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Where do you go when you have nowhere to go?

An IRS Research report, soon to appear in Employment Review, will show that over a third of their 266 respondent companies have taken 'creative' routes to avoid making redundancies. Specifically one in five (18.3%) respondents introduced short-time working or reduced overtime to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies during 2008. A similar proportion (17.8%) looked at pay cuts and pay freezes to make enough cuts and save jobs.

Not every company out there will look at cutting staff. One we know of has divested itself of a fleet of company cars that saved a cool and instant one million pounds leasing costs. However, they warned that staffing cuts were on a future agenda if things didn't look up.

So what DO you do when your job is no longer your job. Someone once said to me that she could only double dig the garden twice and then she needed a job to use her brain.

If you have a thing about not wanting temporary work, it may well be time to change that. Permanent recruitment activity in many companies and organisations is either on hold or only happening when mission critical.

Mark Cahill, Manpower UK’s managing director, says that after a period of uncertainty, in which many employers put off making any changes to staffing levels, temporary recruitment could be given a boost. "As businesses adjust and reassess their workforce needs, we are more likely to see employers hire temporary over permanent staff until such time as the economic outlook stabilises. The lure of a temporary workforce is that it is highly flexible… Employers should look at redeploying their existing workforce or consider creative solutions that will allow them to retain their workforce during this difficult time, before making redundancies."

There are very few people that I have encountered in over twenty years of recruitment who haven't recommended temporary work once they have done it.

Some of the positives:

  • Meet new people – satisfies the networking criteria
  • Learn about new organisations and their ways of working – satisfies the develop your knowledge criteria
  • Do a different job and learn new skills – satisfies the CPD aim
  • Earn money (even if it is less than you are used to) – satisfies the bank manager
  • Sense of purpose in going to work – satisfies the soul


Get that CV out, dust it off, brush up your interview techniques and remember that now, more than ever, you have to be 'simply the best'.

If you DO find yourself with nowhere to go. Refer back to your goals. Think about what really matters in your life. There are people in Gaza and Zimbabwe and other less challenging places that might perhaps make good use of your skills for a year or two. Is it time to volunteer? Perhaps a year out travelling? Mortgaged and worried? Speak up – don’t hide from it. Of course it will be painful, but don’t let it be the end of your world.

It may not be obvious at first sight but there is always a solution. 

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