Saturday, December 20, 2008

Redundant - Jobs NOT People

Been there, done that.

I started my career as a penganggur terhormat and later was made redundant. The last day of my working life in Malaysia, on last Friday of the year, the HR big boss through his secretary called me and informed by 5 pm as I was about to leave the office, "Isnin tidak payah datang kerja, pulangkan kereta dan semua harta syarikat dengan segera!"

It was a moment of truth that changed the direction of my life forever. Blessing in disguise. I was actually ready to face the consequences and had already made some prior arrangements. My CVs were already all over the world, literally through Internet. The same fateful Friday afternoon, I was asked forcefully to write a resignation letter on the spot.

I came the following Monday to take my belongings and return company's asset like laptop and car. The guard did not let me in due to 'security reasons' as a directive from the big boss.

I was flabbergasted. As an immediate reaction, I kept the car for a while.

Looking back, I knew it was coming. Alhamdulillah, whatever reasons, life must move on and no regrets. I have moved on and taken new challenges in different work scopes, new sets of skills, expertise, attitude as well as continue learning in various fields that I would have not dreamt before. Positively, change is part of life and there are always opportunities in different situations.

Useful counsel: Jobs may become redundant, people don't
In these days of economic turmoil we will all have to learn more and more to live with change and the only certain thing about change is that it will continue! As a business moves through various stages to survive in constantly changing markets it will have to continually review the jobs that make up its business operations. This can lead to jobs becoming redundant as business, for example, declines or needs to reform to meet the challenges of the marketplace.
For people who lose their jobs it is often a shock and can bring with it stress and anxiety. The first thing to remember in this situation is that the job is redundant and not the person. There is no reason for a person to feel ashamed that they have been made redundant.

  • Stay in control by becoming financially aware and prepared. It all starts with a sound budget. How long would your money last, based on your current spending habits? How soon do you think you could find work again in your field? It is always a good idea to set aside three to six months' income for a rainy day. Make sure that your savings earn as much interest as possible in diversified holdings.

  • Begin now to make it a regular habit to get out of debt and practice frugality. That may be easier said than done, but it's absolutely essential. If your job is in doubt, now is not the time to go on holiday or purchase anything that is not necessary!

  • If you have existing payment protection insurance, check its terms and conditions to verify which situations it covers.

  • Carefully review all of your insurance cover. Are you covered if you lose the life and private medical insurance that was provided with your job?

  • If you are made redundant and receive a lump sum redundancy payment, your financial adviser can help determine how it is best to invest this money for the future, use it to pay off your present debts, or use the money for daily income needs. Normally a waiting period sets in before you receive your redundancy or lump sum benefits, so this must be factored into the budgetary equation before making any final decisions.

  • Now having put these things in place it is time for reflection. Consider, is the loss of your job an opportunity? Were you really happy doing what you did? Be creative and think of other areas where you can apply your unique skills and expertise.

  • A simple project to help you here can be to take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side write down the things that you enjoyed about your working life and on the other side those things that you did not enjoy. This enables you to make a judgment on your next job by identifying those things you want more of in a job and those things you want less of!

  • Consider what you can do to make yourself of more value to a future employer. What could you learn, what new skill could you develop? Think if there is a training course you could attend or start a correspondence course which all indicates to a prospective employer that you are an individual who constantly develops themselves.

  • Update your CV or resume. Broadcast to everyone who will listen that you are in the market for a new job. It is said that some 90 per cent of people finding a new job find it through their network.

  • Your financial adviser is on hand to assist you to implement a sensible financial plan that helps protect you and your loved ones and enables you to be best prepared should you have to face redundancy that can occur in everyone's life.

  • The one critical thing in seeking a job is to maintain your belief in yourself. Remember it was the job that was redundant and not the person!

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