I'm probably going to lose my job...Advice?

It appears very likely that our company’s contract with our primary client will NOT be picked up again. Projects have slowed greatly this year and I don’t expect to even see any more of them beyond the few we’ve got to finish now.

Generally in my industry, this time of year is SLAMMED with field work. We’ve not had a single field job since April, which is super unusual in this line of work. Two weeks ago, my job status was changed from full time to 32 hours. Even more shocking a co-worker I’d consider more crucial than I am, and who certainly has seniority, her hours were changed to 20 or less.

The company keeps assuring us that this is only temporary while things get re-organized financially, but I don’t believe that for a minute! In addition to my spidey-senses, a recent meeting with our client representatives, where they kindly, but under the radar pretty much SAID we wouldn’t be getting the re-up of our contract (primarily due to the actions of one of my coworkers grrrrrr), has convinced me that he end is near.

I see my job probably ending in about 3 to no more than 6 weeks. It’s possible they’ll move me to 20 hours first, but I expect it to be more of a layoff. Now, I’m an employee in good standing, so it will be completely finance related if I do get laid off.

I’m already looking for a new job, and trying to figure out options for getting along without a job while I try to find a new one. Any advice or tips are greatly appreciated. If any Seattle dopers know of anything, I’d be grateful for any tips for jobs in the area as well.

One thing I’m unsure of is how to approach the whole “I’m still employed, but am looking for a new job” thing regarding having prospective employers contact my current employer. I’m not sure what to say when they ask if they can contact my current employer. I don’t want to lie or be sneaky, I want to be upfront and explain the situation, but at the same time, I’m afraid of how that might come across. Any ideas there would be greatly appreciated as well.

Thanks in advance.

Now is the best time to look. As a general rule, companies prefer to hire people who are currently employed, as that supposedly proves their industriousness and hire-ability. If you’ve been laid off for more than a few months, finding a job becomes more difficult.

Just be honest with employers when asked about your reasons for your job search. You should not diss your company, but just say that everyone’s hours are being cut and you prefer working full-time. Good luck with the hunt.

You haven’t stated exactly what line of work you do but, in general, there is nothing wrong with requesting that your present employer not be contacted while conducting a job search. Stating that you are currently employed is not a problem in any professional job search that I have ever seen. You may want to consider, when the appropriate time comes, to have a current co-worker or “higher-up” in your present job be one of your references but I always withheld a list of references until after a first interview. BTW - always ask prospective references first before putting their names down.

Thanks! My main worry is that if I tell them why I’m looking, that it will look as if I’m not loyal or dependable. I don’t want to come across as a rat deserting a sinking ship, even if that’s basically what I am doing. I like carnut’s way of putting it also.

I work in the environmental industry. But the trouble is, I’ve only been in the Seattle area for about a year and a half, I’m formerly from Alaska and had a good and longstanding reputation within my industry, so getting a new job (if for some reason I had to) was always quick and relatively pain free. While I have some good notes from our client, I’m very very new to the industry in this area.

In addition, I don’t have a degree, though I do have over 20 years in the industry and tons of experience. I also worked for over 5 years for a large well-known player in this industry, one with a great reputation, so that might help. When I left the company, I was strongly encouraged to keep checking their website in case there were openings for me. Unfortunately Seattle is NOT one of the places where they have an office with positions that I could fill. I also have super strong admin and computer skills and wouldn’t mind having to make do with a job in a slightly different industry either.

I have seen the writing on the wall for at least two months, so I’ve tried to do other things to help with the finances also. I got a roommate, am trying to sell my vehicle, and am trying to learn money saving techniques. I do qualify for UE, but it doesn’t pay enough to really pay my way, so I am hoping I can at least find a part time job that will help fill in the gaps without cutting into UE too much, if I have to go that route.

The company swears that no one is getting laid off, but I don’t believe them. My other worry is “am I being too much of a worry wort”?

A bright note is that I just found out I qualify as a veteran due to my former Air National Guard service (I didn’t know FANGs qualified! :D). I don’t know how that will help me, but if anyone is familiar with VA benefits re: jobs I’d appreciate that info too.

Thanks so much for the advice so far.

CanvasShoes - I have done job searches where I requested that my current employer not be contacted and I also did not include any references from current employer. Much of your success (or failure) will be in your ability to secure an in-person interview based on a telephone interview with a most likely non-technical corporate admin type. Be honest in giving your answers but don’t close the door on any past experience or future interest questions. After all, the purpose of the whole screening process is to sell yourself!

There is very little need in today’s job market to say much about why you are looking. The past comment regarding how much easier it is to find a job while you currently have one cannot be overstated.

Take the time to prepare well written (and that includes using spell checker and a good letter format guide) cover letters and resumes. Tailor the cover letter and resume to the specific job opening. Write a thank you note to all participants in an interview!

While emails and text messages are the new wave for day to day communications they will not win the day in technical job seeking - I am involved in applicant screening and interviewing and I am amazed at the lack of writing and communication skills of most applicants who seem to believe that responding with phrases like “2 work 4U” is appropriate (off my soap box!).

BTW, I too work in environmental consulting (could you guess water and wastewater).

Just out of curiosity - are you wiling to relocate?

That bites. The very best of luck to you.

How do you think people find new jobs? By looking while they are still employed. There’s a reason there’s almost always a box to tick saying “Don’t contact my current employer.”

Looking for a new job is not a sign of disloyalty, it’s a sign of common sense. If they ask why you are leaving, you can be perfectly honest. There’s not enough work there to keep you at full time.

Get your resume professionally redone. Start working LinkedIn like a madman.

In my 15 years of work experience and having been involved in the hiring process at probably half a dozen companies, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone’s loyalty or dependebility discussed in the context of leaving their last job.

Companies hire people because they have a desperate need to fill a specific position. The hiring manager doesn’t give a shit why you are leaving your last job so long as it’s not because you were fired for stealing or being a crack head. They just want someone to fill a need they have.

“I’m looking for a new job because my firm is cutting hours and staff” is a perfectly acceptable reason for leaving your current employer. Especially if you’ve been there a number of years.What they don’t want to see is you left your job every 6-18 months because someone else offered you a little more money.

Also, have you considered a change of industry / start a business / study?

Redundancy sucks (I’ve been there), but it can be a point to take stock of whether it’s definitely what you want to be doing.

Sounds like you’re pretty good at your existing job, but always worth throwing this out there :slight_smile:

Want some really off-the-wall advice? This is an election year in the middle of a depression. Run for office, or support someone else’s run for office (maybe as a write-in, depending on the deadlines in your state) on an economic stimulus platform: “I’m out of work and so are you! Raise taxes on the 1% and spend that money on hiring/transfer payments/government subsidies/whatever rebuilds consumer demand!” You probably won’t win, but you’ll encourage the politician who does to look beyond his nice secure government job and wonder why the peasants are so uppity.

One tip not related to the job search is to cut your expenses now. Get rid of cable and your landline, shop around for cheaper insurance, go over your bills and get rid of those subscriptions that go unused, or where you can move to an ad model.

Actually I am. My former company (the one I loved ! and worked for in Anchorage) has locations all over. I’d be interested in working for the location in NM, but my lease is not up until March, so I have to somehow stick it out here until then.

I’m very grateful for everyone’s help and tips!

Thanks! No, I wouldn’t mind that either, I’ve been in my industry for over 20 years, and I’ve loved most of it, but frankly my health and agility isn’t what it once was, so I’d be willing to change things up and do something different.

The skills I’ve learned in my current industry are, (I believe) pretty useful in many other applications.

Does your company allow you to collect examples of your work such as project descriptions put togther by your marketing department? I worked for a firm that allowed you to have cut sheets/photos/promotional material on everything you had a serious hand in as a matter of policy.

I’m working on a job search, and I’ve embarked on a serious social media campaign- joining the Twitterverse in my industry, commenting on newspaper and magazine articles related to my industry, working on a blog, applying SEO techniques to my personal content, creating a very entrepreneurial email signature and writing “hey, how’s it going” emails to everyone I know, etc.

I got my first unsolicited interview offer today by email! It’s a fair amount of effort and I have no idea how well it will work in the long run, but it seems to be helping.

Ideally, you have enough savings to last six months, with the assistance of unemployment checks. This would be the median time it takes to get another job, so if you don’t have that much stashed, go into Top Ramen mode right now. (I think your read that your job is toast is correct.)

I would definitely consider working for the only sector of the US job market that is growing–the US gummint. Quite a few federal jobs have ten- or twenty-point veteran’s preference, which means that a retarded baboon with one arm who is a veteran will outscore someone who has thirty years of experience in the position. And you can’t lose your job as a federal employee even if you kill your supervisor with an axe (true story, and no, I’m not gonna provide a citation).

In your field, there may be some expansion as the next stimulus package might contain some environmental money, but for the long term, sucking at the federal tit is the way to go. Massive bureaucracies already exist to throw money at the environment; you just need to hop on board.

Some landlords / apartment management will allow you to end your lease early if you’re relocating to another city for a job. You do want to leave on good terms in case your next landlord wants a reference from the previous.

Good. Have you started working LinkedIn similarly?