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Signs that your job is at risk

By Staff Writer
Losing your job can have a major impact on your life and your finances. But how do you know if you are facing the possibility of losing your job? Are there tell-tale signs that you can take heed of that can reveal if a company is in trouble?
Nitesh Patel, head of customer financial solutions for personal banking at Standard Bank, believes that certain circumstances that your company finds itself in may reveal that your position may not be so secure. There are, of course, also things that you as an individual can do that would also jeopardise your career, whether or not the company is going through financial trouble.
Signs that your job is at risk
Some of the signs for identifying if your job might be in jeopardy, as noted by Patel, include:
·         The company is going through a difficult time, for example, there are financial issues or concerns within the company.
·         You have lost interest in your job and are not performing as you should, and this has been noticed.
·         You have a personality clash with someone in a position of authority within the company.
According to Forbes, if you underperform in your job your position can also be at risk. Here’s how to tell if management is not happy with you:
·         Your responsibilities are reduced and you are given fewer projects. However, it is important to note that companies do at times do go through slow patches, and having less work does not always mean that your job is at risk.
·         The company is going through a merger or acquisition, or new management has been appointed.
·         Your performance review and feedback is critical/negative. Your manager could for example point out certain issues that are problematic for the company such as constantly arriving late or not meeting deadlines.
·         You are asked to hand assignments or projects over to someone else.
·         Management, and perhaps even your colleagues, are avoiding you. According to experts, management will start to distance itself from people who will be leaving the company or losing their jobs.
Tips to ensure you will survive
According to Patel, even if your job is not at risk, there are a few things that you should have in order to ensuring that if you do lose your job you will have a safety net to fall back on.
1.       Have at least three to six months’ income in the bank as a safety net. If you lose your job, you will have a few months’ salary on hand to cover expenses while you search for a new job.
2.       Organise your finances. If you know that you will not be able to meet all of your financial commitments, such as bond or car repayments, it is important that you inform your creditors and negotiate new payment terms. “It is better to be upfront and agree to pay a reduced amount than to fall behind with your payments,” said Patel.
3.       Revise your budget. Patel highlighted that it is important not to rush any major financial decisions. “Revise your budget in accordance with your changed circumstances. Work out how much it will cost to maintain your home and scale down your lifestyle. Decide on the expenses you are willing to cut and make sure that the family are on the same page. Everyone will have to work together until things are more settled,” advised Patel.
“Talking to a financial planner or your bank consultant will give you some clarity and they can help you put investment and savings contributions on hold until you recover. Now is not the time to cut important risk products, but you could look at getting more cost-effective solutions in the short-term,” added Patel.
He added: “If you had company benefits, you will get cash back from a pension or provident plan and perhaps a retrenchment package. What you do with this money will have a big impact on your future wealth, especially if you have been working at the company for more than five years.”
However, Patel emphasised that the decision you make with regards to a pension pay out or a retrenchment package can have an impact on your future wealth, especially when you reach retirement. (For more information on the importance of preservation of retirement funds, click here.)
“Ideally, you should reinvest your pay out. If you spend five years’ of retirement savings now, you will be adding five years on to the time you need to work to replace the funds, and you will be losing out on the compound growth of this money,” revealed Patel.
According to Patel, there is a silver lining that can come from challenge and trial of losing a job. “Perhaps the biggest lesson you will learn is how little you can get by on each month if you practise living frugally. When you finally get your new job, don’t go back to your old habits but keep expenses low and redirect your extra cash into savings. This will put a really positive spin on a tough, yet manageable, event.”

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