Coping with retrenchment – a ‘how to’

2020 can basically be summed up as “The year of living differently”. Every year we have upheavals, natural disasters and other events that have to be made sense of so that we can lead normalised lifestyles. We cannot make sense of 2020, so we have to work on getting through each day and adapting our goals. 2019 was a year of major retrenchments, 2020 has seen even more retrenchments, businesses closing, and people losing their profession eg travel agents, pilots, CEO’s.

In a time of uncertainty with the added change in daily routine and the insecurity of needing to earn an income, setting new goals is very difficult. “However, take control of your life and plan ahead.  Proactive steps will empower you and put your more in charge of the situation,” says Taryn Steenkamp, Head of National Sales at Boston City Campus.

Steenkamp provides the following advice:

Your employer

Have you been let go? Remember, this is a worldwide event, do not take it personally. Engage with your company.  Find out about your pension and provident fund, and the Unemployment Insurance which is SUPPOSED to help you for up to 6 months, taking away some of the pressure.

Find out if you have an income protect policy which will pay you out.

Communicate with your creditors so that you can make the necessary arrangements to avoid falling into bad debt.

Use backup

Use your network of family and friends for advice, coaching and support.  This is especially important if you have children, you will need to be able to leave your kids in a safe place while you go off to an interview.

Keep busy

Finding a new job is your new job. Don’t allow yourself to fall into a slump. You need a daily purpose, and a schedule. Keep your mind active.

Enrol for a short course or even a degree that enhances your skills and adds value to your CV, increasing your employment eligibility.  Boston has payment plans and is modular based so now is a good time to get qualifications that put you ahead of the rest in the unemployment queue. Boston also has qualifications that will help you set up your own business, consulting in IT or selling a product or service. Studies will open your eyes to new ideas and give you the confidence to set out on your own. Volunteer some of your time – either at a business which can use your skillset or a non-profit organisation or schools.

Find ways to start over

Be open to taking other jobs to get you on your feet again.  Be creative in terms of your resources.  From looking after kids, taking to and from school, becoming an Uber driver.  Recruit -my -mom is an outstanding source of funds and temporary work.

Leverage your LinkedIn network to offer your services.

Re-skill yourself.

Coping emotionally

“Keep in mind that this is happening to you.  It’s not who you are.  It has everything to do with the economic environment,” says Steenkamp.

Focus on the things over which you have control.

  • Get up and get dressed early every day.
  • Go to job centres and register with the department of labour.
  • Keep yourself busy with tasks
  • Try earn money taking on odd jobs to help you avoid losing your self-value.

“Manage your expectations.  While there are opportunities, this process can take 6 – 18 months to find a job comparative with the one you lost,” says Steenkamp.

Suntosh Pillay says that the Pandemic has caused an emotional Tsunami. Add to that the outcome of retrenchment, “leaves people in a perpetual state of stress” he says. “Taking proactive steps can help you manage this challenging time,” says Steenkamp.  “Get sleep, exercise and keep your mind active.  It is a difficult time but keep on reminding yourself that this too shall pass, and you will soon be back on your feet”.

 

Coping with pandemic pitfalls – addressing retrenchment

Coping with pandemic pitfalls – addressing retrenchment

Natalie Rabson on behalf of Boston City Campus

“Possible lockdown retrenchments are already soaring” (Sarah Smit, 29 June 2020) These are headlines we have been seeing for a few weeks, and they are getting worse as employers begin retrenchment processes, reduce office space and staff allocations, and even close businesses. Some industries are still severely affected by lockdown and some businesses may never recover, this includes the restaurant; travel; and beauty industry. The sports industry has also suffered, as well as print media and advertising. Ok – so it is every industry.

According to the CCMA’s 2018-2019 financial report, in that whole year,  38 588 workers were the subjects of section 18a retrenchments. In less than the three months between 1 April 2020 and June 25, 2020, 98 818 workers were the subjects of section 18a retrenchments, an increase of 156%. Tito Mboweni in his supplementary budget speech said “unemployment is our single greatest challenge”.  While memes abound about the silver linings that we must see in this pandemic, the harsh reality is that families need to eat, and unemployed people need to be creative in how to develop opportunities for themselves to earn a living.

What are the first steps to follow when you are retrenched?

