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Feb 15, 2021 | Health

Dreaded Retrenchment! 9 Tips To Survive The Stress


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Stressed out after hearing the word ‘retrenchment’ – now more than ever a tragic consequence of tough economic times. But you can and you will move past this!

We hope these tips will help with this stressful time.

1. Talk to your family about your retrenchment

Probably the hardest conversations you will have during this time will include talking to your family about your retrenchment.

You may feel that you have let them down, even embarrassed, or ashamed. Know this, South Africa has reached an alarming rate of of unemployment, about 30% of the populations is unemployed. This means that more than seven million people are seeking employment and struggling to find work.

Bear this in mind: being retrenched is not your fault, and it is a reality being faced by thousands of other hard-working South Africans, just like you.  

2. Don’t dismiss deployment

Speak to the HR practitioner handling your retrenchment process to see a list of other roles that may be available within the business.

Redeployment is when a company can offer you a position in another department. Don’t close the door on a new role or even a pay-cut if it allows you to retain employment during this challenging time.

    3. Make sure your CV is updated

    Bring your CV up to date, leading with your most recent experience. Keep it short: ideally to one or two pages, maximum. Be sure to update your digital CV as you will be amazed at how many sites exist that advertise new jobs.

    Sites like LinkedIn is an important platform in today’s recruitment world. Not only are many vacancies now advertised here, but recruiters and head-hunters search for talent here too.

    Be careful of scams, especially for jobs being offered abroad. Don’t hand over any information like bank accounts and ID copies until you are absolutely sure that the job is real and the opportunity has been signed in the form of an actual contract from a real person working in a legitimate company.

    You may be desperate but don’t allow this to cloud your usual good judgment. 

    4. Keep busy and catch up on your paper work

    Be prepared! Finding a job in the current labour market, is not going to be a quick process. Polish up on your current skills or learn some new ones.

    There are many free online courses you can engage in while you wait.  Short online courses offered in your field are something to consider.

    It would also be an ideal time to catch up on your admin. Go through your banks statement, verify all entries make sure you in control of what you spending your money on.

    As soon as you can, sign up with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) if your employer contributed to the Fund.

    Whatever you do, speak up. Speak to all your creditors if you foresee that meeting your payment obligations is going to be difficult. 

    5. Create your own employment

    While you are looking for something permanent, freelance work is something to consider. Temporary work proves to a prospective employer that you did not spend an extended period doing nothing, and that you were prepared to do whatever was necessary to stay working and stay relevant.

    It may also be an ideal time to turn that hobby into something you can earn money from. The people in your circle will be more than willing to help by buying your product/services.

    Who knows, this may be the start of something bigger!

    6. Be inquisitive! Research, research, research 

    Have a written plan and change it as your circumstances change and as you learn more.

    Write your own dream job spec in the company that you wish to work for. Now research what it will take to make this a reality. Before an interview, get to know the company that’s interviewing you.

    Do your homework. Arrive prepared. Your level of preparedness for the job interview or the aptitude assessment is directly proportionate to how badly you want the job. Your future, largely, really is in your hands. 

    7. It’s inevitable, expenses must be cut down

    Bills will continue to reach you, while the salary that you have been receiving monthly, won’t.

    Now is the time to go through your monthly household budget with a fine-tooth comb. 

    You need to be strict and clinical about the expenses that are unavoidable (e.g. your bond repayment or kids’ school fees) and those that are luxuries and can be suspended until you are have a regular income again.

    8. Appoint a financial advisor

    It may sound absurd, but this is truly the best time to get a financial advisor. There are some big, important financial decisions to be made, and a qualified financial planner can help you make them with confidence.

    For example, if you have been working for the same company for a number of years, you probably have built up a sizeable pension fund.

    There are some investment decisions that you need to make about the future of this money. You don’t want to make any mistakes. Getting advice from a financial planner experienced in retrenchments becomes invaluable. 

    Also, if you have medical aid through your company, you need to decide what to do when this benefit comes to an end.

    9. Stay away from your retirement fund benefits

    Cashing in 100% of your retirement fund can be the most financially damaging decision you can make.

    Your retirement savings is your money, but not for today. It may be tempting to cash it all in and treat your retirement fund but don’t forget why you have this money saved up in the first place.

    If you cash in the entire pot, you’re robbing yourself at age 60 – it’s that simple. Before you cash in even a portion of the fund, find out how much tax you’ll have to pay on that money.

    That should be reason enough for you to keep your retirement fund invested. 

    During this incredibly stressful time is imperative that you keep yourself busy and have a plan for each day. 

    You will be tempted to sleep in, don’t!!

    Stick to your morning routine, start or continue exercising.

    Keep up to date with your industry news and any changes that may be impactful.

    From researching, to learning a new skill, to reading a book, or watching you tube videos of successful people to stay motivated:  No matter what you chose, keep busy!

    By doing this, you will be able to show case some of this at your next interview which should show your prospective employer your willingness to remain employable.

     Source: Glacier by Sanlam 

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