I’m so afraid of losing my job. Fear grips many employees in our company because of the news thru the grapevine that our company will close down, will be bought or will downsize. We don’t know when and how. Our VP/GM is always out of the office so not one of us is able to get confirmation from him about these rumors. Our department managers including my boss are not telling us anything and their silence adds to our fears and insecurities.
I’ve been with this company for 15 years now and an admin supervisor for 9 years. I’m 42 years old, married and mother of 3 children all of school age.
I’ve prepared a good resume but I am hesitant to send it out because of the fear that I won’t be able to come for interviews if called. I can’t afford to be absent for fear that my boss, who is very strict, will take it against me and I’d be one of the first to go.
At 42, am I still employable? Do I have a chance to be employed by a good company with so many young people out there also looking for jobs? I can’t be with out any job as we need money very badly. My husband and my combined income are just adequate for our needs. Please advise me.
Mrs. So Anxious
Your fear is understandable particularly since upper management obviously does not have any communication program to handle the grapevine. However, you can lessen your anxiety and insecurity by being proactive.
There are certain positive things you can do and the sooner you do them, the better you would be. You can do all these things at the same time.
1. Do not be concerned about your age; make yourself employable. There are companies that put premium on skills and work experience.
- Begin to look at your current skills and how your boss has appraised you in the past. Identify areas for improvement. Your immediate career goal is to achieve mastery of the skills expected of your position.
- Develop related skills, i.e. those skills that will enhance your work productivity. As admin supervisor, the skills related to admin work are computer skills, leadership skills, communication skills and the like. Gain mastery of these, too.
- Be visible to co-employees thru the quality of your work and your interpersonal skills. Your co-employees who are taken by other companies may remember you for job vacancies in the new organization they will join.
- Volunteer for projects in your department or even in other departments that have high visibility, such as celebrations of company milestones and holidays
2. Increase your employability and your options.
- What skills are you interested in and which are in demand in the job market? Refer to classified ads for vacant positions advertised. List down the skills that are in demand. Identify the skills you are interested in and develop them by investing in training programs on your own. TESDA is a good source of information on technical skills training programs. Access TESDA online.
- What hobbies do you have that can be turned into a livelihood and make you an entrepreneur? For example, if there are pastries that you can bake and produce in quantity, these can be sold in outlets or in schools or in neighborhood sari-sari stores. Many successful bake shops started as hobbies of an enterprising house wife, or a teacher or an employee who retired from work. Look up online Technology Resource Center for courses offered, schedules, and cost.
- List down all the options you have. Having a list can lessen your fears that you are not helpless and hopeless.
3. Send out copies of your resumes to companies where you want to work. Don’t wait for the time you have no job. The best time to apply is when you have a job.
- I suggest you read about good resumes and improve what you now have. There are good books on resume preparation or you can access online on how to write good resumes. A well-written resume can open the door for interviews.
4. The schedule for interviews will depend on the availability of the recruitment staff who will interview you. When this occurs, request your boss to allow you to have under time or take a leave, even without pay. Tell your boss about your situation. If you catch him in his right mood, you can be upfront with him of your plan to job hunt since you feel insecure about the news of your company’s probable closure or downsizing, and that you want to be sure you have a job as you have three children in school.
- I suggest you read on how to prepare for job interviews and how to answer frequently asked questions. You must always do your best in every interview. You are making an investment of your time so get the most out of every interview. Make every interview better than the last one.
5. Build and expand your network. Pursue networking in an organized manner. Update the names that you have and call up probable contacts and get their contacts, too.
- Help your co-employees with your network. Help them with your contacts and they are likely to help you with theirs.
6. Live simply. Buy only what is needed. Postpone spending if you can. Have your family plan your budget with you, on a month to month basis. Live by your budget. Let your children know about your situation and encourage them to have simple tastes, eat simple food, have simple entertainment, etc. The more liquid you are the better in this time of uncertainty.
God bless you.