Having a secure job in this technology driven economy is no longer a sure thing. No matter what the smooth talking politicians say about jobs coming back home, the reality is if your skills don’t match what the economy is looking for, you are in trouble.
If you are lucky enough to be working in today’s tough economic times, that is good news and I’m happy for you. However, consider yourselves lucky since there is still a large number of people waiting to get a chance to join the workforce but are unable to do so as jobs are scarce.
Hence, do not take your good fortune for granted as so many others who are still working are doing and think that since they have been employed for a long time, they don’t have to worry. This way of thinking is wrong and can get you in trouble and you don’t want that.
These are different times and the economic conditions are far from what they were in the past. The work environment is in favor of the employers and not for the regular employee. As a result, those who are working better not get complacent about their jobs as things can change quickly. You should consider this article as an alert for you to stay on your toes.
I say this because the economic indicators which I watch on a daily basis point to a period where uncertainty in growing their profits is where we are for most companies. And that negative financial outlook is not good for the job market. As a result, they will be going a through a financial shakeup and that means there may be some restructuring of staffing levels coming down the road.
As these companies start to go over their bottom line and seeing that their sales have dropped off from what it was before, it hurts their projection for the future. In seeing these poor results, they will have to do something before conditions get worst. Most of these firms believe that they would have to keep cutting in order to boost the company’s revenues and if they don’t, they may be out of a job themselves.
In coming from a corporate organization myself, I am aware of some of the warning signs that you need to be on the lookout for. Some of the hidden warning signs are the following:
1) The CEO and other top officials begin to leave the firm abruptly
2) The company moves part of the operations out-of-town
3) The company suspends making contributions to the 401K account
4) Departments within the firm are starting to be consolidated
These are just a few of the more common strategies used when corporations are going through a financial shakeup. Plus, there are more of these types of re-engineering strategies which companies uses but I will not go any further, as I believe that you get my point.
Once you see these tendencies starting to happen, in my opinion, that is when you need to do the same in evaluating your own financial situation. In other words, don’t spend any extra money that you had saved as you may need it later to live on. This is in preparation if you are released from your job in this shakeup process. Additionally, it may be tougher than you think to find another job that will pay you the same wages and I hope that you don’t have to go through this experience.
In other words, the job market is on thin ice in a lot of our industries, and we need to be mindful of this fact. We need to update our resumes and update our technical skills where applicable, as the new jobs will require some technical expertise because the robotic age is coming fast.
In the past, you didn’t have to worry about the company’s financial standing, as long as you got your paycheck, you were okay. However, today you have stayed involved in reading how well your company is doing versus their peers. If your company doesn’t do well financially, you will be affected down the road. I know about this process all too well, because it happened to me twice, in my career.
Hence, you need to watch out closely for these warning signs, as these things can alter your financial comfort level for you and your family.
What can you do you may ask?
First, you better get your refinancing transactions done quickly to lower your expenses going forward. This period of low-interest rates will be ending soon, so expedite that process so that you get the favorable rates today.
Secondly, if possible, consolidate your debt from the high-interest credit cards to the smaller interest credit cards. If you are eligible to get one or two of those zero interest offers for a two-year period, I would advise you to do so, but don’t go crazy. Remember, you still have to pay back this money.
Third, you should try to pay back any 401K loans that you have outstanding soon as possible. You should do this in a hurry because if you are laid off, your loan balance will come due right away. And if you are unable to pay the loan off you will be hit with a stiff penalty from the IRS as an early withdrawal penalty.
Fourth, if you are going into a large purchase transaction, like a purchasing a home or having some remodeling done, you may want to expedite the process. If you are not working this opportunity goes away and you won’t know when you may get this opportunity again.
Fifth, if you can work overtime on your job, do so as much as possible. In receiving these extra funds bank it because if you are laid off, you don’t know how long it will take for you to land a new job.
This article is not meant to scare you but to alarm you that these things can happen quickly whenever a change is being done at a company. Additionally, in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with doing some planning as you never know what tomorrow will bring. These warning signs that I have outlined above, are being shared with you so that you won’t get caught off guard like so many others who will.
So if you are still working be very wise with your funds, as it will help you over those who ignore these warning signs. You should also pass this message on to your children and your relatives to do the same because if they get in trouble that will lead to YOU.