If job loss headlines are keeping you up all night, taking action might help.
the main points
- Microsoft will lay off 10,000 workers – about 5% of its workforce.
- The tech giant’s downsizing follows moves from other tech companies and banks.
- Back up your money and dump your resume if you’re worried about your job.
Microsoft is the latest tech giant to announce major job cuts, with plans to lay off 10,000 workers in the coming months. Cuts represent about 5% of the workforce, and according to The New York TimesIt’s the biggest round of layoffs the company has run in eight years.
What drives microsoft layoffs
In a note to employees, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella said, “We are living through times of great change.” He explained that there are several factors behind the layoffs, one of which is economic uncertainty — parts of the world are already in a recession and others are preparing for one. Plus, customers who spent more during the pandemic are now dropping back. Finally, on a positive note, he said that advances in artificial intelligence mean the advent of a new wave of computing.
The announcement of the job losses comes as other technology and banking firms shed their jobs. Amazon, Meta, and Twitter have all cut staff recently, as have Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. So far, other sectors have not been affected. But the fear is that the cost-cutting measures will spread to other industries, especially if the United States enters a recession.
What to do if you are worried about your job
Job cut news is always hard, and it’s not surprising that people are worried about their jobs. The more prepared you are financially and career-wise, the better able you will be to handle changes in your employment situation. Here are some steps to take.
1. Check your career
It’s always easier to do the evaluation when you’re still in a job where the pressure is less. The past few years have seen a lot of shifts in the way people view their careers, so take some time to think about what you actually want. Do you want to stay in your current job? Have you been thinking of switching to something new?
If you want to stay in your job, it may be worth talking to your manager to see if you can take on any additional responsibilities, or simply reaffirm your commitment to staying in the position. They may not be able to reassure you about the future, as none of us know what might happen. But at least they’ll know you’re not planning on leaving.
If you want to change jobs, think about what you want to do and what steps you need to take. Perhaps you want to make your side hustle a major source of income. Create a plan for how this will happen and what milestones you need to achieve along the way. If you’re looking to move to a different company or a different job entirely, what skills will you need and how can you get them? Who can help you with advice or contacts?
2. Get rid of your resume
Like career planning, resume writing is easiest to do when you’re still in a job. Even if you don’t want to leave your current job, there’s no harm in updating your resume. While you’re at it, see if there’s any new information you can add to your LinkedIn profile. Think about what transferable skills might make you attractive to potential employers. It is also helpful to have access to your professional network, as these connections can prove invaluable in your job search.
3. Understand any health and retirement benefits you receive
If you have a 401(k) business plan, there are a few things you can do with your retirement money if you leave the company. You can leave it where it is, switch it over to your new company’s plan, or roll it into your Individual Retirement Account (IRA). You can also cash out entirely, but this can be costly.
If you have health insurance through your company, something called COBRA can entitle you to stay on the plan you’re using after a job loss, but it can be costly. Look at the options available on both fronts. You don’t need to make any decisions right now, but it’s nice to have these things on your radar.
4. Stock up on your emergency fund and pay down debt
A three- to six-month emergency fund can be an excellent protection against any financial emergency, including job loss. Some advise getting rid of more than that, especially with a potential recession approaching. If you don’t have as much in your savings account as you’d like, make this a priority.
If you carry high-interest debt, such as a credit card balance, it can lower your cost of living. Even more so if you stop earning as much as you used to. Check out some of the different ways to pay off debt and see what steps you can take today to reduce your credit.
Whether it’s an emergency fund or debt payments, you may need to reduce your current expenses to put more money into building financial security. Take a look at how much goes into your bank account each month compared to how much you spend. The gap between the two is money you can use to save or go into debt, so look for ways to spend less or earn more. A budget app may help you identify areas where you can cut back a bit.
It’s only natural to worry when big companies lay off employees. Try to remind yourself that economic downturns are a normal part of every cycle and they pass. Plus, for all its death-mongering, the US may still be able to avoid a recession. And even if we enter turbulent economic waters, it will be one of the most anticipated downturns ever. This means that more companies are as ready as they ever will be. Try not to freak out — you’ve outgrown the chaos of the pandemic and the price hikes of the past year, and you’ll outgrow whatever 2023 brings, too.
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