Working through the pandemic and redundancies

What you can do if your job doesn’t feel secure any more

What you can do if your job doesn’t feel secure any more

Posted on February 2020 By Nicholas Farley

Working through the pandemic and redundancies

A recent article in ABC News suggested that redundancies and job insecurities are increasing in Australia. It's not always a bad idea to stay on your toes if you feel like your role doesn't have the longevity it once did. 

There are often many reasons you may feel that your job is no longer secure – some of these might be under your control, others not so much. Regardless, it is important to recognize the signs that things may be going wrong. Recognising these red flags will help ensure you have the best chance to navigate the situation and be prepared if the worst does happen.

Whilst there are a number of difficult things to navigate if you are being made redundant, the worst thing often cited about being let go is the lack of control people feel around a critical career decision. Therefore, the sooner you can gain a bit of control around the process, the better you will feel and the faster you will be able to transition into a new role. If your company is downsizing, merging or restructuring, here are a few suggestions on how to take some proactive steps to give you an advantage if the worst happens:

Cultivate a broad network

The single biggest mistake you can make before being laid off is not cultivating your network whilst they are still employed. As a result, reigniting connections whilst under pressure to find new opportunities can prove difficult. Maintaining a strong network, and finding time to reconnect with people will mean you aren’t left flat-footed.

LinkedIn has suggested almost 1 in 2 hires now come from some sort of referral. So, tap professional organisations, mentoring circles and conferences, which give you the opportunity to meet new people and stretch your thinking.  Marketing strategist Dorie Clark explains that because traditional linear career paths have become much less common, it’s important “to take a detective-like approach, investigating and vetting opportunities.”

When you build your network before you’re in crisis, you can show people how passionate you are about what you do and reveal your capabilities from a place of job stability. You might also learn about skills you will eventually need to future-proof your career. If you make a good impression and nurture those relationships, you’ll be top of mind when your connections (or others they know) need your service.

Seek advice

The stress of being in such a vulnerable position with your job hanging in the balance can mean clear thinking goes out the window. Therefore, it is more important than ever to get some advice and guidance on your career options from people who can provide solid, trustworthy advice. This is where that broad network you cultivated can come in handy.

Conduct a financial wellness check

If you think you’re getting laid off, it’s wise to safeguard some cash in an emergency fund. Some executive level candidates have said it has taken as long as 6 months to find their next role, so planning to make sure you are financially buoyant during this period can be critical.

Next, determine your baseline budget — the minimum amount of money you need to cover your basic costs, such as food, housing, utilities, and debt payments. You can also check the government website to get a rough idea of what your weekly benefits will be and apply for them as soon as possible.

You might also consider meeting with a financial adviser to map out how you will support yourself through a transition period.

Update your branding

Last but not least, if you expect to be out of a job soon, you should immediately revamp your resume and LinkedIn profile to reflect your latest roles, responsibilities, achievements, and new career ambitions. We suggest keeping a monthly list of accomplishments so you can easily update your social media presence and avoid scrambling when someone asks for your resume.

Unwanted job changes are a fact of life, albeit a difficult one. Staying attuned to the warning signs — and planning what-if scenarios in case you’re let go — will enable you to remain more flexible, resilient, and in control of your career destiny.

If you feel as though your job is under pressure at the moment, and you want to get ahead of the game, feel free to get in touch with us for a confidential chat and some help on finding your next gig. 

This blog has been adapted from a Harvard Business Review article