Like most happenings or experiences, not many people talk about being retrenched.
I was retrenched in May 2012 and then you seem to hear or find out that there are many other people who are or were in the same situation, and it is very scary.
Initially the settlement seems great and you go on a bit of a spree, because you have the idea that within six months you will be in another job.
But you seem to forget that you might not get the same salary as before and/or your age is/might be a stumbling block for prospective new employer(s). I had just turned 45 and was earning a decent salary working in the IT field, and I expected to find a job in six months (at most).
I withdrew some of the settlement to tide me over, but who knew how long it would be – I was at home for 18 months. I applied for any job that was in line with my knowledge and experience and even went for the odd interview and at times lowered my salary expectations, but was never hired.
I also applied to all creditors where I knew it was part of their contract for relief and not all creditors have this, as for most of them this is an additional part of the contract that the user has to apply for or as optional.
Also, most times even the institutions don't know the proper procedure or how to assist you. And who really thinks or knows that they will be retrenched in six months' or two years' time, after having been with an employer for more than 15 years?
UIF is a bonus but it only lasts for eight months and decreases as the time draws closer.
After having been at home for 18 months and with the money clearly starting to be exhausted and the stress levels rising and no prospective job in sight - even after increasing the rate of applying for jobs and networking more on jobs sites - what do you do?
Do we draw additional money from retirement funds? Do we sell the house? Downgrade to a smaller flat?
Our prayers were answered, as I eventually found employment at the end of last year (November 2013). But for others it doesn’t always work out...
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