"Adding these factors together I knew in the event that I could keep my job, it was better to be pleasantly surprised than to be unpleasantly unprepared."
There is no getting around the economic aftermath caused by something as global as Covid:19. It has had vast effects on people’s daily lives, their weekend activities and as I’m about explain importantly on, peoples jobs.
It’s been a week since I received a letter from my employer stating there will be a meeting held between them and myself about the status of my day job. The letter mailed to me could of been summarized to “We plan to let you go very soon, but you get the chance to speak to us first”.
I had been planning and expecting this ever since the announcement of the lock-down. Although I had been there for 4 years and could do my job quite well, most of the other guys, as I see it, have better stand out qualities to their work or a special skill set. With the industry I work in, during summer the work-load goes right down to where we would often have shortened days or complete days off. Adding these factors together I knew in the event that I could keep my job, it was better to be pleasantly surprised than to be unpleasantly unprepared.
I am aware that many people will be in the same boat wondering if they know what to do incase of capsize. Will you know what to do, or will you panic with fear of drowning? With this metaphor in mind, I wish to stretch out my arm and pull you in the boat to share any wisdom I can with the Small Courage crew who may be swept up in the white rapids of uncertainty.
4 things You Can Do to Prepare For a Job Capsize
1. Gather and Read up On All Employer/Employee Documents
One of the most important things to do in preparation is to get familiar with the working contract your employer supplied you, read the terms and conditions and comb through any fine print. This serves as a refresher on exactly where you stand with the company. It’s normal that once a job has been successfully obtained, most people file the paperwork away never to be seen again. I weirdly enjoyed re-reading my contract as it gave me clarity and a confidence on what to expect to talk about over the phone while also showing you take your job rights seriously. Even if you don’t understand the corporate language of these legalistic jargon filled documents, a quick read gives you centre ground to form a discussion around when the interview or phone rings. A highlighter pen is a useful tool to assign importance to topics that may come up in the conversation.
2. Consider Roleplay Practice
Practice makes perfect… So they say. In the same day we can afford ourselves the statement that “nobody’s perfect!”. How that works, I don’t know but the premise that is underneath both, is to practice so you can be better than who you were a day, an afternoon, a second a go.
There is advice and entire pay-for workshops on how to dux the perfect job interview so you can HAVE a job but we don’t give considerable thought into being a scholar on the difficult conversation your employer may have with you about your position coming to an end. Ask a friend or family member, preferably somebody who has had experience being a boss to roleplay questions to you about your employment. Examples…
How long have you been with us?
Give exact length of time e.g 4 years, 1 month and 2 days. They will be impressed
Why should we keep you on?
Shine your best moments, skills and qualities and show you are darn proud of it. Remember to mention the people you work well with in a team because that alone tells them you aren’t all about preserving yourself – A team dynamic could be lost with you gone.
We may be reducing staff numbers because of the circumstances. Do you have any solutions?
Have your answers especially pre-planned for this one- Suggest ways to obtain a larger customer base, to speed up production, cut costs in alternative ways and share your ideas. Showing creativity is more important than fixing the economic problem. Keep cool.
We’ve noticed you’re still having trouble with X Y and Z and the company is suffering from it. Can you explain?
This question can feel like a kick to the guts and a way to get rid of you quicker. You may be surprised to hear what their complaints are so this is harder to roleplay. Honesty and ownership is the key. Listen to what they have to say, show deliberation on how you will improve over a certain timeframe and don’t show frustration. It’s a test of character.
3. Do Things to Take Breaks
This is an obvious one but the best advice often just needs to be said by somebody different. There is no getting around that these sorts of trials can rock your world – but get familiar again with the use your self-control. Shake the dust from your knees, go for walks, work on a side project, cook good food and go see friends.
4. Accept That all Jobs are Fickle
Sometimes even with the best paddle, the best crew and the best boat, the white rapids are too violent to stay upright. Same with jobs – sometimes you are going to capsize for unforeseen reasons that are outside of your control. A good rower knows this not only happens frequently but they create margin for this to happen. A bad rower just hopes his life jacket will save him yet won’t learn to swim. Nobody saw a global pandemic coming and it wasn’t up to you to spyglass that one out. If you have done your best and made wise use of your time to prepare, and your job is still cut – Swim to shore, drag your boat with you and move on to calmer rivers.
Today we covered what might go on while you face the awkward time of job redundancy. For some this won’t of been their first paddle upstream and for some it is. So much of our identity can be wrapped up in a title but the reality is, this can all disappear tomorrow. Free yourself of being yoked by such a burden. If you gained a job before, you can gain one again. Don’t become convinced this wraps your worth as a human into one bundle. Instead treat it as a reminder that you’re not the one in control.
Taking the raft to an unknown river may seem scary because you know not of what twists, turns and rocky faces may appear before you. Be steadfast because these are golden opportunities for galvanizing fresh character and gifting inspiration to others. You will find new people along the way, looking for a raft just like yours, that want to go the same direction. And so band with them and tackle the high waters, even when nerves want to take you under.
Grab your paddle.
Zip up the jacket.