Q: My company has been posting unsatisfactory financial returns and although the management hasn’t said anything yet, there are rumours that a good number of us could be declared redundant. I love my job and would like to stay on, but what is the best way to prepare for the worst case scenario?
It is unfortunate that as a citizenry we have experienced quite a number of redundancies in the recent past, and sad to hear that your company may be affected.
But I am very glad to see that instead of the usual agony, self-pity and restlessness that affects many people in your situation, you have chosen to be proactive and to prepare for any eventuality.
That is the attitude that every employee should strive to adopt. Unfortunately, many get lost not only in office politics of who knows who, but also in cultivating in themselves a sense of entitlement instead of embracing the opportunity for career growth, or seeking avenues for self-employment.
Often, employees forget that a labour contract is only valid for as long as there is work to be done, and mutual agreement between two parties.
The moment work ceases to exist, separation or severance becomes inevitable, and in such situations, what you do to prepare for the change is what matters most.
When you have accumulated some good years of service, say about 10 years, getting a letter of redundancy is one of the best rewards.
I have seen many employees with good years of service decline to take the redundancy option, only for them to resign a year later or be sacked with cause, thereby leaving with nothing in the way of compensation.
What a loss. Here are some tips on how to win after losing your job through a redundancy.
First, understand the consultation process, including the notice period, and terms of payment.
Check and confirm that the terms benefit you. If your job is among those that may be at risk, you will most likely be required to apply to be laid off.
In this case, it is advisable that you have a word with your line manager first, because employers tend to use such processes to retain the best talent.
Before looking for another job or moving to self-employment, decide the option that works best for you.
If you are keen to seek another job, polish your resume, update your networks, and identify potential employers and job portals in readiness for the search.
If you desire to pursue self-employment, be sure to have a plan that is aligned to your profession. Remember that a goal without a plan is just a wish.
I am sure that you have dependents who could be affected by your job change, so inform them of your decision, and agree on how to adjust your expenditure to accommodate this change.
Lastly, you have some money coming your way, so strive to understand how best you can utilise it. To start with, ensure that you have a good financial umbrella for the next six months.
Mwikali Muthiani - Managing Partner, MillennialHR (@MwikaliN; [email protected])