Winters Always Come – Jim Rohn

Despite calls for calm, the sad reality is that there is a tsunami of unemployment about to wash across Australia, the likes of which we have never seen before. Last week the phone went into melt-down. A senior executive who had joined an up-start business with significant family office backing had been given two options. Leave now, limited payout or hang around and work for no salary. Next phone call from a senior project director in final stage interviews with a major mining group, was told recruitment on hold. A 24-year veteran of a travel company let go with limited payout and rang for advice on trying to get Outplacement Services included in the redundancy package. A terse phone call with the HR Director ensued, and indicated that the company really didn’t want to pay for Outplacement even if it was heavily discounted to try and help the individual transition to new employment.

Businesses shutting down, employees let go, independent contractors unable to find their next gig, companies in a fight for survival. Then came the announcement that Qantas was standing down two thirds of its workforce. Unprecedented. Shocking. Tragic. My friend who owns a proud Australian marketing & promotions company on the Gold Coast that makes custom sporting uniforms for major sports teams let all their staff go, leaving just a core team to try and keep the factory running. No amount of stimulus is going to help. Then if it hadn’t been a tough enough week, I got a phone call from my brother who works in the Automotive industry. They had all been advised to expect major announcements on Monday about massive job cuts, dealerships will be shut, it is chilling to think about where these employees will find other employment. The industry which was already struggling with falling sales, the exit of Holden from Australia and trying to survive on razor thin profit margins in the single digits – we will see staff cuts of a similar magnitude to the Aviation industry.

If you work in hospitality, events, travel, restaurants, services, across the board there is tough and uncertain times ahead. Most disaster planning didn’t take into account a 90% drop in revenue overnight. So what does this mean for employees who have lost their jobs. Some tips to survive and thrive:

  1. Consider a Radical Career Change. There are opportunities in the employment market and there are some industries that are booming. You might need to undertake a radical industry shift to stay employed. Some industries post this health & financial crisis may never be the same again, or will take a decade or more to recover. Download my Free eBooks – The Executive Candidate Survival Guide & 101 Career Mistakes & Solutions. These will arm you with great advice and practical steps to pivot your career in a new direction.
  2. Target the Unadvertised Job Market. Even before this crisis, finding new employment was challenging. In all my years of recruitment, the game has truly changed and the need to tap into the unadvertised job market has stepped up. I work on a job search methodology of 100 direct approaches for new employment in 100 days. This will result in being on approximately 10 long lists, 3-4 shortlists and hopefully 1-2 job offers. This is a massive amount of leg-work to get ink on paper, a signed employment contract. In a crisis expect to make 200+ approaches to headhunters, employers, reaching out to your network to try and secure as many job interviews as possible. Even though many companies are now on a hiring freeze, you can find work if you look hard enough and go direct to the key decision maker.
  3. Gig Economy We Need to Support Each Other. More than 50% of the Australian employment market is made up of sole traders, gig economy workers, small businesses with a few contractors to deliver services. This group are particularly vulnerable in a crisis. We need to stick together and think of ways to support each other and our business eco-systems. I reached out to all my core suppliers this week and re-negotiated our terms – we want to support but we needed a reality check on the current situation. Cash is tight and the independents who will survive will re-negotiate their terms, demonstrate high levels of flexibility to try and support their vendors and suppliers. As one client said to me this week, its important that we lead and demonstrate grace and gratitude during this crisis. Reach out to independent contractors, sole-entrepreneurs, one-man bands, SME’s who are right now doing it really tough.
  4. Reset, Re-skill, Educate Yourself. Take time out and just breathe. If you are unemployed and can’t find work, use this time to re-skill and undertake education online. Our Keys to the Boardroom program is ideal, its self-paced and can be studied in the privacy of your home or office – all online delivery. We are looking for next generation directors to step up and help businesses to re-calibrate their business strategy, manage their risks and come out on the other side. Learn more here
  5. Book in for a Complimentary Board Career Assessment with CEO & Founder Kylie Hammond I am making myself 100% available during these challenging times to help with career moves so we can survive and come out on the other side of this crisis. Jim Rohn said that “life and business is like the changing seasons, but unlike the seasons that never change you can change yourself.” Winter – Learn how to survive: learn how to handle the winter, the winters always come. We all can become wiser than we were yesterday and it will sustain you. Reach out to me, let’s achieve amazing results together!

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