I'm currently working in Ontario as a software developer for a regional government-funded organization which has a contract with a health-care vendor. Long-story short, it's this contract with the health-care vendor that keeps me employed in my current role.

Recently, however, I've learned that within the next 3-5 (maybe more) years it's possible, but not 100% certain, that this contract is going to go away, and the organization I'm working with is going to become a client organization for a parent company, at least as far as the vendor is concerned.

At this stage of the game there are a lot of variables and it's almost impossible to know what my fate is going to be, but I've heard it implied at least once that I may be out of a job eventually. That being said, I'd like to start preparing for the possible transition.

The kicker here is that I'm currently accruing service years for a defined benefit pension plan, and would like to continue doing so for as long as possible. So it would seem like it's in my best interest to stay with the organization as long as I can.

Given this situation, how can I best manage to prepare for a possible layoff?

I suppose that it will be wise to eventually approach my direct management and ask for more information on how this might play out. I'm confident enough in my ability to find more work. Are there any factors I'm missing here?

  • Sorry, some of those questions were for context. I've edited the question. May 25 '18 at 23:12
  • HR should be your first stop. That is what they are for. Not there is anything wrong with talking to management, however they might not be knowledgeable and in the some boat you are.
    – Keltari
    May 25 '18 at 23:18
  • How old are you and I assume that you worried that you will be transferred to the "vendor" also which country are you in I am kind of assuming the UK or EU here May 26 '18 at 15:47
  • I'm 32, based out of Ontario, Canada May 27 '18 at 19:11

It's never too early to network.

Sounds like your priority is to stay with your current employer (the regional government-funded organization) at all costs, in order to maximize your DB pension.

This is understandable, as I would guess many (or most) employees working for employers offering DB plans are in it for the long haul. Such is the nature of DB formulas, in particular years-of-service and salary multipliers when computing the benefit amount.

To stay with your current employer in the face of potential layoffs 3-5 years out, you better start -- or perhaps, don't stop -- networking within your organization.

It may be too early to start putting out feelers for vacancies, but it's never too early to start making connections in different departments or on different projects within your organization, and learning what you can about their micro-climates in terms of recent and anticipated funding outlook, projects coming down the pipe in the coming year or two, political/cultural nuances, etc.

While you are doing that, don't make it too obvious to your current team or leadership that you are looking to leave: lest they interpret it that you are unhappy where you are, so you might end up first on the chopping block. In other words don't accidentally cut the branch you are sitting on now.

So yes, this is my best advice at this early stage. Network, connect, learn, and work on cementing your reputation as a solid team player and performer, and not a troublemaker. Fly under the radar and do your reconnaissance. When the time comes this investment will pay dividends in opportunities for internal lateral transfer or promotion. Good luck!


3 - 5 years is way to long to be worried. Most people only stay with their jobs for 3.5.

It is impossible for direct management to do anything about it now. Do not talk to them about it if the focus is your job, if you have to talk about it, do it from a business/learning point of view. I would be upset if an employee asked me if their job was in danger 3 to 5 years in the future.

Focus on your work, do a good job and if you get laid-off hopefully you will get a few good referrals. Being laid-off isn't bad, especially as a software-developer, companies come and go, but good developers are hard to find.

  • 1
    not terribly useful comment and its a very pious one ) as the OP is in a DB pension don't assume that this is a US - they are asking how to play the game to get the most years in the pension. May 26 '18 at 15:44
  • But the game IS ridiculously long. Longer than many software employments last.
    – TomTom
    Jun 18 '18 at 17:51

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