- and choosing a professional email username.
Plan for transition when you retire, get WFRed, or leave:
- ASAP Checklist. What you need to do before losing access to internal systems and in the following few weeks.
- Questions to ask if you are offered the "Golden Boot" Pragmatic advice from Jane Bryant Quinn.
- Advice from HPAA members on job hunting -- inside or outside HP.
- How much notice to give on retirement -- at any company. Advice from HPAA members.
- Advice and info on returning to HPI, HPE, DXC, or Micro Focus -- including informal and formal restrictions.
References recommended by HP alumni:
- Social Security. Slides from the August 2016 HPAA Social Security presentation and webinar. Member advice from an ex-HP perspective.
- "You're no longer nailed to your job in order to get health insurance" (AARP membership not required.)
- If approaching 65: "Medicare and You" Download a searchable pdf copy from the official Medicare site. Especially see the very helpful flowchart on page 16 and the table on page 69.
The Hewlett-Packard Alumni Association is an independent volunteer organization of former HP, HP Inc, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise employees – and current employees in the process of leaving. Operated by former employees who volunteer their time; not officially endorsed or supported.
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