Maintaining a good employment record


MORE than a quarter of South Africans are unemployed, so one needs to treasure whatever position they have at the moment, no matter how small it may be. Firms and factories are closing doors, and workers are retrenched to cut costs. So leaving a stable job when you have not found a better one is a bad idea.


Sindy Barlett, an industrial psychologist, advises one to establish the reason why they were let go before letting their emotions run up. She says it’s important for one to fully be in understanding of their rights, because employers can sometimes go about the wrong way when dealing with dismissals. “The first step would be to establish if the dismissal was fair and if proper procedures were followed. If you are being threatened with dismissal ensure that it is fair according to the Labour Relations Act,” she advises. Approaching a dismissal with bitterness is not a good idea. Sindy says you need to address it in an assertive, yet respectful manner. If the improper procedures were taken, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) can be an option. Once you decide to go that route, you need to be prepared to lose all your rights, and the opportunity to claim the unemployment benefits too. “If you have been dismissed fairly, try to negotiate for factors such as extra time, references and how the termination will affect your future opportunities,” she advises. Career coach, Rose Mokati, says even if you have been unfairly dismissed, and you know your rights, it’s important to know the responsibilities that come with those rights and act accordingly. Rose advises one to always act professionally and protect one’s brand. She says no one wants to employ someone who runs to social media whenever things don’t go their way. “Even after you’ve been dismissed, you should never speak ill of your previous organisation,” Rose advises.


It’s likely that you will be filled with emotions of despair, anger, and hopelessness when you are faced with unemployment. Sindy says it’s important to acknowledge your feelings and thereafter deal with everything, the right way. “You need to decide how you will channel those emotions in a productive manner. Network and get your resume out there as soon as possible,” she says.


People often let emotions take over their thinking, and they act before thinking beyond the now. Others get over-excited about a new job; they pack up and leave without letting anyone know. While others drop their performance level after putting in a notice. There’s no bigger mistake in the professional world, than that of thinking that you will never meet any of your employers, or fellow employees again. It’s a small world.


Rose says it’s essential to maintain relationships with your employers and colleagues, especially after a retrenchment or resignation because you never know when you’ll need them. She says a good reputation and a thank you letter, will put you on top of their priority list should they have an opening in the future. 

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