Let’s face it – being told that your role is redundant in a company where you have spent years working tirelessly to meet deadlines can be a shocking experience. In Malaysia, retrenchment exercises have been on the rise in the past three years. Local companies such as Utusan Malaysia, Tamil Nesan, Astro and TV3 have retrenched their workers. Economic downturn and technological advancements are some of the reasons for laying off employees to cut the losses of a business.
Even if you did not foresee being laid off, it is important to remain professional and calm when you are faced with that difficult conversation with your employer. It pays to be well prepared to face such a situation, in any event.
Here are some useful ways to handle yourself well in the event of being laid off.
1. Keep calm and carry on. Although it may be difficult to manage your emotions while you are still coming to terms with the company’s decision, it is important not to overreact or burn any bridges on your way out of the company. Focus your energy on talking through the reasons for being made redundant and having a discussion about the terms of your redundancy package.
2. Ask if you will be offered any assistance to find a new job or whether you are entitled to apply for other roles within the company. Have an honest and open discussion about the assistance your current company is willing to offer. Some companies engage an agent to aid them in sorting out alternative employment for workers that have been made redundant. If they are willing to offer any form of assistance, determine what it is and for how long such assistance would be given. Always remember to get such terms in writing to avoid any confusion in the future.
Some companies may allow employees to apply for other roles within the company, especially where there has been an internal restructuring. All is not lost if you are entitled to try out for other roles within the company.
3. Never sign anything in case of doubt or pending further negotiations. You are entitled to inform your manager or superior that you need to review any release document, etc, before signing it. It is advisable to get all the important terms of when your final payment will be made, including any medical claims made, etc, in writing and better still consult a lawyer for advice!
Being laid off is definitely a daunting and stressful period in your work life. Remember to keep calm and avoid taking to social media to vent your frustrations! Take care of your physical and mental health while you plan your next career move.