Recently, we’ve been seeing a lot of news regarding heavy tech layoffs in leading companies many of us aspire to work at. Meta, Alphabet, Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Spotify — the list goes on. To date, over 70,000 big tech employees have been laid off.
Many of us have thankfully been unaffected, but coming from an industry previously believed to be a cast iron rice bowl, these changes are no less alarming. Here are 3 things to do even if you are in a stable job you enjoy so that you will be prepared for any unexpected changes that come your way!
1) Ask yourself what you’d do if you were fired
As recent events have suggested, bad things can happen at any moment. Your company could file for bankruptcy overnight, or technological advancements could potentially render your role redundant. Recently, prominent media company Buzzfeed let go of 180 employees (12% of their workforce) and will start working with OpenAI to generate content.
Did you know that many retrenched individuals are high-performers and capable staff? This is why you should not write off the possibility of retrenchment happening to you and ask yourself every so often what you would do if it did. Here are some things to consider:
- Is the industry you’re in hiring for your role?
- Have you kept your resume up to date?
- Is this the right time to take a break or pursue something you’ve always wanted to do?
- Do you have enough funds to tide you over if you start job hunting again?
You should also familiarise yourself with the steps you’ll need to take post-retrenchment. This will help you save valuable time. These include:
- Clarifying the reason for your dismissal (if it is unclear)
- Is the layoff permanent, or are you being furloughed?
- Checking if you are entitled to a severance package
- Acquiring references (especially from your direct supervisor)
- Reminding yourself that retrenchment does not define you as a person
Some people also post a “goodbye message” on LinkedIn sharing about their retrenchment, positive experiences with their former workplaces, and wishing them well: such posts help signal that you are looking for work and can reflect your skills and working experience. Your connections may also share them and link you to opportunities. This is something you can consider doing as well. Why not spend some time jotting down some relevant points that may help you write one?
Start adding your colleagues on Linkedin if you have not done so, too!
2) Get to know your expenditure on a deeper level
This is numero uno to developing healthy financial habits. It is also especially important to know how much you spend on discretionary expenses from month to month in case something unexpected happens (like losing your job or a sudden lifestyle change).
Know this already but haven’t gotten around to finding out? This is the sign to do so! You must be prepared for various possibilities, such as your salary staying the same or not receiving a bonus this year. There are tons of useful budgeting apps in the market or free excel templates you can reference. SGFinDex has also made it so much easier to access consolidated financial information — try using it once for a rough overview of your assets and liabilities.
Did you know that the higher inflation rates we’ve seen recently (~5%) are a result of “revenge spending” and discretionary expenses?
3) Familiarise yourself with company policies
If your company has an employee handbook, skim through it again to ensure you are aware of its policies. Your contract, too! Some companies have non-compete clauses preventing you from working, for example, or engaging in business in relevant markets or geographies for a fixed period of time. These usually apply to those in senior positions, but best to check and be safe than sorry.
Breaching them, if they are enforceable, can lead to your former employer filing for an injunction or claiming damages.
Of course, you should also read the handbook to stay updated on other information, such as benefits. The handbook may also offer insight into your company’s culture.
Don’t forget to consider upskilling opportunities or look at career cushioning while you set up your contingency plan. We hope you’ve found this article useful!
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