  • Speak to your HR department and find out exactly what you are entitled to, eg termination dates.
  • Find out what legal options and recourse you have regarding your job and salary, retrenchment pay, etc.
  • Get your UIF (unemployment insurance fund) details, and signed documents, from your employer. Submit your documents if your employer does not do this on your behalf.
  • Contact all institutions where you hold credit, bond, bank, etc, and inform them of your situation, and agree to payment plans for the short term…
  • Try and meditate every day, it is easier to approach your problems with a calm and clear mind.
  • You may request a meeting regarding alternative options to retrenchment eg reduced pay, reduced working hours, a lateral move in the organisation using different skills you may have.
  • Whatever you do, do not display anger, or a temper. You will need your employer when new opportunities arise either within the organisation, or as a reference in a new organisation.
  • While you are in a difficult spot, make sure to look after your physical and mental health.
  • Put a plan in place to seek employment. Update your CV with references, your latest skills upgrades you have done, qualifications, and job description. And begin to network.
  • Develop your skills including social media skills. Rely on your social network to find opportunities for which you may apply, or to recommend you.

Education and new skills appropriate for the fourth industrial revolution were already at the forefront of recommendations to address retrenchments, now, since the start of the pandemic, it is more important than ever to have skills to offer an employer, or to allow you to open your own business, or side hustle. You need basic accounting skills and marketing, with a focus on digital marketing skills, to be successful in any business especially as so many now operate remotely and online. Logistics has become highly in demand as retail moves into warehouses for online sales. Professionals and managers that have found themselves out of work should consider registering for the Postgraduate Diploma in Management, an all-encompassing deepening of critical skill sets with which to surf the wave of change that is breaking, (for the holder of any undergraduate degree). A degree will put you ahead of other job seekers, this is a time to stand out in order to succeed. Higher Education is back in the spotlight.

Visit www.boston.co.za for more info.

Picking yourself up after retrenchment

Picking yourself up after retrenchment

By Natalie Rabson on Behalf of Boston City Campus

2019 saw retrenchment from major companies – from Standard Bank, Group Five, ABSA to Multichoice, Continental Tyre, and more.  Now, with COVID19 looming its ugly head, we are in the depths of an even greater economic downturn, resulting in many more retrenchments at the beginning of 2020.

This is a time of uncertainty and anxiety. With the change in daily routine and the insecurity of needing to earn an income, it is difficult to navigate the new territory.  “However, it is important to take control of your life and plan ahead.  There are proactive steps that you can take to empower yourself and put yourself more in charge of the situation,” says Taryn Steenkamp, Head of National Sales at Boston City Campus.

Steenkamp provides the following advice to help you remain buoyant:

Your employer

Practical steps will get you on the road to moving ahead. Engage with the company which is letting you go.  Find out about your pension and provident fund.  You can also supplement your income by finding out about Unemployment Insurance which can help you for up to 6 months, taking away some of the pressure of not having a steady income.  Find out if you have an income protection policy that will pay you out. It is also important to let all your creditors know what’s happening so that you can make the necessary arrangements with them to avoid falling into bad debt.

Get backup

Use your network of family and friends that you can rely on for advice, coaching, and support.  This is especially important if you have children if you are the primary caregiver. Surrounding yourself (virtually for now) with people who care provides an anchor for you to help you to get through this time.

Boston Postgraduate Diploma in Management offers unique skills for the fourth industrial revolution, and for these undefined times such as which we now find ourselves.

Try your best to keep busy

You need a daily purpose and a schedule. It is also important to keep your mind active and occupied to avoid falling into a slump. Enrol for short courses that enhance your skills and add value to your CV, increasing your employment eligibility.  Or consider starting that degree or Postgrad that you never got around to. You will never regret starting on a pathway of continued education. This is the ideal time to build your CV. The

 

Find ways to start over

Be open to taking other jobs just to get you on your feet again.  Look at websites such as Upwork that offer ad-hoc projects that can be done from home, using your existing skills. This will also give you an idea of which skills are in demand and will result in employment opportunities.  Be creative in terms of your resources in this transitional episode.  Use this time to explore different industries in which you may have an interest.  Leverage your LinkedIn network to offer your services.

Use this time to re-skill yourself.  Take courses that can help you focus on a new subject while building your self-esteem by gaining a new or deeper competency.

Coping emotionally

“Keep in mind that this is happening to you.  It’s not who you are.  Although it may feel completely personal, it has nothing do with you and everything to do with the economic environment,” says Steenkamp.

Focus on the things over which you have control.  Start small with just getting up and getting dressed.

“It is important to manage your expectations.  There is a strong likelihood that it will take 6 – 18 months to find a job comparative with the one you lost,” says Steenkamp.

“Feeling down is a natural result of retrenchment but keeping busy and taking proactive steps can help you manage this challenging time,” she says. “Retrenchment is one thing – but it’s the aftermath that’s the real issue.

“Get sleep, exercise, and keep your mind active.  It is a difficult time but keep on reminding yourself that this too shall pass,” concludes Steenkamp.