This article was reproduced here in Jan 09.
Many who visited this blog site I believe will have been retrenched or preparing for retrenchment. However, it is not the end of the world yet.
The unemployed need to prepare themselves well if they are retrenched. Those with severance package definitely have the upper hand to wait out the prolonged down turn. Those without will face the future with less confidence.
Nevertheless, staying prepared for retrenchment even if one is working now help.
Learn to network more now as retrenchment will hit you without giving you any early warning. Many feel a sense of loss and disengagement when they are laid off. Sometimes shock soon follow the newly retrenched and we all are better off staying lean and prepared for the worse.
Networking often helps one to face up to retrenchment. For example, if your company is not doing well, it is good to meet up with the suppliers or the clients. Often, they are the ones who will know you more as you have serve them all this while. Sounding them out that you may need their help in the event that you will be retrenched certainly give you a sense of confidence that you have open up a back door for future engagement.
A friend of mine who is an engineer in Sydney was retrenched last year November due to a merger. He was given one month’s notice and access to office facilities after that to help himself to locate for a new job. An employment consultant was also provided for the group of ten retrenched workers to help them with job counselling.
Fortunately, three weeks after been laid off, he managed to find a job that actually belonged to his previous company’s customer. As his track record was good, he managed to get the job after one interview. He also had a pay rasie as the profile was more of a consultant than an engineer. He was of course estatic.
The next thing that you can do is to map out your skills set on a piece of paper and narrow down your job search. Many retrenched workers I felt aim for jobs in all the wrong places. If you want to teach, go and apply for jobs in the MOE or the many private schools here. If you want to work in the construction sector aims to apply for jobs within that sector. Do not direct your job search all over the shop. Be focused on your search and if necessary talk to a career coach about your skill sets.
Many in their urgency and desperation try to apply for all advertised jobs from newspaper advertisements and fail to get even an interview as their experience and skill set do not commensurate with the job requirements. So remember to apply for jobs that fall within your skills set and experience. Though the hunt may be longer, the interview if granted may go through smoothly as this is the kind of work that you are comfortable with and an interviewer will be able to tell that you are the right candidate from the way you responded to their questions. Applying for a job anyhow will only frustrate you and waste your efforts.
Do also prepare a financial plan even before you are laid off. Try to check how much you have in your account especially your CPF so that you know how long the balance sum can pay for your home mortgages. The first thing that people are worried about is their home mortgages as this is our basic need – according to Maslow Theory. We all have some basic needs such as housing and food and when these needs are compromised we all suffer some sense of instability. So do go through your budgetting with your loved ones in the event that you are laid off. Staying prepared is key here when unemployment looms.
How long can you last given the current account balance that you have? If one is laid off, how much can the family hold on with your spouse’s sole income? All this need to be sorted out preferably before someone is being retrenched so that you are well prepared.
We all can face joblessness with confidence if we have planned out what we should do after that. Have a plan A and even plan B so that your unemployment phase is not a period of desperate frantic job hunting heading nowhere.
As we all do not have a safety net here in the form of social welfare payout when we are laid off, it makes sense to properly prepare for our finances now for those who are still employed. It will be too late to plan properly when we face unemployment.
Talk To Your Spouse
Speak to your spouse when the pink slip is being delivered to you. Prepare her well in advance if possible so that she is able to cope when it comes. Women are generally more insecure when her husband – normally the main income earner, loses his job. There are the bills to pay and mortgage repayment have to go on even if income is not coming in. It can be a destabilising period for the family and also a good test of how resilient your family is in time of trouble. If your family is able to withstand the pressures of someone losing his job, it can withstand any other storm that will come in the future. Many families pull through the tough period and emerged much more stronger and firmer. Their relationship also improves considerably after clearing a major crisis.
Go through your job search planning with her so that she is assured that you are doing your best to be rehired. Continue the family activities as normal as possible so as not to disrupt any current activities.
If there is a need to cut down on services or even lay off the maid, speak to the whole family calmly and explain the reasons why you are doing it. Family members will understand why you are taking such course of action and will appreciate that you bother to take time to talk to them. Family who stays strong together to tackle things calmly will tend to emerge victorious in the end. If possible, minimise conflict and maximise communication during this period.
Seek Help If Necessary
If you think that the situation has overwhelmed you after a while, learn to seek help if possible. There are church workers, counsellors and even good friends whom you can count on during this tough period.
This is not the best time to let pride deters you from asking people for assistance. It is also a good time to build up the relationship with others when you approach them for a listening ear.
Who knows, your friend will seek your help in future when they are faced with the similar problem. We are all build to help one another here and no man is born to live on an island. By facing your situation all alone, you are also exposed to negative and desperate thoughts .
So lower your pride and seek help.
Staying calm and patient is probably the best anedote for those who are still currently unemployed. Though the worst may be over for our economy, I know that jobs are still hard to come by. For every job that is advertised on the newspaper, there are at least a hundred applications. It will take a while before one get rehired. The mind needs to be regularly psyched up through reading and positive self talk.
An average waiting period of between 6 to 9 months before one gets rehired is not surprising.
This may sound like a cliche – but learn to treat this period as a test of your inner man. There is no better time to mould a man’s character than when he is being place in a difficult situation. After a prolonged period of grinding and rubbing, the person will come out fresher and stronger both in thoughts and action. He is not the same again after going through the trial of fire.
Never dispise the period when you are in the valley as it is in there that we all learn how to grow. It may change you life as it has changed mine.