Author Topic: Preparing for potential unemployment  (Read 1356 times)

slb59

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Preparing for potential unemployment
« on: November 10, 2016, 07:48:58 AM »
Hi,

I found out yesterday that my project that I thought was secure for five years is not really that secure. If every crazy possibility happens, it could be done in three months. It could also be fine for five years, and I've been hearing from my experienced management that it'll probably be OK for 1-2 more years at least (but then, they didn't see this coming so I'm not going to just take their word for it). If it does disappear, there's a chance my company could find me another project, and I definitely will be able to find a new job just not necessarily at my current pay. So, basically, TONS of uncertainty right now but thank goodness nothing is happening tomorrow. I love my job, so all else being equal, I want to stay here as long as I can.

So, here's my questions:
1. I know others have faced possible downsizing before. I'm doing the obvious (amping up the emergency fund from 1 month to 3 months, polishing my resume, upping my networking game <shudder>), but is there something you all found really helpful/unhelpful?

2. Warning: this one is complicated. My company usually gives $2-4k in bonuses in January and July, but I opted to have them pay for me to do an MBA at the local state school and they give me $3-5k instead. My marginal tax rate is 25%, and the tuition option is both larger and tax-free, but if I'm not still with the company, I have to pay it back 100% for the first three months after I finish with 25% less to pay back every three months after that. Thoughts on which way I'd be better off? I have until early December to decide, but don't expect to get any more information on the probability of actual outcomes until January.

I keep trying to talk things through with my poor DH, but while my approach to bad news is to analyze everything and come up with a detailed plan, constantly talking and thinking about it just makes him a giant ball of stress. I've loved how this community is full of other people who like to analyze and pick things apart, too :)
« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 10:11:57 AM by slb59 »

Slee_stack

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Re: Preparing for potential unemployment
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2016, 10:48:16 AM »
Been through a layoff myself.  Not sure there's a magic bullet.  The obvious is make sure you are as desirable as possible to prospective employers.  That means in-demand skillset, good communication/presentation, and confidence.

As far as the MBA, only pursue this if you honestly believe it adds value or distinguishes you in the field you expect to be employed.  I personally see next to zero value in MBA degrees, but there are still a few companies who could treat it as a minimum requirement checkbox on an application.  If the degree ends up being a cost when you can least afford the cost, think very carefully about your ROI there.

When I hire people, I'm more interested in initiative and ability to manage a task/project and work with others over specific technical skills.  Degrees are at the very bottom of my consideration list.  I honestly don't care if you learned a skill on your own or where or who taught it to you.  Its irrelevant.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 10:51:25 AM by Slee_stack »

slb59

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Re: Preparing for potential unemployment
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2016, 11:39:26 AM »
Thanks.

Yeah, I keep going back and forth on the MBA and I bet you won't be the only one questioning it here. There are three reasons I'm doing it: 1) I live in a different city than I work, and it has been a fantastic way to get to know the local business environment, build a network, and get an "in" at local companies for when I eventually want a local job (assuming I can't find anything better that's remote because I love working from home); 2) since I'm remote, my company has made it clear they won't promote me even though I'm eligible and in an industry that is rather "up or out", so this signals I am moving my career forward and building management skills even though I don't have "Manager" on my resume yet; 3) It's always been on my "if I won the lottery" list of things to do and I genuinely am loving being back in school studying this stuff and interacting with people from so many different industries.

I know the merits of getting an MBA or not have been debated a few times here, and having read through some of those conversations, I THINK it makes sense for me and will put me in a better position for my next job especially if I want to stay in the town we currently live in (which I do). But I'm open to hearing I'm wrong :)

Taking my "bonus" as bonus instead of tuition would definitely mean no classes this spring since I'm not going to take any classes that work hasn't paid the majority of (well, 50% of if you count the lost bonus income).