Is your job secure? Why You Should Have A Plan B


Is Your Job Secure? Should You be Developing a Plan B?

is your job secure

Is your job secure? How can you tell? This is an example of what an employer can do to you if they’ve decided to try and get you to leave. It’s not something I’ve shared in full with many people but I decided to do so in case anyone else is experiencing this.

I used to work for the local office of a huge audiovisual services organisation. I had a good job as a business development manager: Nice company car, decent salary, laptop, phone and commission set up.

When the economy started to go pear shaped back in 2008 I started seeing colleagues being laid off. Sales people, technical and operations staff – no one’s job was safe. I survived a few rounds of redundancy but eventually in 2010 it was my turn Even though I was still “bringing home the bacon”. Is your job secure? If you see this pattern in your industry you have to take a realistic view on that.

Is Your Job Secure In the Present Economy

I’d been with that company for 12 years. I was in my forties. On the plus side, because of my length of service, I did get enough of a settlement to keep me going for a while. I was given 3 months garden leave at full pay as well and got to keep the car for that period too. Could have been worse – it got worse….

I had built a decent reputation and my ex colleagues put the word out for me too. This meant that a couple of competitors got in touch and a job offer was on the table fairly soon. The job was with a much smaller but very well established family run business – previously a fierce competitor – but needs must. Is your job secure with a competitor after redundancy? Read on.

I accepted a lower starting salary than I’d previously had on the proviso that this would increase after a trial period. That went well and although, I was still on a little less money and a pretty vague commission deal, I counted myself lucky to have found employment again. Little did I know then, my troubles were only just starting…

Working for a family business – unless you’re part of the family – is a little weird. Is your job secure when family members are employees? unlikely. The boss’s sons had key roles in the company even though they clearly weren’t all that interested in it. They had a job for life. The weird thing was that the boss had an underling – a golden boy who was in effect my direct boss. He had no experience in the industry and was universally despised by everyone in the company except of course the owner of the company.

He reminded me if the character Worm tongue from Lord of the Rings – whispering poison into the king’s ear – feathering his little nest.

is your job secure

Is YOUR Job secure? No but HIS is !

Is Your Job Secure – A Cautionary Tale

We were in an industry going through very hard times and this can create a culture of politics and blame. You can’t help but being a little paranoid in this environment – is your job secure? is anyone’s ? That was certainly the atmosphere in this company and old Wormtongue thrived in this environment. As far as anyone could see this was in fact his biggest talent. I’ve heard since that he’s finally been rumbled and sent packing. How sad.

I was bringing in work. I brought some of my old clients with me and was bringing in new ones and building relationships with others. Still though it was not enough. Murmurs began – It looked like the sales team of 3 was possibly not justifiable. Who do you think was going to make damned sure his job was safe? You got it, good old Wormtongue. It’s not usually much use asking “is my job secure” of a superior who is only interested in number 1

One day myself and the other sales executive were asking him a few awkward questions. Nothing nasty just things like what he was doing in the office all day while we were out looking for business. He was the sales manager after all so where was the management? What were his plans?

Bizarrely he jumped up from his desk and with the words “I can’t deal with this!” He stormed out of the office. I went after him but he was out of there. I would soon find out I’d made a dangerous enemy. Is your job secure if you find yourself in this situation? Probably not.

Before long and obviously after he’d had a word or two with the boss, I was summoned to a meeting with them. I was told that starting the next day I would be helping out at the Edinburgh office. This meant a 100 mile a day commute there and back. It was made very clear that I was being told, not asked. Without putting it in to words the message was – if you don’t like it you know where the door is.

So I just got on with it. I knew and liked the Edinburgh team and they made sure I could start a little later and finish a little early in order to avoid the horrendous rush hour traffic. I arranged meetings closer to home when possible as well. It was actually ok. I got the feeling that this wouldn’t last though.

When it was clear that I wasn’t going to just leave a new plan was hatched. Again I was summoned to a meeting. This time I nearly did tell them where to go. I certainly decided to look for something else.

