As you know, the economy is not very good right now, there are very few jobs in the market and many new graduates hunting for any kind of available jobs.
Recently, my company is going through a revamp and restructuring. I have been in this company for the past 15 years. I am an administrative assistant in a shared pool of administrative and secretarial staff. I love my workplace, my job and the people that I am working with. From the shared pool of 40 staff, we have dwindled to 20 this past year. Some left because of personal reasons, but many left because they are retrenched.
During my appraisal, I asked my supervisor about this issue. As you can tell, my worries that I may one day left without a job. A job that I love so much. My supervisor told me to upgrade myself and make myself useful around the company. I’m quite baffled by his advice.
Upgrade myself? I don’t think I have the means to put myself through school again. Frankly, at my age (I’m reaching 50 soon), the last thing I want to do is to go back to textbooks. And what about the advice of making myself useful? I thought I’m pretty good at doing my job. Ain’t that useful to the company?
At this point, other than to write to you, I don’t know what else I can do. Can you kindly spare some time to explain his advice to me?
To be in a company for 15 years takes a lot of loyalty from you, and probably unnerving to see your colleagues departed one by one over the year, particularly during this restructuring exercise.
I can imagine your frustrations when you tried to seek advice from your supervisor, only to hit a brick wall. The advice of upgrading yourself isn’t a bad one, but perhaps he can explain it further and point you to resources so that you can take it further. Since he didn’t do that, please allow me to point you in the right direction.
Upgrading is one way to make sure that you remain relevant to the work you are doing. As much as we are doing great in our roles, expanding yourself by having new skills will allow you to branch into different business areas. So even if your current role is made redundant, your supervisor will be able to fit you into other business areas that require help.
The good news is that you don’t need to go back to physical school. Many skills can be upgraded through online courses, and some of them are free! These courses are accredited by top universities around the world so you will be getting top-notch education with some of the best lecturers with the best course materials. Many of these online courses can be taken at your comfort pace, so you don’t need to feel that you are constantly struggling with time management or keep up with your younger peers.
Besides upgrading yourself, I have always emphasised creating a valuable network in the industry that you are working in. To stay relevant with the current trends and movement in your industry, do attend networking events to mingle with the right crowd. Not only will you gain insights and knowledge, but building a strong network will also help you in future, should you need to look for another job.
I hope with the above explanation and resources you can better navigate yourself through the retrenchment period. Good luck!
Looking for career advice? Look no further, drop me an email at Kally@MiddleMe.net. Meanwhile, here are some A Word of Advice posts:
A Word of Advice: Talent Stuck in A Wrong Job
A Word of Advice: Expensive Office Theme
A Word of Advice: Living from Pay Check to Pay Check