In the last couple of months, the world as we know it has changed drastically, stumbling into survival mode as it struggles to adapt to new realities. This is equally true for the global workforce, as people are increasingly concerned about their job security during and after COVID-19. The truth is that there is no better company culture test than a crisis because how employees are treated in the bad times is what they will remember when the good times return.
In uncertain times, organisations ask themselves whether or not to hire new employees, to retrain and upskill people or to lay off a part of the workforce. These questions will be answered largely by looking at an organisation’s strategic plan and matching a performance management process to that.
Business decisions during the crisis
Rather than laying off employees, there’s usually a whole range of measures that can be taken without permanently getting rid of employees. For example, companies can reduce regular and overtime hours, eliminate bonuses and pay reviews, impose a hiring freeze, create sabbatical programmes, make use of government-supported schemes for shorter workweeks or switch full-time employees to part-time.
However, if there aren’t sufficient financial resources to sustain their employees, many companies are forced to lay off staff in masses during times of crisis. While it’s the most effective measure to cut costs in the long run, it has very obvious drawbacks too - its effect on remaining employees’ commitment towards the company. Yet, most employees will rise to the challenge of a recession if they know that their hard work will be rewarded with job security.
Resilience is key
Losing your job during a global pandemic sucks big time, and it’s needless to say that the current situation brings a lot of stress and uncertainty about the future. However, there comes a point where it’s time to pick up the pieces and seize new opportunities!
You can use this time wisely and update your CV and portfolio/ cover letter. In your CV, don’t list all of your previous jobs, unless all of them are relevant to your current situation. Focus on the workplaces and experiences that benefit you the most, and list your greatest achievements and areas of focus. Also, make sure to attach your portfolio and/or cover letter to back up your story.
Think about plan A, B & C: before scanning every job search platform for your next job, take a step back to reflect on your career goal and map out your next steps accordingly. Once you have that figured out, add a twist in your job hunt approach and put together a list of 10-15 companies that you’d really like to work for. This way you’ll proactively shortlist your favourite brands and it will give you control over the job search process.
Also, maybe it’s worth giving freelancing a chance: at the moment companies are looking for people who can jump in, solve a specific problem and then leave. If taking full ownership over your own success is appealing to you - then you should seriously consider becoming a freelance consultant. It’s the quickest path to self-reliance, as you can be courting a prospective client today and billing them tomorrow.