Countering sudden loss of your job

Until a few days ago, SN believed that she had the dream job as flight attendant for Jet Airways. Now, she is a part of the statistics that could have marked one of the largest ever airline layoff in India’s aviation history if the airline didn’t cancel its layoff plan.

The news that Jet was terminating 1,900 jobs has another aspect to it – none of the employees saw it coming. An experience like this, with no fault of the employees can be traumatic.

Thus, as economic slowdown loons over several countries and some corporates tread the rough patch, it is best to believe in the premises: bad news rarely announces its arrival. Though the rough patch can’t be avoided there are options to insulate one’s career.

When pink slips are being handed out, it’s not just the lucky ones who are left out but the real hard workers unless the viability of the company is at risk and large numbers too are asked to leave. Most companies use termination as a tool to get rid of consistently underperforming or Blacklisted employees. So, ensure that the appraisals signed by your boss are good to read. One easy way to get lucky at the workplace is to be wanted always.

A workplace manages to bring out the ambitious streak in even the most mild natured person. Jobs look interesting as long as they pose a challenge to an employee. But the urge to look for new opportunities is strong.

When great new jobs are hard to come, employee should not think of quitting the present one. The best option would be to try and exhaust all the possible opportunities within the organization before venturing out.

One can also return to the original department if an internal transfer does not work out. But trying this experiment on a new job can be frustrating as the employee will need to adapt to the environment again.

Also one need not live with the ‘on probation’ tag for six months to a year while experimenting and thereby letting go of possible benefits of being a long term employee at the old work place.

Internal transfers will be possible only if one is adequately skilled for the new profile. An employee needs to constantly update his /her knowledge about the developments in the field.

There have been cases where excellent workers have been asked to leave as they are unable to work as a team. Human resources managers emphasize on people management skills for all team members and not just the leader.

So ensure that your report card with the human resources manager reads equally well.

The best way to combat emergency job loss is by cutting ones expenses. Hard cash will be useful when one is at a low point on the career graph. But the planning should begin before the slide begins.

While selecting investment plans, take care to include those that will allow you access to cash instantly, instead of plans that involve a three or five year lock-in rule. The savings will be meaningless if it can not be used when needed.

Take a health cover:

It may sound clichéd, but it is true Disaster never seeks prior appointment. And it could be even more painful if you are not in the pink of your financial health. If you and your family do not have a health insurance cover, go for it at once. You can insure yourself for around Rs 10 lakh by paying a premium of less than Rs 10,000. Also, one can earn tax breaks for the premium paid under Section 80 D of the Income Tax Act.

Ensure to make provisions for the premium payments before buying the policies.

If you have been following any of the advice given by professional financial planners, then you would have probably learnt to plan and keep aside cash for emergencies.

The most common advice is to always keep aside six months take home salary. There is no harm in being extra cautious and adding another three months salary to the reservoir.

The reserve will insulate you for six months and for any shortfalls. With this, you have time to wait for the next best job.

Most employees, due to their busy schedules, are unable to catch up with acquaintances in their field. Some amount of networking can help if you plan not to change your job or if there is a layoff.

Fear among employees is the most palpable emotion in any organization which has witnessed a round of layoff. While organizations may be compelled to take such an action to avoid a financial loss, employees should prepare for the worst with a hope of optimism.