Take the 2-minute tour ×
The Workplace Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for members of the workforce navigating the professional setting. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I spent a summer working as an engineer for a cool company working on biotech. They liked me and wanted me to return after graduation, I even got a scholarship from them (which I would have to return if I were not to work with the company for 2 years).

I finished my degree (top marks) and decided to join them; although by that time my interest has shifted more towards software, mathematical modelling, finance.

The company has changed quite a bit since my internship and I did not like the new changes. In my free time I was looking for alternative job options, but so far did not manage to find any amazing alternatives. And whilst I am searching, it is good to have the financial stability of regular income.

However, recently the company announced that it is in big financial trouble and that it will be making salary cuts and likely firing some employees. I feel that I will be offered to leave, as there has been some friction between me and my manager. How should I behave? Is it better to resign gracefully or hold onto financially stability as long as I can and wait for a notice "you're fired" in a months time or so (that probably will not look very good on a CV)?

Your advice and opinions would be very much appreciated. Sorry for my English.

share|improve this question
26  
Being laid off because a company was in financial trouble and had to cut employee numbers really doesn't look bad on your CV. It's definitely not the same situation as being "fired" which implies that you were in some way deficient or committed some misconduct. –  Carson63000 Mar 25 at 6:59
5  
"which I would have to return if I were not to work with the company for 2 years" -- this sounds like a colossal deal. If you resign you owe them a tonne of money, if they lay you off you don't. So don't resign unless the benefit of doing so outweighs the cost, which seems unlikely in this case. And if you're offered voluntary redundancy, check that accepting it doesn't trigger the scholarship repayment. –  Steve Jessop Mar 25 at 13:29
1  
@A.L.Verminburger: OK, so maybe not a "colossal deal", but one worth bearing in mind. If you want the financial stability of an income while looking for another job (entirely reasonable having been earning only 6 months), then I'd guess taking an extra 1.2 month loss is not negligible. Depending on the repayment terms it's equivalent to being without income for an additional 5 weeks on top of whatever it really turns out to be :-) –  Steve Jessop Mar 25 at 13:54

7 Answers 7

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Right now, you've got a paycheck coming in, so you can afford to be more picky about which job offers you entertain.

Look for your next opportunity, and in the meantime, keep doing your best work. There's a difference between getting fired because of cutbacks vs poor performance - will your employer write a letter for you to that effect?

If they're announcing or hinting at these pending terminations, perhaps you could ask? If a great opportunity presents itself, go for it. I got let go for the same reasons, and wound up in a pretty good job. I explained the situation, and they didn't think twice about hiring me. Also, might you get any kind of severance package? Something else to consider.?......

share|improve this answer
5  
+1 for mentioning the severance package alone. –  Stephan Kolassa Mar 25 at 7:50
3  
Depending on where you're located, the difference between being let go and resigning can also influence whether you can get unemployment while you're looking for the next job. –  Sean Duggan Mar 25 at 12:31

I agree with others: stay onboard while you can.

Also, I'll add: be very discreet with your job hunt. Do not let them know you are looking for a job. That could make things difficult for you and limit your options.

There is also an unlikely, but not unheard of event: the company may change back into the one you enjoyed previously. Another good reason to keep your job hunt unknown.

Your English is exceptionally good.

share|improve this answer

I will also point out that with a layoff you will likely get unemployment (At least in the US, laws vary from country to country). And a layoff will not harm your career, it is not the same thing as getting fired for cause. So keep working until the layoff and keep looking for another job in the meantime. At this point your first concern is to keep money coming in while you look for something else.

share|improve this answer

If at all possible, leave under circumstances you control. In short, don't be turned out on the street at the same time dozens of people are also cleaning out their desks.

Under the circumstances, it doesn't appear you'll have too much problem finding work. Having a combination of mechanical engineering and software seems like a charmed existence. Unless you're in the middle of nowhere, you should be able to find work before they let you go.

share|improve this answer

There is a big difference between being made redundant and being fired. Being fired implies wrong-doing on your part that led to them firing you. Being made redundant means the company was in trouble and had to let people go.

Being made redundant doesn't impact your CV either way. Just make sure you are clear about it being redundancy not being fired. Also don't put negative feelings or mentions of friction on your CV. Always build up your achievements and focus on things you learned, or training you received, new skills you aquired, etc.

i.e.

Worked at X for 6 months.

I enjoyed my time at X and learned Y and Z but unfortunately the company had a round of redundancies shortly after I joined and I was made redundant.

share|improve this answer

After being in the business world for 30 years, first rule.

Do Not Resign!

If the company is going under let them "let you go", you were probably hired under right to work so they need no reason to release you. Even though you have been employed only 6 months you may be able to get some unemployment assistance.

Read the agreement on your scholarship carefully to make sure if they release you, that you are freed from the burden of pay back. Make sure you keep & print every email they send you on the topic along with every letter they give you and document every meeting with you supervisor with dates, times and speaking points of the meeting.

If they try to fire you for incompetence or other issues, beside economic layoff, you would probably still owe them, so it is good to have your ducks in a row to demonstrate why you were let go. ......

share|improve this answer

DO NOT resign. Under no circumstances should you resign. Unless the law has changed grossly in the last few weeks, if you are let go involuntarily you should be able to collect unemployment payments while still looking for work. This is a nice safety net. If things go south on you before you can find a new job, you'll at least have SOME money coming in.

If you leave voluntarily, you have no such protection.

In the meantime, get that resume polished up and be looking. BUT DO NOT VOLUNTARILY LEAVE UNTIL YOU HAVE A PLACE TO GO. Unemployment insurance is there for a reason -- do not be ashamed to take advantage of it.

share|improve this answer
1  
You mention "the law". Where? More importantly, are you in the same locale as the OP? –  Chris Lively Mar 25 at 20:43

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.