What to Do In a Hiring Freeze

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In this economy, it isn’t everyday that your dream job comes up like it did for Mrs. LAMF. In fact, many people are fighting to keep their jobs as companies go out of business. Working hard and always trying to move up in your company is one way to ensure that you will keep your job, but nothing is full proof. No matter how hard you work or how good you are at your job, sometimes it doesn’t work out. As it just so happens, it was just a few months ago that my current employer announced a hiring freeze.

What does a Hiring Freeze really mean?

When you hear the words, ‘hiring freeze,’ what comes to mind? If you are thinking that it doesn’t sound that bad for current employees, you are wrong! I am sure you are thinking something along the lines of, “but you already work there – a hiring freeze is much different than layoffs.” While it is true that a hiring freeze doesn’t mean that layoffs are guaranteed, it is a good indicator that layoffs are just around the corner.

When I heard from my employer that they were announcing a hiring freeze, I knew it wasn’t going to be good. Just when when my wife and I were starting to have extra income each month, I felt the bad economy closing in on my financial security. I realized how vulnerable I am and nothing is secure. Even if I am a top-notch employee, that doesn’t guarantee that my position will always be there.

As it turns out, about a month after the hiring freeze was announced, my employer announced a complete organizational review. This means significant re-structuring, with everything on the line to be cut. This means entire departments could be cut – although not likely. It does almost guarantee that there will be layoffs. The worst part about it is that it is coming fast. The administration is working with a consultant to do an entire review of the budget, finding ways to cut nearly 10% of the operating budget by March. Yes, in three months I could lose my day job. I guess
my early retirement plan might be forced upon me sooner than age 27.

What to Do in a Hiring Freeze?

So, what do you do when there is a hiring freeze announced? If your employer
announces budget cuts, what should be your game plan? Here are some steps that will help improve your chances of not being laid off.

  • Start New Projects – Being proactive at your job can go a long
    way. One way to ensure that your position is kept is to assure your employer that you are irreplaceable. An easy way to accomplish this in a short time period is to put more on your plate. Think of new projects that you can take on to keep yourself busy. If you are working on a big project that will increase efficiency or help the organization, it is unlikely that your employer will let you go.
  • Look for Other Job Opportunities – There is no reason to sit
    around and wait to be cut. Act now and start looking for jobs. If you are worried that your employer will take this the wrong way, you can keep it a secret until the final rounds of interviews or when the future employer needs to contact references. Even if you don’t get another job before being laid off, looking at what jobs are available will speed up the process of finding another job after being let go.
  • Cut Unnecessary Costs – This is a great time to review your
    budget and get rid of any unnecessary expenses. There’s no reason to be eating out multiple times a month when your next paycheck is not guaranteed. Saving now can provide you an extra cushion if you lose your job.
  • Create Side Income – Another great way to be proactive is to
    create side income. Whether this is mowing your neighbor’s yard or starting a blog, earning a little extra can help you get through a difficult time. After all, money is money. If you have an extra hour or two per week, what’s stopping you from earning a little extra?

While there is nothing to guarantee that you will not be cut, you can be proactive. I am working on building up my blogging income just in case the worst happens. Other than that, I will just keep my fingers crossed that my employer realizes how much my position is necessary.

How would you respond to budget cuts at your employer?

This post was written by Corey, a staff writer from 20’s Finances and Passive Income to Retire.?

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16 comments to What to Do In a Hiring Freeze

  • These are really good strategies. It always pays to be prepared since you never know when it can happen to you.
    cashflowmantra recently posted..What is Your Position on Inflation?

  • I’ve never been in a position where I’ve been at risk of being “downsized” but it doesn’t sound like a fun one.

    At my job, budget cuts usually mean we all just get less in benefits and extras. There aren’t any paid-for company outings, there’s no budget for people to travel to conferences, and other benefits are taken away, too. Not fun, but at least we’ve all been able to keep our jobs so far.
    Jeffrey Trull recently posted..Home Workouts To Get in the Best Shape of Your Life

  • GabrielleIvan

    I may not be affected with this Hiring Freeze words, but thinking about those individuals experiencing from this is so sad… Maybe they have to be prepared and think of other alternative jobs for their living.
    GabrielleIvan recently posted..The Skiing Blog

  • While we did not hear the words Hiring Freeze, we knew the owners were struggling and they cut hours drastically. Unfortuantly this being the second year of hard knocks we are not really prepared as we have already used up all our available resources. Last year we had no work at all for an entire year and lived off scrap metaling and side jobs here and there.

    In our new area we have been looking for other opportunities but they just are not here, even Michigan Works was no help……now I sit and ponder okay so don’t LOOK for work CREATE work and that is what I am working on now!

    Great tips!
    Carrie Hetu recently posted..The $90 Grocery List

  • Good points! Control what you can when things outside your control occurs.
    krantcents recently posted..Are You Ready to Be a Landlord?

  • Those are all great ideas! At my last employer I survived 5 rounds of layoffs over 8 years. The key is not to stress over things you cannot control. Always have a plan B and should be fine.
    Kanwal Sarai @ Simply Investing recently posted..4 Steps to Saving Money This Christmas

  • Yes, that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m not worried, but I am aware of it and working to build up a backup plan, like you said.
    20’s Finances recently posted..What’s In My Wallet

  • Hunter - Financially Consumed

    I like your ideas here Derek. Looking for other jobs is great advice. I think an active and busy person is more employable than someone that waits for a job specifically in their preferred field.
    Hunter – Financially Consumed recently posted..Value Added Landlord

  • Great guest post, Corey! Your subject makes me think of the old Robert Allen saying that goes something like “There is a freedom door and a security door. Whoever reaches for the security door gets neither.” I’m sure I butchered it, but you get the point. Working for someone else is always going to mean a certain unease because you aren’t in control.
    AverageJoe recently posted..Capital Gains Distributions: Like a Secret Tax Break Speakeasy

  • […] Life and My Finances – What to Do in a Hiring Freeze […]

  • Francoise

    Is Hiring Freeze different from Freeze Hiring? What I understand is that when you say about freeze hiring, the company won’t accept applicants anymore. But about your post, the employees are probably be laid off due to cost cutting? Too bad.. You really have to move wisely, and look for another one to be more secure. But life is too hard right now, we really have to do a double job in order to have an extra budget for the family.
    Francoise recently posted..My Arowana Is Not Eating No Matter What I Do !!!

  • I would like to comment about the current condition of the american economy. This is one of the hardest periods in the countries history. Their does not seem to be any consensus about the trends for the economy one week the economic news is good the next week its bad. Their seems to be no consistency what so ever when it comes to economic matters. Mcdonald’s recently hired fifty or sixty thousand people out of one million that applied maybe mcdonald’s should change their saying you deserve a break today at mcdonald’s to you deserve a job today at mcdonald’s. As far as those banksters go I say lets exchange those three piece suits and briefcases for a pick’ a shovel’ a bucket’ and some pinstripes. Inflation Is the primary reason for much of the growing income inequality between the rich and the poor. It is also I believe the cause of the decline of the middle class. When ever the employing class and by Employing class I Mean anyone or any company That hires personal And gives them a regular paycheck. Their is always a tendency to undercompensate your personal less and less over time simply because when prices rise wages generally lag increases in prices at least for a substantial portion of the working population. Workers do not have much ability to control their wages and benifits. But companies that employ personal have much to say about the wages and benifits that their employees receive. Companies have been undercompensating their personal for decades in an attempt to increase their bottom lines. They have been systematically undercompensating their personal less than the increase in prices on purpose. The result is many workers have little income left over for any purpose other than basic needs food’ rent’ necessary clothing’ utilities’ medical bills’ Its no wonder that the economy is in serious trouble.

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