How to keep your job in face of retrenchment

  Francis Muli @francismuli

At this era where joblessness, job losses, retrenchment and forced early retirements take the order of the day, job security becomes one of the major concerns for any employee.

Every week, business news tell of the sad state of companies shedding off a number of their staff in the name of stabilising profits. Most of such retrenchments happen when the workers least expect them.

No matter the amount they may get to help them transition, job loss will always lead to anger, grief, depression and anxiety over an uncertain future.

In some circumstances, job loss cannot be avoided like in the case of OLX where more than 30 employees will be left jobless after its exit from Kenya. However, in some circumstances job losses can be avoided by the employees themselves.

Early last year, a local daily published a story of Pauline Kamau and Peter Kinyanzui, the longest serving staffers of Kenya Airways (KQ). KQ has been facing turbulent times hence retrenching workers. The existence of the two in the airline for more than four decades is a clear indication that you can keep your job even in turbulent times when most workers are shown the door.

On top of the list of avoiding a job loss is expecting it. An adage goes, ‘prepare for the worst to achieve the best’. If you are not working in your own or family company, then it is most probable that you’ll be a victim of retrenchment when need be, however good you might be. While in the job, keep saving enough to take you through a couple of months in case you lose your job.

Financial coach, Dr Manyara Kirago advises that one should save enough to take themselves through a period of six months.

“In case anything happens, you ought to have money that will keep you going a good three to six months,” he says.

It is also advisable to build good relations, both internal and external. Good working relations internally will ensure that you survive the storm whenever the axe falls. No one would like the ‘good guy’ to go.

Even your head of department or boss will defend you. However, this does not mean that you should compromise the quality of your work in the name of having a ‘godfather’. Remember that the quality of work will be the number one determinant factor in retaining any staffer during retrenchment.

The external relations will help you in case you lose the job. Those who know you will always sympathise with you and most probably offer you a job or refer you to one. Good external relations start with clients you serve with your current employer. If you do not serve them well, they’ll even rejoice at your retrenchment.

As you work, make your presence known. Some bosses will hand you a redundancy letter just because they do not know you. The best way to make yourself known is doing a good job. Go an extra mile and make a difference that will be felt even by the boss. Average staff members tend to be retrenched because they do not make a difference. As you work, make sure you send shockwaves for the betterment of the company. If the company grows, your job security is assured and your career growth progresses.

Lastly, if you lose your job, do not badmouth your employer. He might be your next employer. You might need a comeback or maybe it could have been a test of loyalty. Remember s/he is the only person who knows the quality of your work. Whenever a prospective employer wants to know the quality of work you can offer, s/he will turn to your previous employer.

Do not bang the doors as you leave.

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