How to Survive A Retrenchment In Singapore
Economic growth has been slowing and there’s an increasing number of companies currently carrying out retrenchment exercises in Singapore. Some of the reasons stated include company restructuring, displacement of jobs due to automation and closure of business.
In such a challenging economic environment, anyone of us can be a victim of retrenchment. What’s more, the law states that those who has worked less than three years in the company are not entitled to retrenchment benefits. Since most of us are not immuned to the axe(unless you work in the civil service), what can we do if it happens to ensure we pull through this difficult period?
Utilise the benefits you have
Depending on your company, you may or may not get an advance notice on your retrenchment. If you do, make use of whatever benefits you have left – annual leave, dental benefits, claim your stock options and make any claims that you have outstanding.
While you might be angry at what happened, try to see it as nothing personal. Most of the time, it’s a business decision so instead of allowing emotions to take over you, do what’s rational and get all the things you need in place. Also, ask for a testimonial from your boss if possible so that at least you have something you can bring with you when you apply for other jobs.
Take A Hard Look At Your Finances And Prioritise
You cannot assume that you will find the job in the next 1 to 2 months. The market is down and there are many like you that’s out hunting down a job as well. You are going to meet tough competition – people who has had more experience than you but willing to settle for less pay. So while you look for greener pastures, you need to cut down on spending.
The first things you should do is to make a list of your fixed expenses per month. This list will include only things that you absolutely have to pay, like your home loans, insurance, kid’s education and any other outstanding debts.
Next, look at your monthly spending budget and cut wherever you can. So no more taxi rides, eating at fancy restaurants or buying new gadgets. This would have to wait. By doing this, you should have an idea of when you would hit a “breaking point” – a moment where you’ll definitely have to get some income despite not finding something ideal.
Seek Employment ASAP
Unless you are comfortable where you are(lots of funds to sustain you) and plan to take this opportunity for some time off from work, you should go about looking for a job ASAP. Go through job portals, friends and networks, Linkedin and go for some networking sessions.
You should also keep an open mind about your next job. The working economy is fast-changing especially with the increased use of technology. Reflect on why you were made redundant. Does it have to do with your job role becoming obsolete? Then perhaps you need to look at your transferable skills that can fit into a different job role.
Keep An Open Mind
Remember that in times like this, there’s less choice for you to be picky. While you might have thought that you only wanted to work in a listed company, perhaps you can get a job much more quickly in a start-up. Or you might want to consider contract jobs as well.
Before you get an employment, would you also consider part-time jobs to earn some income? How about registering to be a UBER driver so that you can earn some income from your existing resources?
Acquire New Skills
Always wanted to learn coding? Or write a proper business proposal? There are many courses out there, some free and others where you’d need to pay. Check to see if you can use your SkillsFuture credit for that, and while you can continue on your job hunt, the extra time you have can also be used to value-add your resume.
Nobody likes to be retrenched(unless you are going to get a fat package out of it) but when it happens, it’s very important to keep being productive with your time and to keep positive. The worst thing that can happen is to fall into depression after which it can only bring your life on a downhill. Work is a means of income and know that this will be temporary and that there’s always a way out.