You’ve been laid off. Now what?
Step 1: Bust self-limiting myths
Myth #1: It’s my fault. It isn’t. In fact, people who are retrenched are often performers, says Paul Heng, founder of Next Career Consulting Group, which provides emotional and practical support to job seekers. They were simply “victims” of business changes beyond their control, such as their role becoming redundant.
Myth #2: I’m too old for a new job. “Have an open attitude to learn, and put aside your ego,” says Chan Ngee Key, career coach at Springboard Talent. This is especially so for roles that require employees to be digitally savvy – older staff should make an effort to learn these new skills.
Step 2: Know your worth
Research Your Rights. Ministry of Manpower regulations specify that upon retrenching their staff , employers must pay all salaries, including unused annual leave. There is also a minimum notice period that ranges from a day for those who have worked approximately six months to four weeks for those who have been with the company five years or more.
Refer to www.mom.gov.sg.
But Nicole Wee, associate director at TSMP Law Corporation, who handles employment disputes and advisory work, cautions that the law does not obligate employers to make retrenchment payments, unless it is specified in their contracts – even if the company has made retrenchment payments in the past.
Step 3: Get back on your feet
Send Out Your CV. Do not just talk about what your role was, Ngee Key says. “Roles and responsibilities do not equate to success or accomplishments,” he adds. Create a narrative and help the hirer see how what you have done can help them in their business needs.
Do cast a wide net, Karen says. Too often, people send out a few CVs and get demoralised when they don’t hear back, thinking they aren’t “good enough”.
“Send out 20 to 30 a day for a few days,” she suggests, and do a follow-up call with those you are keen on. When she was looking to switch industries, she sent out 50 CVs a day for five days straight – and only heard back from one company.
Prep for the Interview. Do not dwell too much on past accomplishments without telling the interviewer what you can offer, Ngee Key says. For instance, just telling a hirer you managed a team of 20 people does not give them any indication of the team’s working…