Some people believe pain and fear are subjective. They’re wrong. There’s a clear hierarchy in the universe; and the top three are sucking cold vacuum, ripping a toenail on a stair ledge, and being informed of your impending retrenchment. Not necessarily in that order.
But whether you’re in this situation, or just fear it, MoneySmart has your back. We can’t change your employer’s mind, but we can get you on your feet again. Don’t panic, and follow our steps below:
1. Identify Your Crisis Point
The most common mistake is to run out and find a job, any job, right now. Even if it’s naked piranha farming at half pay. But don’t. One of the worst problems caused by retrenchment is knee jerk job hunting. Far from ensuring your financial safety, it could worsen the setback by putting you in a lower paying or dead-end job.
The appropriate response is to set a crisis point (a specific date at which you can no longer hold out), and job hunt calmly in the meantime.
2. Prioritize and Cut Back
Lowering your expenditures is an obvious necessity. The question is how. It’s common for panicked people to set unrealistic budget goals, which are more appropriate for companies than human beings.
The proper way to prioritize is to identify two or three main costs, and then cut back on those. Few rigid budgets ever work.
3. Tie Up Your Loose Ends
Do you know the most common question prospective hirers ask? It’s “Would you rehire this person?” and it’s directed at your former employer. Revenge moves may be satisfying, as is burning bridges. We know the corporate world’s about as fair as a pet rhino in a head-butting contest. But don’t let the wrongness overcome you: By gracefully handing over projects, you can build strong references for future jobs.
4. Contact Former Clients
Had a good working relationship with past clients? Great. Those people already love you, and know what you’re capable of. Make them the next stop, not the recruitment centre.
5. Ask if Your Company Will Treat It as a Resignation
When you’ve been retrenched, some hotshot Human Resource managers may take a dim view of you. In their minds, everyone who got “the notice” must be more redundant than yesterday’s newspaper.
Get around their stupid prejudice, by asking the company to treat it as a resignation. Then you can claim to have left on your terms, something that may appease paranoid new hirers.
What else needs to be done when you get retrenched? Share your thoughts with us here!
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