Politics and Paranoia – Is Your Job Secure? Should You Have a Plan B?

is your job secure

For some time the entire sales team had been trying to win the audiovisual support contract for a very big venue. Eventually we got the contract – guess who claimed the credit? Yep ! Well done. Just to top things off they had agreed as part of the contract that the company would provide a full time business development manager /technician. Guess who it had been decided would be ” the best man for job” ? If you find yourself being shoe horned into basically a different job – is your job secure?  hmmmm….

Yes, right again, yours truly. So I found myself based in a grotty office which was shared with the venue banqueting staff. I had limited access to the phone, the worst Internet connection known to man and had to start an hour earlier than my contracted time. If you can’t access your database, email and CRM is your job secure – can you even actually do your job?

I was supposed to continue doing business development for the company both for events in the venue and outside. At the same time I was expected to set up basic AV for 8 meeting rooms and be available to provide tech support at the same time. This meant constant interruptions to go and sort out technical problems. I had to attend meetings to plan what equipment was needed for the following week. These requirements were subject to change at short notice. I would get phone calls at lunchtimes, while I was out of the venue for meetings, on my way home and even late at night when I was home.

Again I tried to make the best of it. I did have some senior people on my side in the company and It did look like attempts were being made to get me out of there. So I just got on with it. Call it bloody mindedness but if they wanted to pay me an executive salary – I even got a new company car – for a technician’s job, who was I to complain? Eventually though myself and several others were made redundant. This time with no settlement as I’d been there just under 2 years. Nice eh? Is your job secure if your instincts are telling you to run away I’d urge you to listen to them.

I had several severance meetings with my employer – actually with one of his sons. In each I explained the untenable situation I was in but they just did not accept my standpoint – even though the evidence was very clear. I did take some legal advice on this but was advised it wouldn’t be worth pursuing. I was told that I had a good case for grievance but that at the end of the day it would be my word against theirs. My contract (the small print is the killer) provided the employer with enough leeway to get away with everything they had done. In the end what it came down to was that they needed to save money.

Is Your Job Secure If They start Messing You Around?
is your job secure

Is your job secure? Is Mine? Is hers?

You are probably wondering why the hell anyone would allow themselves to be treated this way. I must admit while going over it all – I wonder myself. All I can really say is that I was scared of losing everything my partner and I had built up. We had bought a new house just before my first redundancy and had since borrowed against it to buy a car for her driving school business. In hindsight, thank god we did that as her business has thrived and has given us an income that has allowed me to start my own business.

So to summarise. Although I’m still bitter about all of the above, as a business owner myself now I can see why difficult decisions need to be made. My first redundancy was actually handled with decency. I had the severance pay, the paid garden leave and the use of the car. Since I actually got another job during that period I had quite a bit of savings in the bank. My first plan B – an internet franchise business hadn’t worked out but I was able to get a refund, and I got a nice PPI claim settled. I was actually in a very good position to look at starting a business. As you can imagine the Idea of being an employee agin was not appealing.

Is your job secure then in the current economy? I don’t know. If you see anything like what I’ve described happening to you or your colleagues I’d certainly advise you to start looking at a backup plan. As an employee, the rights you have depend a lot on your length of service. In competitive industries – especially in hard times, business development and sales people are often made redundant. Competitors often see an opportunity to pick up some new clients by basically buying them in via an ex employee of a competitor who has been laid off. It’s cynical and nasty but sadly a symptom of the traditional economy.

I found myself looking at self-employment – again – no guarantees but there is a whole different economy to consider if you your’e wondering is my job secure? Do I have job security. It’s a digital economy and it’s very well suited to a wide range of people. Lots of people in my predicament have found it a good place to transition to. It involves repurposing skills you already have and learning some new ones. It’s relatively inexpensive to get started and you probably have everything you need to start with already.You can start building this while still in employment too so It’s a safe option. I now know Lawyers, Doctors, ex corporate people, accountants, pilots, truck drivers and “at home mums”, who have done this. Find out more about this “Plan B” option with a series of complimentary videos on the link below.

life after redundancy