The current situation with the Coronavirus pandemic going on as made us wonder whether our careers and jobs are safe. It has been said that after the Coronavirus pandemic, the world will face a deadly world recession. In the US, another 1.48 million people filed for unemployment insurance last week, as the grim economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic continued, and infection rates picked up in many states. Over 1.8 million people reported to have claimed Universal Credit in the UK, and 12,000 British Airways staff have been threatened with redundancy – this will probably take UK over 10% unemployment. Its now clear that the UK government’s ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’, which subsidised 80% of people’s wages, but didn’t ensure job security, is failing to do one thing its meant to do: retain jobs.
Being able to find a continuous and secure employment with one organisation is difficult, particularly if you’re new to the job market. There are many factors which threaten job security from downsizing, recession, new technology, globalisation and outsourcing. Most of us will probably face a lack of job security at one time or another.
We now share our tips and advice to help you combat job security worry and uncertainty, and to keep stress levels at a minimum.
Know and Show your Value
If you are facing job security risk in your field, make sure you give value to your company. When times are tough, you’ll have to do more than just the bare minimum. Be willing to stay late to help with a project or assignment or help another team member who’s falling behind. Be proactive and ask your manager whether there is anything you can support them with if you have time on your hands. Do things to show your boss that you’ll do what it takes to help the company succeed. This kind of commitment will really help you be unique from the crowd.
However, do ensure that that this isn’t abused by your manager, and make sure that you set strong personal boundaries and do be afraid to assert yourself.
Some of us don’t like to talk about our accomplishments in case it comes out as boasting, but think of it as a way to let your boss know how amazing you are or what you can do, if you don’t tell them.
By discussing about your achievements, you keep them informed of your values. Its also important to make sure that potential new employers or clients know what you can do, for example when updating your LinkedIn profile make sure you flag up your achievements.
Keep your profile up to date
LinkedIn has transformed the recruiting world and made it easier than ever to reach out to job candidates directly, whether they’re actively or passively job hunting. With so many recruiters on LinkedIn, this is obviously welcome news to job seekers. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and eye-catching. Use it to show interest in areas of your industry where you could grow your skills and experience. If you can, post news and original content that will interest others in your sector.
In addition, ensure that your CV is current, business like and engaging so it can be ready to send at moment’s notice to apply for a new position – even one within your own company. It means that you won’t have to rush to make changes or risk making mistakes, and you will be able to present yourself in the very best light. You might also forget to mention a major accomplishment that could cost your chance of success in securing the position.
Stay positive and breathe
Research has found that living with job insecurity can be more harmful to your health than losing it but staying positive can make all the difference. Not everyone reacts the same way to job insecurity. Your lifestyle, your willingness to adapt to change, and your financial situation are different from those of your colleagues, so don’t expect to feel or react like they do as everyone manages stress in different ways. If you’re stressed about job security, remember the quote:
“Whenever one door closes, another one opens”
Living in uncertain times can be uncomfortable, but you can control how you respond to it.
But remember its your life, and its within your power to change it. If you’re afraid that you might get “downsized”, then take control and act. Start looking for internal vacancies within your company or take advantage of your annual performance reviews to highlight to your manager your next career steps within the company. Start learning about other departments or teams; perhaps your skills would allow you to do something completely different within the organisation – be proactive instead of reactive. Keep an eye out for opportunities with other organisations in your industry too.
If you have marketable skills, then you have a lot to offer other potential employers if you get made redundant. So keep your skills relevant and up to date as much as possible. Keeping your skills current is essential if you want to offer value, either to your current organisation or to a range of possible clients. Your current company may invest in your development, but if you want to broaden your skill set to appeal to a range of other employers, learn new skills in your own time as well. In today’s job market, the technical skills you need can change quickly so important to keep on top of this.
Save Your Money
Whether your job is already at risk or you’re worrying about potential cuts, one of the most important things you can do at this time is to take stock of your finances. This will help you start to take control and you’ll be able to cope much better if you lose your job.
The worry of how you’ll pay your bills if you suddenly lose your job can be stressful. This is enough to convince people to accept the first job offer they receive, even if its not the right match.
Ideally, aim to have between three and six months of your living expenses saved in an easy access, high-interest bank or building society account. Even a smaller amount will be useful. Having cash in the bank is always good and will help you manage financially until you find a new job.
Once you have a clear idea of how much you’re spending, start thinking about how your budget will be affected if you lose your job.
You can work out what spending you’ll need to cut back on so that you can cope with a lower income. If you cut back now you could use the money to build up a savings cushion to help you get by if you lose your job. Take a close look at what you spend your money on and divide it into essential and non-essential items. This can help you turn a bad situation into a chance to re-evaluate your career, and to put yourself onto a new, exciting path.