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How to Keep Your Job and Avoid Retrenchment


By Lornie Kass


I don’t have to tell you the economy is critically ill. Symptoms of bad times are appearing daily on the news. Retrenchments, plants shut downs, drastic corporate budget cut-backs, small businesses going under, poor stock market indexes, record high bankruptcy figures, they all indicate things are not looking good any time soon. It’s official, we are in a global recession.



Under such vulnerable situations, how are you to cope with the cruel axe of retrenchment? These simple tips will help you deal better with job losses, and prepare you for any uncertainties ahead.

Whether they call it downsizing, right-sizing, excess manpower, optimization, streamlining, re-engineering, the hard truth is companies and human resource departments don’t retrenchment people for nothing. It’s usually the last resort used by companies to stay profitable in very lean financial conditions. Broadly speaking, most companies will try to cushion the pain with pay cuts and cut-backs first before giving out pink slips.



So, it seems obvious that one of the most critical things you have to do now is to keep your job no matter what the circumstances.



Ask yourself, who will be laid off first? People who don’t perform and contribute least to the bottom line. It’s pure common sense and basic mathematics. They are not considered to be worth to be on the company’s payroll.



Therefore, it’s very important to remind yourself that having an unbearble job during tough times is better than being unemployed. Try to make positive changes to your work behavior, and be prepared to go beyond and above your normal work duties. The key to reduce your risk for retrenchment is to be proactive and show enthusiasm at the workplace. Ask yourself what can you do to make your job more fulfilling and perform well at work? Do whatever it takes to show that you’re a valuable asset to the company.



Know your strengths and weaknesses. What are your weaknesses? Being forgetful, arriving late for work, lack of motivation, and bad attitude toward teamwork can put you at higher risks for job loss. Improve on your weaknesses and show your strengths. Let it be evident that you’re a highly competent, reliable and productive person. Remember, those who do nothing are more prone to being made redundant so it’s never too late to take total control of your job security.



In addition, you should also update and upgrade yourself constantly, especially academically, to stay relevant in changing times. For example, your Bachelor’s degree you received several years ago may not be of value now. Find time to do a part-time Master’s degree program while you’re still on the job.



Even if you are not threatened with layoffs, make sure to update your resume. Include any seminars or training you attended and send to recruiters. And, don’t forget to polish up your interviewing skills. It makes good sense to open up alternative avenues for yourself as you never know what’s coming next.



If time permits, volunteering at your local community is a great way to social network. Talk to friends, make new contacts, and let them know your shaky job situation. It’s not a shameful thing to lower your pride and ask for help. Also, no matter how much you hate your job, never be tempted to voice your displeasure on Twitter or Facebook.



If unfortunately you’ve lost your job, the next best thing to do is learn to adjust expectations. Acknowledge the fact that good old days are over (pay rise and bonuses will take some time to reappear) and it’s back to the basic of saving. Expect to have less in life, stay within your budget, and spend wisely.



Sit down and talk finances with your spouse. Discuss how you can reduce monthly expenditure and explore ways to bring in money. For example, offer babysitting or house cleaning services in your neighborhood. Missing out on a few fancy dinners and year-end holidays don’t bite.

One more thing, calculate how long you can survive on your savings without a full time job. This prepares you mentally should things don’t turn out good in the next few months.



At the same time, consider a temporary position to have some income, no matter how small. It may not be the best option available but it has potential to full time employment if you’re lucky so don’t shut that door.

Let me end on this simple note, financial crises are not permanent, they come and go. Tell yourself to stay positive as bad times will soon be over. So folks, keep your chins up and fingers crossed. Good Luck!

how to keep your job

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