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Question :

I have heard through the grapevine that we’re downsizing and I’m really worried about my job. I try to prove my value and am putting in extra hours to show management I’m indispensable. I wonder if this will help, or should I look for another job? The trouble is, I don’t have time to look due to the long work hours and I’m so tired after. Also, I can’t afford to take leave for any interviews. It’s been so long since I was in the job market. Any guidance for my situation is much appreciated. 

Posted by Wong Sang on Saturday, 12 Jul 2014

Comments :

Your concerns are understandable, and I’ll address in particular the viability of the company, and your lack of up-to-date knowledge and experience around finding a new job. 
I strongly recommend you continue with your conscientious and hardworking approach. When they downsize, companies make decisions on which employees stay and which go on a variety of factors, but one of those factors is often how committed and capable an employee is. While it may not prevent you from being made redundant, it will certainly reduce the likelihood of that happening. 

However, whatever the financial health of your employer, I recommend you ensure your work skills and capability are always up to date, because if they are then you will to remain marketable and in demand by other employers. It is better to be employable than to be employed, because if you should be made redundant by your company, you can then find another job with minimum difficulty.

This first involves you becoming job ready by spending time reviewing and assessing yourself and your portfolio of knowledge skills and experience. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What do you enjoy and not enjoy doing at work? What special responsibilities or achievements do you have? What is special or unique about you at work compared to your colleagues and other potential jobseekers in the market? 

You should enlist the help of your friends and family as well as trusted colleagues, and ideally a current or former manager to give you their feedback and opinions on your capability. 
In addition, if you were to move to another company, what would you like your position in that company to be? Do you have the necessary knowledge skills and experience to undertake that job? If you do, then you are in good shape. If you don’t then you need to focus on acquiring or developing those skills and experience in your current role in your current company if you can. 

You may need to undertake additional training courses or attend relevant seminars.

The other aspect of being job ready involves the practical aspects surrounding your job search. You will now have a good understanding of who you are and your capability. Translate this knowledge into a résumé you can use for applying for other jobs if you need to and hone your interview techniques.

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