With 2015 the worst year for job loss in Alberta since 1982, job security is still a fear for many Albertans.
Even if you know it’s coming, no one is ever fully prepared for that awful moment when the big boss calls you into the office and gives you the, “Thank you for your service” speech. Sometimes the speech is skipped altogether.
But there are plans workers can put in place when termination seems imminent. Here are some strategies to protect workers in the case of looming job loss:
1. Have a resume ready
The first thing most people who are laid off are tasked with doing is finding a new job, which is no easy feat — especially in today’s economic climate. Even if you currently have a steady job, it doesn’t hurt to iron out your resume.
Resumes should be polished, up-to-date and include your current job and references. The Alberta government offers resume review services and most municipalities offer local services as well.
2. Legal rights
In the case of job loss, many employers will offer settlements or severance packages. Even though they might look fair, or even more than expected, it is still your right as a worker to investigate your worth.
Contacting a lawyer or accessing social service supports such as Alberta Works can give you a better sense of what you are entitled to as a worker and if you should take the settlement offered to you. Doing research beforehand can avoid last minute scrambles for legal aid in the case of job loss.
3. Weighing your options
Especially if you work in the oil and gas industry, there is a possibility you may have to look down other avenues if cutbacks are pending. Even though you may have been hired for one gig, chances are you have skills for many other jobs.
The Alberta government has all sorts of career planning resources easily accessible online. In this economic climate, it never hurts to have a plan B.
4. Are you protected?
Depending on where you work, being part of a labour union can be a lifesaver when facing job loss. Whether you’re supporting a family or starting out your career alone, getting laid off is not something any one wants to deal with alone.
Having a union to back you up when facing cut backs or job loss is so important. It is also a great place to start when understanding you rights as a worker and how collective bargaining can protect you. Being part of a union can also protect your seniority and qualification for all classifications in the workplace.