I am a software developer in the UK, and have been actively looking for new roles. I have been at my current place of work for 3 years. I'm certainly not unhappy at my current place of work, I've just felt it's time for a change if I can find a good opportunity.

I have two interviews lined up, but I'm concerned that stagnation of the economy could lead to redundancies in any organisation, and as the "new guy" I'd be the first out the door if it came to that. Is this a valid concern, and therefore should I think very carefully before handing in notice given the current situation - or am I being melodramatic?

  • 3
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Neo
    Mar 18, 2020 at 18:33

4 Answers 4


I have two interviews lined up, but I'm concerned that stagnation of the economy could lead to redundancies in any organisation, and as the "new guy" I'd be the first out the door if it came to that. Is this a valid concern, and therefore should I think very carefully before handing in notice given the current situation - or am I being melodramatic?

You'd have to be naive or reckless to ignore the possibility - the economic situation is highly volatile at the moment and without wanting to sound like a doomsayer I think there's going to be a non-trivial amount of companies that are going to have to make cuts if not outright go under.

As the "new guy" you'd enjoy fewer protections than those with longer service (all other things being equal) since in the UK there's no requirement to pay out any redundancy pay below the two year mark and they could drop you with a minimum of fuss (no need to go through redundancy consultation periods etc).

That's not to say moving is always a bad idea - but you would be well advised to do as much due diligence as possible to ascertain the stability of the potential employer and the role. If they are hiring for a key position that has recently been vacated then that's likely to be more stable than a team that's expanding and creating new roles.

Look too at the industry sector the company is in: have they been adversely affected by recent events or are likely to? Or have they been experiencing a boom? I certainly wouldn't be looking to go into something in say an airline right now! Pharmaceuticals on the other hand...

  • Also look at the details of how the industry operates. Any effects on my job, for example, will take at least six months to filter through, because the industry operates on a yearly cycle, and we're halfway through the current cycle.
    – Mark
    Mar 17, 2020 at 22:55
  • In my country many interviews are being cancelled right now. Best advice - sit tight and wait it out !! Mar 20, 2020 at 17:45

Yes this is a valid concern and no you are not being melodramatic. It's surprising to most employees how little capital some businesses actual have. You've worked there for 3 years what's another 3 months at which point we'll know a little more of what effect this has all had.

My advice is to stay put at the moment.

Note: If your company looks like it's going under in the next few weeks then jump before you are pushed.

  • 5
    If they jump they don’t get redundancy pay. If they’re pushed they do. OP should wait and see what happens
    – Tim
    Mar 17, 2020 at 20:33
  • 2
    @Tim If the company goes under what difference does it make if you're entitled to redundancy pay or not? (granted it may make some tiny difference as you will be one of the creditors in the insolvency) Mar 17, 2020 at 22:27
  • 5
    @JonBentley generally wages come top of the pile in bankruptcy filings. I don’t see why you’d want to leave and get a guaranteed nothing is better than waiting and maybe getting something.
    – Tim
    Mar 17, 2020 at 22:28
  • 4
    @tim Leaving isn't a "guaranteed nothing", it's a new job with a risk of being lost because you are new (see the question). On the other hand, working for a company you think is going under in the next few weeks isn't just "maybe getting" redundancy pay from an insolvent company, it's also likely working for free for those weeks. To suggest that carrying on working for an imminently insolvent company and hoping to get some scraps in the filings is better than taking on a new job, is not really a sensible proposition. Mar 18, 2020 at 0:08
  • 3
    @JonBentley OP doesn’t have a new job. OP is thinking about looking for one. It would be foolish to leave without a new job. Essentially, thinking a company will go under should not change your behaviour: if you have a new job, go for it. If you don’t, keep looking, but there’s no reason to leave.
    – Tim
    Mar 18, 2020 at 0:12

as the "new guy" I'd be the first out the door...Is this a valid concern

Yes. But that's always a concern, especially if we head into a recession.

I'd be more worried about new travel arrangements, employee onboarding during all this, new social interactions - Infection related concerns, rather than employment ones.

  • 1
    Thanks for the answer - the companies I'm applying to at the moment have gone fully remote including the onboarding process (something I checked reasonably early on) so I'm not so worried about the infection concerns. Mar 17, 2020 at 11:04
  • 1
    @DavidNelson I don't think Justin means "infection" in "infection related concerns". Most likely just a lot of things that no one knows how they would work when there is no people in the offices. Unless you and companies you are applying to normally working remote (like StackOverflow itself) you may end up the first person trying it all out... Something like "how do I get my access? - hmm... Bob was always setting up things in person... let's try... 3 days later - let's try something else..." Mar 17, 2020 at 20:47
  • @DavidNelson You should really mention that in the question.
    – gerrit
    Mar 18, 2020 at 7:59

or am I being melodramatic?

Yes, I think a little bit. It's just another factor to be considered.

Realistically you analyse a companies stability anyway regardless of pandemics or anything else. During any economic problems some companies will actually do very well.

The fact that you're looking at the larger picture is a good sign for your future in itself.

  • 1
    Thanks very much. Good to hear the other perspective too. Both companies are UK based retail - I don't think they're going anywhere any time soon, but that of course doesn't mean they wouldn't hesitate to cut back if they ran into issues. Mar 17, 2020 at 13:23
  • 2
    Other factors aside you don't onboard new staff if you see any sign that your business won't be able to keep them. It's an expense in both time and $$.
    – Kilisi
    Mar 17, 2020 at 14:52
  • It's more than "just another factor to be considered". It is the factor of 2020. I'm no friend of fear-mongering but Eruope is going into absolute lock down. We've never seen something like this since the last great war. @DavidNelson
    – user115681
    Mar 17, 2020 at 21:28
  • 3
    @TheoreticalMinimum you haven't seen it, but I'm in the third World, I have seen countries on lockdown.. Yes it's disruptive, but some industries made a fortune and no one lost their jobs. Even the airlines soldiered through. Comparing it to War is melodramatic, no one is shooting at you. At the moment it's running on novelty value, that passes fairly rapidly.
    – Kilisi
    Mar 17, 2020 at 21:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .