Take redundancy or take a reduced role. What would you do?

Obviously I’m not going to let some people I’ve never met make a life-altering decision for me, but I figured posting about this might at least help me structure my thinking process a little better. Also I’d be the first to admit that I am probably notorious for asking for advice and not taking it. I apologise if you’ve ever been the advice-giver and it’s seemed like I’ve ignored your advice. I never ignore advice as such, I merely consider it and apply it to my overall thinking process, and usually end up doing what my gut tells me.

I do appreciate advice though. It helps inform my final decision.

What I’m saying is - I’m not asking you to tell me what I should do. I’m asking you to give me your opinion so that I can apply it to my own thinking.

So here’s what this is about -

I’ve been offered a choice -

  1. Work until the end of June and then take a 16 week pay redundancy package.

  2. Work until the end of June, then from June onwards take an altered role at reduced pay and lose the title ‘Manager’.

I don’t yet know what the reduction will be.

I need to make a decision tomorrow.

I’ve had few jobs in my life so I am not very experienced at being in this situation.

How hard is it to find a new job for someone with your skills in your area?

If it is easy to find a new job (which in most places, it’s not) I would take the redundancy.

If not, I have no problems taking a reduced pay and reduced role, since I’m a single person with all my financial ducks in a row (like you!) I can learn to live on less. While I look for another job.

Is there such a thing as unemployment pay there?

I’m thinking that you could find a much better replacement job if you’re looking full time instead of on your breaks.

There’s unemployment pay here. I’m not sure how good it is.

The problem is - I have no idea how easy it is to find a job for someone with my skills. I’ve not had the experience of doing that.

If I take the redundancy at least I know when I’ll be leaving so I can start finding a new job at an appropriate point in time prior to that date.

The pro of option 1 is- I get to still have a job. I dread the thought of looking for a new one. For someone who gets easilly depressed such as myself I don’t relish the prospect of job-hunting.

The pro of option 2 is - I get a sum of cash to tide me over while I look for a new job.

It shouldn’t be too hard to find out what unemployment is. Here, it’s half of your former salary, and taxes aren’t taken out. (You have to pay them eventually though.) You get it for 13 weeks. If you need it for an additional 13 weeks, you can get it. In 2002 they allowed a 3rd 13-week period. (Which I took, and I still couldn’t find a job.)

Take the cash and run.

Move to the mainland. If you can’t get a job in your field right now, you can do something else.

Or, take the cash and go travelling.

I think you need some excitement in your life.

I’ve been in my current job nearly 8 years and I’m so bored outta my skull, I didn’t even have to think about it. I’d take the redundancy buy off and bolt. If you’ll starve after 4 months and the job prospects in your field aren’t looking too good (e.g., where I live, I’d be screwed. There is no other job doing what I do. That’s actually fine by me; I’m all about changing careers.), then maybe you want to stick with reduced responsibilities and start floating your resume out there so you can at least pay the bills while you look.

I wouldn’t even think about making a decision unless I knew what the reduction would be. The amount of the reduction is key. Where I’m working, everyone took a 5% furlough and waved away a 2% cost of living raise. That was more than a year ago and we’re gearing up for round two. So obviously I’d consider a reduction. I wouldn’t mind losing the Manager title, unless they expected me to continue doing a manager’s job.

But some reductions are too much. If you want a decision from me, give me a couple of weeks after you’ve given me all the details, guys.

Interestingly, another island in this case…

Lobsang, would it be a huge cut in pay or just a few percent? If I were in your situation, and if I generally liked the work and the company, I’d consider staying on if the cut wasn’t too bad. Going back down to the trenches might help keep your hands-on skills up to date which will serve you well when you become a manager.

I assume you’re an E.U. citizen? Have you considered going abroad? Germany’s crying for workers these days.

I’m leaning towards taking the redundancy at this point. I will obviously wait and see what the reduction will be.

I enjoy the people (NOT the people above me) but I can’t say that I enjoy the job anymore. The alternative responsibilities sound vaguely interesting (technical support, and possible deeper involvement in our development dept) but the keyword here is ‘vaguely’. Too vague to make a clear decision based on.

I had that option once. As I was about 25 weeks pregnant at the time, it was an easy decision to take the reduction - especially since my severance package would have only been four weeks pay. Instead, I worked another four months, took my paid maternity leave, and never went back to the job.

Personally, I’m risk-averse, so I’d probably always take the reduction unless I was very certain I’d be able to find a new job quickly.

I am normally very risk-averse too. But on this occasion I have a strong sense that getting out is the right thing to do.

I’m surprised in an uncertain economy so many people are recommending Option 1. I guess it depends how sure you are you can get a comparable job with 7 months when the money runs out. I would always take Option 2 and use the time to search for the right replacement job. This goes doubly so if you feel you will have problems with depression.

Obviously though, this depends how bad of reduction we are talking about.

I was in a job a year and half ago that reduced my salary significantly simply because they could. They were clearly trying to get me to quit, but would have likely laid me off at some point later because they had the idea of me teaching them how to do the specific job, then getting someone cheaper to do it. Presumably if they did have to lay me off, they would have to pay less on their share of the unemployment. So I took the pay cut and immediately started circulating my resume everywhere I could. I got a job three months later at slightly less than I had been making originally, but well worth the minor pay cut to escape that employer.

Pretty big fucking island though - 20% of the population of the US, one of the world’s top 10 economies etc.

I would suggest taking the redundancy, and beginning the job search NOW!

It would be rare that you would find something that fits right away. And looking for a job while you still have your current title and pay level will make you more competative staying at the level you are at.

If you get an offer you like, tell them you can’t start until June, and negotiate an early exit from your current employer. They should be happy to have you leave a few weeks early and pay you out. That is - unless the agreement you sign has strong stipulations that you MUST remain until the end of June. If that is the case, be prepared to talk about this with whoever is offering you a job. New employers will frequently wait a while if they want someone.

The refusal to tell you what the reduction or role will really be should probably go in to your decision - doesnt exactly inspire confidence.

Do you feel like you’re wanted there and they’re trying to find ways to keep you, is the company in general difficulty, how many others are facing this choice, etc etc.


This is an easy decision. Don’t listen to the rest of them. Take the reduced role and start looking for a new job if you don’t like what they come up with and probably do so anyway. That buys you time and also a very legitimate reason to explain to future employers why you are looking. Tell the other ones that your current company is falling on hard times but they still need you so they kept you but you are worried about the future of your present employer so you need to explore other opportunities.

Taking the redundancy and getting thrown into a job hunting situation full-force when you aren’t used to it and have potential depression issues is a recipe for disaster. You think you will spend your time productively. You won’t, I can promise you that. Almost nobody does at first until they start to feel the pressure build and then have to make even harder choices. You will probably just dick around the house not doing much of anything productive. That isn’t a comment on you in particular. It is just what must people fall into quickly and I have done it too.

I agree with Shagnasty.

Other thoughts: The theory used to be that it was easier to find a job when you were still working. I think the idea was that the interviewer is supposed to see you as more employable than another person who is currently unemployed. I have no idea if that was true back when or if it is true today.

I agree with ZipperJJ, Shagnasty and TexasDriver in that your best bet may be Option 3: take the reduction and start looking for jobs (with the understanding that the locations to which you apply shouldn’t be limited to the Isle).

The biggest problems with that option are, first, having to explain that you’re going to need some time before you can start in the new place since you’ll have to give courtesy warning at the old one, but people are used to that; second, and only you can judge this, if you see that by working under those conditions you won’t really be “at your job” and you prefer to avoid having that poor performance in your record. The advantage is the income it means, and no small advantage it is.

And don’t make a decision until you know the details: remember it’s where the Devil hides, and I suspect his pitchfork may very well be sharpened.

Thank you for noticing me Nava. :slight_smile: