There have been some dismal predictions for the job market next year, with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) predicting that more than 600,000 people will be made redundant in 2009, that’s a staggering 1,600 people per day.
And to add to the gloom they’re also suggesting that many of those who are lucky enough to keep their jobs will get no pay increases next year, or may even face a pay cut.
Last year, the CIPD predicted that 2008 would be the worst year in terms of job losses for a decade – and that sadly has been proved to be correct, so these predictions need to be taken quite seriously.
If their figures are correct, 2008 will be seen as a gentle warm-up to the mass-redundancies of next year, with the period between New Year and Easter being seen as the key period for job losses, with 300,000 expected to go in that period. To put that in perspective, 2008 is likely to have seen 150,000 jobs go. The only positive news to come out of this particular story is that they are predicting a slow-down in job losses in 2o10 as, presumably, the economy begins to strengthen a little (either that or there’s no-one left in a job to get rid of).
Faced with this news, if you’re worried about your job, what action can you take to minimise the effects of being made redundant? Here are a few tips:
Cut Your Spending
If you haven’t already started cutting your spending down, then start now. If you start by tracking everything you spend, you can then prioritise your outgoings and work out what can either be cut out completely or at least reduced. A good place to start is your utilities, especially if you haven’t looked at these in a while. Look for better deals on your gas, electricity, broadband and mobile phone bills, as there can be some easy savings there for little work.
Identify any luxuries you regularly buy and consider cutting them out completely, or switch to cheaper alternatives.
If you can afford to start putting some money away each month (cutting your spending may help, as mentioned above), then you should try to build-up your emergency fund. This will buy you some breathing space between losing your job and finding your next one. If it’s practical, somewhere between 3 and 6 months worth of your salary would be a good target. Easier said than done, I know, but you’ll greatly appreciate anything you’ve managed to save now when you don’t have a regular wage coming in.
And if you don’t lose your job then you’ve still got the money handy for all those other unforeseen emergencies that have a habit of jumping up and biting us on the bum.
Update Your CV
Many people who have been comfortable in their jobs for a few years will find that their CVs are out of date. Get it up to date and start looking at job vacancies to see what is still available. There are still jobs out there – I know of quite a few people who have recently managed to find themselves work in a variety of industries (and it’s worth mentioning that the figures given above do not take into account any new jobs that are created), but it could take some looking. The earlier you get registered on job sites and with recruitment agencies, the quicker they can get you interviews if you do get made redundant.
Get Redundancy Insurance
It is possible to insure yourself against redundancy, so have a shop around on the internet for redundancy cover. The premium you’ll pay is based how much cover you require each month, and normally pays out for 12 or 24 months whilst you actively look for a new job. Be aware though that there is usually a period of time after which you take out a policy in which you are unable to make a claim – normally 90 to 120 days. If you are made redundant in that time you will not be eligible for a payout (the insurer does this to weed out people taking out the insurance who know they’re about to be made redundant).
Always check all the details before taking out these policies to ensure you are covered. Over the long-term, this type of cover can be expensive, and has been called rip-off in the past, but it might be worth the risk for a couple of years whilst things are as bad as they are.
photo credit: waffler