When the workplace is in danger ...

Everybody knows people who have experienced it: company bankrupt, taken over or downsized - job away. That someone loses his job has almost become something of an everyday occurrence. But that's why the idea that it might happen to oneself is no less threatening. What to do if there are already concrete signs? What should you rather leave? Expert advice from a work psychologist and a lawyer for employment law.

Continue working as before?

YES. Do not let yourself be driven crazy: As long as nothing concrete is announced, it is best to do his work as hitherto, with commitment and the usual quality. You do not only work for your company, but also - depending on your job and your job - for example for customers or clients who pay for your service, your support, or even need it. An address book with the data of satisfied customers is at least as important in some industries as good job references. But do not overdo it. If a wave of dismissals is actually imminent, it will not do any harm to work overtime or to engage in conversation for special tasks. The decision as to who should go is then probably already long ago. And if it hits you too, you will still need your powers.

Exchange and consult with colleagues?

Depends on. Sharing concerns with others is important. If you have colleagues in your area whom you can trust, if you find that these people are open to you, you will keep talking. However, if you feel that the department - as is often the case in crisis situations - splits into camps, you prefer to stick to people you do not work with directly. If there is a works council in the company, you can also get advice there.

Ever look for alternatives?

YES. Scouring the job market from time to time is definitely useful - and almost free, because most offers can be found in Internet portals such as www.monster.de www.stepstone.de www.laufbahner.de Take a look also the websites of companies that are suitable for you as an employer. There may also be vacancies advertised there. A good source of information is also the pages of HR service providers - such companies are looking for suitable job applicants for temporary jobs and employment agencies on behalf of companies. They can be found online under search terms like "Recruitment" and "Temporary Employment".

To bring application documents to the state?

YES. So that you can be immediately active, if you discover an interesting job posting, you should now - on paper and as files - always have ready: * your CV (updated), * professional, new application photos and * your work certificates. You can also request certificates of former jobs retrospectively. Send your former boss a description of your activities in the company and ask him for an assessment.

For all cases, apply here and there?

NO. The more applications you send, the greater the likelihood that this will get around in your current job. Although "discretion" is guaranteed everywhere, information still seeps through. And you would have to expect in the future, that is whispered behind your back: "Actually, she wants to go away, but she finds nothing else." Therefore, apply only to employers who are seriously interested in you. And do not just send your documents to the company address, but talk to the person responsible in the personnel department beforehand and make it clear in the cover letter that your application is confidential.

Participate in further education courses, also at own expense?

YES. Many of them have not learned systematically in their job for a long time, apart from the introduction to new computer programs. Or they got their job as page beginners. If you feel the same way, you are certainly no less capable than your peers with a recognized education. But outdated or inadequate skills can be a problem when it comes to reapplying. Check what you are missing and what you can do next to your work. Tip: Look at the job advertisements in your industry to see which skills and qualifications are most frequently required. The more you own, the better your chances on the job market.

Plan a career restart?

NO. You feel that your profession does not suit you at all, or did you always want to do something completely different anyway? Forget it. Unless you have a promising business idea that you can use to start your own business, and / or a reassuring financial cushion.Otherwise you would rather stay with what you are trained for and what you are good at. In economically bad times, companies do not hire anyone who has to be trained - unless the conditions are much worse than those of their peers with the appropriate training. If you want to change, do it within your profession, specialize, acquire additional qualifications.

Have you ever consulted the employment agency?

YES. Do not be shy: The agency offers explicitly also in the case of counseling that someone is currently threatened only by unemployment. If you are already expecting to lose your job in the coming months, make an appointment as soon as possible. This is important, among other things, because you have to register for work in good time (for example, if you give notice in due time, at least three months before the last working day) so that you receive unemployment benefits right from the first day. If you are offered a cancellation contract, have it checked by the Employment Agency. Because the contract must be formulated correctly, so you later no financial disadvantages. And even if you are not sure whether you are losing your job, you can inform yourself in a personal interview about the agency's advisory, placement and further education offerings.

Tip: In principle, the employment agency is responsible at the place of residence. It can be found online at www.arbeitsagentur.de, menu item "Partner on site". Nationwide telephone hotline: 018 01/55 51 11, Monday to Friday, 8 to 18 o'clock.

And when the emergency actually occurs?

The message that the company wants to part with one might not be surprising to many, but it is surprising. Good to know: A termination must be in writing, and it is usually the time specified in the employment contract. This means that during this time the company must pay the salary in any case. What to do? To the lawyer or lawyer. A termination can - within a period of three weeks - be challenged in court. A dismissal protection suit makes sense in many cases, because many dismissals in court prove to be faulty. Usually then a comparison is closed - with better conditions for the terminated. A cancellation agreement is an agreement that both sides must agree to. Many companies offer such contracts to avoid the legally difficult termination - the employee then goes "voluntarily". What to do? Under no circumstances sign immediately! Take the contract and have it checked by the lawyer, possibly with the employment agency. If the company does not want to give you time for that or even threatens you, then sooner or later the notice would come, stay hard and let it matter to you.

Tip: Get advice and support, not only legally, but also mentally. Losing the job is an experience that goes to the heart. The better you take care of yourself now, the sooner you regain your courage.

Our experts

The work psychologist Sibylle Bräuer has many years of experience as a consultant. She accompanies her clients in a professional reorientation, coaches executives and works for companies, including as an outplacement consultant.

The lawyer Christian Lewek is a specialist lawyer for employment law in a Hamburg law firm. He advises and represents employees and honorary staff of companies in labor disputes of all kinds.

book tips

Inken Wanzek / Christine Rosenboom: Workplace at risk - these are your rights: termination, employment agency, termination agreement, bullying, separation talks. Stern Guide, 2007, 240 pages, 14.90 euros, Linde. Detailed, comprehensible formulated information; legal and psychological advice

Helga Krausser-Raether: The best application patterns 40 plus. 2006, 211 pages and CD-Rom, 19,80 Euro, Haufe. Solid tools for job applications and job interviews

Claudia Wanzke: The certificate: Write, check, crack secret codes. 2008, 128 pages 6,80 Euro, Beck Juristische Verlag. All important information; in addition, formulation aids for certificate drafts

Vlad Georgescu / Marita Vollborn: Worst Case: Our amazing comeback after job loss and social decline. 2009, 247 pages, 17.90 euros, Hanser textbook. The touching book awakens understanding for those affected and also helps them to understand their own situation Silvia Schneider: Do not panic: The guide to unemployment. 2010, 176 pages, 9,95 Euro, torchbearers. Helpful for emergencies: a step-by-step guide to working with the employment agency

The Danger of Complacency in the Workplace - The Great Workplace Revolution (August 2020).

Termination, Workplace, Federal Employment Agency, Crisis, Occupation, Termination, Workplace