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The mantra of the times is cost cutting. The axe of cost cutting invariably falls on the employees. It is either through wage reduction, reduced bonuses, reduction of other benefits, reduced work hours or in a worst case scenario in the form job losses.

In most countries unemployment rates are hitting close to double digits, the worst case scenario might soon become a reality for anybody including you. In such a situation, it is imperative that you should have a plan B ready.

Instead of waiting for a surprise and acting re actively, it is important for you do a realistic assessment of your current situation.

Each and every one of you must have an understanding of your employer’s financial situation and strategy, your own function/department current state and whether there is any danger of retrenchment at your level. Once you access the macro and micro level picture, you need to play your next steps accordingly.

You may not have a choice but to look out for alternate employment if you feel that you may be in the firing line. It may not be easy in the current situation. However the current economic situation gives you an excellent opportunity to do what you always wanted to do.

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A job loss or a potential job loss might be an excellent excuse for you to change your field and move into the field of your liking. An engineer may want to get into arts and a banker may want to get into farming. This might prove to be a once in a life time opportunity and catalyst for such a shift.

If you don’t foresee an immediate threat to your job, however at the same time don’t feel confident about your situation in the medium term, you need to adopt a different strategy. As long as the company you work with doesn’t look like winding up/closing down, the first option to be explored should be within your employer.

Being fair to yourself, you need to treat your employer as your customer and demonstrate value for the salary you are earning. If you feel the same is not the case in your current role, you should position yourself for an alternate role that is a better fit for your potential and will help bring more visible benefits to your employer.

Such an alternate role may be in the same or different function. Such a positioning and the subsequent change to your role may not happen overnight. However this paradigm shift in your outlook towards your employer will definitely help you in the medium to long run.

One important alternate option you need to consider is honing your professional skills. It is an excellent time to consider education in your field of liking, be it a management degree or a certification in any technical subject.

It should be something which will give you satisfaction and the edge required to move ahead. The thing you should keep in mind is to be careful on how much money you spend as fees. The last thing you want is getting stuck in a ROI loop.

Last and not the least, your best option for plan B depends on how much you have saved in your coffers for the bad times. If you have enough bank balance, what about an extended vacation for globe trotting?

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