The events over the last few weeks has been worrisome. Pick n Pay, Pupkewitz, Sea Flower and many other unknown names were in the news with job losses. The numbers are climbing daily and people are loosing jobs. Some are forced retrenchment, others are voluntary but at the end of the day someone is loosing an income. They says its just a number until someone close to you loose a job. This could be you, a siblings, parent or a friend who may be the only breadwinner in the family.
Job losses are not really the worst that can happen to anyone but it the circumstances into which you loose your job can make or break you. It the current economic times, times are tough to find a replacement job. No one is really recruiting but even if they are, not in large numbers to absorb all the people that are currently already in the unemployment pool in addition to those that are falling. So what is next?
Circumstances like these can have a negative consequences to ones mental state that needs to be handled with care. If you know someone that just lost a job, please lend a listening ear. Listen to their concerns and suggest from experience or from your stories you’ve heard on how other people that have been in similar situations have overcome similar hurdle. Avoid blame shifting as most of these job losses are really beyond the an individual employee’s control.
What I want to caution people in this situations is to not fall for traps of get rich quick schemes that are currently flooding the market. The sort of schemes that requires capital investments that is not guaranteed can cut short the lifeline that you need in times like these. Bear in mind that if you lose your job , you may receive a severance package that you need to handle with care. Please consider the followings in order of priority:
- Get the expectations of everyone affected at the same page. This could be your spouse, your children, your lenders etc. Everyone need to know you have lost your job and they can expect some adjustments in how things were done.
- List your fixed costs and see the ones that can be cut out to avoid draining your cash reserves. Things like TV subscriptions, Wifi subscriptions, Gym memberships improves your quality of living but is not a necessity. Until you have certainty on the way forward save money on this.
- Work out a common solution with your lender. This could mean returning that car if you think there is just no way you will be able to service the debt. Although this a difficult decision, it can be best for you.
- Hold on a little bit before you can start that business or invest in that opportunity that you have been seeing on facebook. The thing is starting a business takes money and many business will have a teething phase where you are likely to make losses before making money. In the loss making period, the business will require additional investment and therefore may deplete your cash before you even start making money. Unless you have a partner to chip in for you, please do not throw away the little you have.
- Lastly have faith and keep looking. If you are able to survive on income from another family member, please minimize the costs so that you do not drain the other person.
This is not an easy phase to be in but its not permanent situation either. You are not the first to loose a job and you are not the only one, therefore be gentle to yourself. If you really are not coping, reach out to someone, there are still good Samaritan out there.
I hope you learn a thing or two from this that can help you cope in times like these.