Retrenchment and How to Avoid being a Victim


Retrenchment should not come as a total surprise as the signs are visible. The Company’s products are not selling well due to market conditions. There   have been budget cuts, travel cutbacks, projects have been cancelled, managers have handed in resignations, temps and contractors have been terminated, there have been reductions in support staff, downsizing is rampant. Times are tough, the economy isn’t doing too well, firms are simply not seeing the kind of profits they were seeing a couple of years ago. Just last week you found out that your friend’s entire team was ‘let go’.  You can’t afford to lose this job, you like this job. God knows how difficult its going to be to get another one given the circumstances in today’s job market. Then again, you are good at what you do. You are smart, hardworking, you earned this job and you are going to keep it! Never forget they hired you because they need your skills. So how do you ensure your job isn’t on the chopping block?

Have a Positive Attitude:

Nobody wants to work with somebody who’s on a constant downer. Exhibit optimism and team spirit-a go getter attitude-all that stuff you went on so enthusiastically about when they interviewed you for the post. Stay positive, Act positive, speak positive, think positive. Do not complain, your job or your pay. Remember, there’s a long line of people waiting at the door, CVs ready, to snatch up any opening that’s available. Most importantly never ever say negative things about your job profile, timings, workload, colleagues or any other aspect of your job to, or within the earshot of, your boss. When making suggestions or bringing up matters that require attention, be neutral at worst, and helpful and proactive whenever possible.

If you feel the sudden urge to build a bond with your boss, make it as genuine a bond as possible. Taking up smoking so you can accompany the higher-ups on their smoke breaks is not only unhealthy, it also means you are working less-not the kind of thing you want to be doing. If you can, start taking fewer breaks. The next time a senior walks past your desk at lunchtime, you are going to be so immersed in work that you won’t even notice them noticing your dedication to the task at hand. Genuine hard work will go a long way. Come in early leave late. Do not do it the other way around. You want to be at work, at your desk, before your boss walks in and you want them to see you at your desk, showing no signs of leaving, as they are walking out. That being said, do not stretch tasks that were supposed to be finished and handed in yesterday.

It is vital that you keep abreast of current events, among other things you need to know include changes in the economy that are going to affect the industry you work in. So read and be aware of what’s going on in the economic and industrial world today. Use this knowledge when you take part in office discussions and keep your ears open to the opinions of those older and wiser colleagues who are more aware than you. Do not let yourself become lazy. During slowdowns, it’s all the more important that you stay on your toes. Be supportive of changes at the workplace, such as cost-cutting measures. If you can even help your boss to plan a strategy to further control costs.

It’s not uncommon for employees who have witnessed a round of lay-offs to feel paralyzed or trapped, but that’s the perfect time for them to reinvent themselves. Tough times often present the hidden opportunity for employees to put other skills to work, to multi-task, handle various roles, even if it is to a small extent. Employees good at multi-tasking not only help the company keep up the work pace, but ensure that they are more useful to the firm and hence less at risk in the next wave of job cuts. If you are good at multi-tasking and you feel you can do part of a laid off colleague’s job, go ahead to the boss’ office and let them know that you can help.

Taking on additional roles helps you gain insight info wider aspect of the business, increasing your knowledge of how the firm operates and what skills other tasks require. It also helps you to understand how your role at work connects with others. Plus, offering to take on additional responsibility can help pave the way for a pay hike when things get back on track and also add value to your CV.


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