With a competitive job market and constantly shifting forces in the economy, no job is ever 100% secure, affecting anyone from interns to senior management. When a series of layoffs sweeps through the company, everyone will be on their toes.
To stay ahead of the curve, you need to spot the warning signs, know how to prepare for a layoff and know what to do if you end up losing your job. No one wants to be blindsided by bad news, especially when that news means you don’t have a job anymore. If you are worried about job security, keep your eyes and ears open for the following signs:
- Your company is facing financial trouble
Has your company been in the news because they missed their global sales target? No matter the size of your company, whenever businesses fail to meet their targets, there will be a financial consequence. One such outcome is restructuring. However, there are other ways through which businesses enter financial hot waters. Besides the company’s financial targets, you should also pay attention to declining profit and revenue margins or falling stock prices. If your firm has a slow month, it’s usually nothing to worry about, as every business goes through slow periods. But if it has been going downhill for six months or more, you need to be alert. Although there is no need to quit your job right away, it’s wise to keep an eye out for new opportunities.
- Business mergers
Mergers are a standard procedure to grow businesses, forming an even stronger company in the process. However, a merger can also put your job at risk. With two companies merging, the emphasis is often on efficiency. As departments merge, there is often an abundance of talent. However, should you survive a merger, your job security might actually increase. If your company has announced the fusion with another business, you should take a closer look at the details of the merger as well as if there is another person with your qualifications in the other company.
- Hiring freeze
In the case of a hiring freeze, a company often tries to save cost and become more efficient. However, occasionally this might also include getting rid of employees in positions that are not essential to the core business. Even if the company hasn’t instituted an official hiring freeze, pay attention to whether new positions are being advertised or filled.
- Cost-saving initiatives
Is your company cutting budgets for training, business travel and even office supplies? Cost-saving might start with basic initiatives, but if sales isn’t picking up, budget cuts might include salaries too. Although it is necessary for companies to make cuts in order to keep the business alive, it can be devastating for anyone that is affected by them. Be aware of sudden budget cuts in your company, as reducing payroll costs is always the most efficient cost-saving initiative – at least from a business point of view.
- Industry colleagues are losing their jobs
Being at risk of losing your job is not always an accurate reflection of your performance at work. Occasionally, it is an entire industry that goes through a rough period. For example, the profit margins in the oil industry are heavily dependant on the global oil price. Once it falls drastically, the entire industry shakes, resulting in layoffs across across the board.
Similar developments can be observed when new technologies, such as automation and AI, disrupt a particular profession or industry. Keeping track on industry developments and trends might not prevent you from being at risk, but it can help you to spot the writing on the wall and adapt accordingly.
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