Retrenchments are very difficult moments which I hope no one have to go through but yet for many of us at some point in our lives, it hits us out of the blue. The COVID-19 pandemic is still raging with no end in sight, many businesses have suffered massive losses and more are getting retrenched.

Prepare for retrenchment

Everyone should prepare for retrenchment as if the dreaded letter will be received tomorrow. It means reorganising your finances in order to have a better cushion during financial difficulties.

  • Reducing debt by paying off loans. Selling off assets, refinancing and paying off mortgages.
  • Reducing unnecessary expenditure. Cut the subscriptions(netflix, spotify, gym). Downgrade mobile plans.
  • Building a rainy day fund. Making sure you have sufficient cashflow on hand to survive at least 6 months.

Lookout early

Don’t wait for it to happen before you act on it. If you have a feeling that something bad is going to happen to you and know that the company is struggling, it is good to start looking around. As they say, it is always easier to find another job while having a job. Updating your CV and sending it around certainly won’t hurt. It’s always good to find out what’s out there rather than to scramble when the misfortune hits.

Monetise a hobby/talent

Have a talent for baking , sewing , piano or a passion for driving? The key idea to survival after being retrenched is to slow down the burning of your cash reserves. To do that, quickly pivot to a hobby and make a small business out of it. Home baking, tuition or driving grab, whatever it takes to bring in the dough. It also keeps your mind occupied and connected. Having too much time on hand tends to land one up in despair. That hobby might just become your next big breakout of corporate life.

Skills upgrading

If there is downtime, it has never been a better time to upgrade! Use the skill future credits for some short courses or enrol into a specialist diploma that you have been eyeing for so long! That very new skillset you learn might just be the missing element in your new job hunt!

Seeking help

Reach out to your network to see if there are any opportunities you could explore. Attend government career counselling and exhibitions for job matching. When feeling down, find a friend or family member to confide in. Know that the situation is temporary and everyone will get out of the rut somehow.

Managing expectations

Sometimes we try too hard to get back to what it was without realising that the peak of our career is already behind us. We let our ego and pride get in the way of moving forward. Accepting a pay cut or a smaller role can be temporary as you work and climb your way back up. The most important thing is standing up on your feet as soon as possible.


Last but not least, I would like to leave you with the quote “Tough times don’t last, tough men do!”