A couple of weeks ago, we woke up to a very different world. Voluntary and occasional work from home is now enforced isolation and we no longer meet each other in the office every day.
This however became just a minor distraction, when everyone realized that we are heading for quite possibly, the largest economic crisis since World War II.
Why? Due to the situation we find ourselves in, thousands of companies will go bust, millions of people will lose their jobs, and positions will be limited going forward. We are in unchartered territory and as such, economies will start shrinking at a pace never seen before.
Does it sound and look grim? Yes. And sadly, it will be so for many.
Job safety: gone
How can you ensure job security during this crisis, and that you won’t be part of the layoffs that so many companies are having to make? How to avoid a situation, when after years spent at a job, which up until now seemed relatively stable, you end up with no income?
Very few companies will tell you about the layoffs in advance. They will tell you about the financial situation, but the layoffs will simply come. At an all-hands meeting, you will learn about the measures that the company is taking to survive and one of them can be termination.
To start with, you’ll need to assess the likelihood of layoffs at the hand of your employer.
You will never have the exact information, but you can however do some research and analyze what you know. There are 7 areas that you should focus on:
- Market. What is the industry, who the customers of your employer are, and what the geographic structure of the market is? Online platforms, including communication, gaming, entertainment, trading, shopping, and delivery look like the most immune to the virus. In addition, if they are strong in some less affected geographical areas (China?) this can be a good sign.
On the contrary, if your employer is selling to the travel industry, retail, automotive, or brick-and-mortar B2C services, that is not a good sign.
The Company’s market situation is the strongest determining factor for the company’s future. If it can continue to attract customers and maintain the revenue, your job is relatively safe.
- Ownership. Who owns the company? Is it private, public, or state-owned? State-owned companies are the safest option right now. For publicly traded companies you can at least see how they perform by looking at their stock market value. For privately-owned companies, check who owns the company and what the owner’s current situation is.
- Size of the company. Larger companies have cash reserves in the bank to deal with such situations, so it may seem to provide better stability. But note that the bigger an organization is, the more likely you are just a row in an Excel file. A row associated with expenditure. Larger firms can simply execute group layoffs and you could find yourself in the heap.
- The past and the recent situation in the company. What can the past teach us about the future? Look at how the company behaved during the previous crisis (if it existed) and check how well the company performed in recent years. If the company generated profit, there’s a chance there is enough cash in the bank to survive the downturn (unless all the profits were paid out in dividends).
- Government support. Many countries have introduced special stimulus bills to pump money into their struggling economies. Support for the companies and for the people who will ultimately lose jobs. Does the company qualify for government support in Poland or in the home country that the business is registered in?
- Will they need me? This is particularly relevant when assessing your current employer. Will there still be work for you in weeks and months from now. Is your project running or can it be potentially canceled? This is specifically important when assessing service companies, where your salary is paid by the clients who purchase the services. If the services are no longer needed, will you be?
- Lastly, talk to the executives. Ask them more detailed questions about the market and the financial situation of the company. It is unlikely they would lie to you, but you still may need to add 2 and 2 and draw the conclusions for yourself. One of the key questions you can ask is how much cash a company has and how much is it willing to spend to survive the downturn.
Now that you have assessed your current job, you can ask the next question, which is…
…should I change my job now?
If you’re uncertain about the situation in the company, you will need to decide if you want to stay where you are or go somewhere else. If you are being offered a different job, the new company needs a similar assessment to the one you did for your current employer, so that you can rate and compare the two.
Is it the best moment to change jobs? The answer is that changing a job is risky but staying where you are can be even more so. If, where you are now, the prospects don’t look good today, it can very likely get worse in the next 12 months. So, if you have been considering changing your job in the near future, it’s probably better to do it now.
Still interested in changing your job? Check-out the job opportunities at our career website.
If you are looking for information about setting up your presence in Poland, download our Kraków IT Market Report 2019.
If you are interested in alternatives to outsourcing, contact us at MOTIFE to learn more.
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