When Job Uncertainty Knocks: To leave or not to leave

  | 5 min read

Fear of the unknown is the most crippling fear known to man. Whether its health, work, relationships or just life in general; this fear has its way of reaching the very core of our existence and gnawing at it. When uncertainty results from work situations, it is dire because our work supports most spheres of our lives. Sometimes companies, regardless of size and market share, face crises of a devastating nature that leave them bankrupt, closing up shop, merging or being acquired by larger competitors. The job uncertainty that comes with such situations is an extremely stressful time, not only for the employer, investors and suppliers, but for the employees as well. Rumors and conspiracy theories at the time get bigger and uglier with each passing second and most employees fear the worst is knocking at their doors.

While each situation is different, and while it is an extremely personal decision on whether to stay or abandon ship, the following aspects will help you survive and thrive through uncertainty.


Constantly be in the know

Information is power. Being consciously aware of the situation your company is in greatly helps. Read the signs early enough; the management crisis, the more-losses-than-profits state that has been the norm in the recent past, the hush meetings behind closed doors, etc. The worst case scenario as an employee is being caught unaware. This does not mean that you pointlessly follow all the petty gossip that goes around the office. Choose the information that keeps you updated on the goings of the company. Keenly follow market reviews by critics and experts in the news and from your professional connections. This will help you monitor key changes and assist you make informed decisions when the time comes.


Clearly understand the crisis

Each company faces teething problems and growing pains in its journey to growth and expansion. When your company is facing a crisis, ensure that you clearly understand what is going on. This means that you need to be informed on market jargon, understand the traits of different circumstances and the ripple effect each has. This way, you will be able to comprehend exactly what is happening, the magnitude of the repercussions to your employer and to you, and whether staying on will be worth it. Usually, when a company is facing growing pains, the employees that stay onboard and help it find footing are rewarded for their loyalty when the storm passes.


Be ready for varied possibilities

Uncertainty takes away the luxury of planning and the feeling of being in control. During these times, people feel lost and destabilized. It is very easy to make impulsive and rush decisions. The best way to approach it is to calmly plan for any eventuality. Take the best and worst case scenarios and plan for them. For the best case scenario, see the crisis as an opportunity to propel your career to the next level. While your colleagues are panicking and running around, strategically plan to move up higher. Plan for the next step and begin gaining the necessary information to help you get there. Plan for the training you might need and the connections you might need to make. For the worst case scenario, clean your financial closet and ensure that you have enough to keep you going in case you find yourself without a source of income. Also, if you realize your company’s crisis situation will not end soon, a stealth job search is advisable.


Understand your personal situation

Closely examine your risk options. Do you have dependents? Do you have a spouse that can hold fort while you find your next footing? Do you have another source of income that can support your livelihood? The answer to those questions will greatly contribute to your personal decision. It is wise to remember that uncertainty at work will have emotional impact on you and the ones close to you. Your family and friends will bear the brunt of the stressful situations you face, and you need to understand when limits are hit.

Understand your employment situation

Do you have a contract? Do you understand what it says? What level are you on in the employment hierarchy? It will help you a great deal to have a clear understanding of where you stand in the company’s “food chain”. This is because when some companies face financial crisis they begin cutting budgets and relieving staff of their duties. Understanding your employment situation helps you predict company decisions and prepare for any eventuality.

In conclusion, understand that how you handle crises is a reflection of your individuality, maturity level, resilience and flexibility. People who matter are watching your behavior during a crisis and it is advisable to maintain professionalism at all times. Resist the temptation to complain and grumble, especially in the hearing of your bosses. Be calm and remember the storm will pass, leaving you stronger and wiser.

Mueke Katwa
I have two years experience in Business Support which covers Human Resource as a function; and a lifelong passion in creative writing.


  1. Its timely to me as i am on stressful contract job…and i dearly need to luk 4 greener pastures

    • Hi Kipngetich,
      Thank you for your readership.
      We are glad you are enlightened.
      Just ensure that you have all the right reasons for leaving your current job.
      keep writing to us if you need more advice.


    • Hujambo Ndugu,
      Sababu ya hali hii ni kwamba kazi zimo ingawa wengi hawatilii maanani mbinu za kutafuta kazi.Ni baadhi ya watu wangi wamehitimu ingawa hawaombi kazi na muhimu nikuwa wajifungulie barua pepe ndiposa wafungue akaunti na Brighter Monday. Wakitilia maanani maagizo haya bila shaka kutakua mabadiliko sekta ya kazi. Jiskie huru kutoa maarifa au kuuliza swali yoyote.


        • Hello Kevin,
          Thanks for writing to us.
          We understand your frustration but don’t beat your self up, there are couple of reasons that are leading to you predicament which you can easily tackle.
          First you need to complete your profile up to 98 percent.
          Also its important to ensure that your cv and cover letter is updated and anytime you get an alert from us ensure you apply immediately.
          We wish you all the best and feel free to write to us if you need further assistance.


  2. Hi, I am Denice, currently working as a teacher though not proffessionaly trained, kindly link me up with an employer in accounting and banking field. I hold CPA iv qualification besides a degree. Anyway thanks for that insightful piece.

  3. am looking for a position as office admin or front office . preferably in a school or medical establishment in Nairobi Westland, parklands, Limuru or kiambu.

    • Hi Mercy,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      To increase your chances of getting feedback from employers, ensure that you complete your profile up to 98%
      We do have openings for office admin and front office simply click here and apply. The jobs are in rest of Kenya and they are well highlighted.


  4. Many thanks for the advice. A wonderful piece highly recommended to every employee.

    The job market is becoming unpredictable day by day.

    • Hello George.
      Thank you for reading our articles.
      We endeavor to offer career advice to all our readers.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more enlightening career advice.


  5. Wow! this has come at the right time for me. Am at crossroads currently on weather to quit or stay. Quite helpful material.

    • Hello Lillian,
      Thanks for the feedback.
      Keep visiting our career center for more edifying articles.

    • Hi Joash,
      Thanks a lot for the feedback.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for all the latest career topics.

  6. Wow! this are good words for encouragement, but what can one do in the case where you are living from hand to mouth- as in there is nothing left to save for any eventualities and the worst happens?

    • Hello Job,
      Thanks a lot for writing to us.
      If currently you are somewhere working then its advisable to just maintain where you are as you anticipate better things to come.
      For now just ensure that your CV is up to date and also its good to be updated on the latest jobs that is available.
      When a good opportunity comes don’t look back utilize it and apply. Feel free to write to us if you need further advice.


  7. Very informative and I must say one needs to plan and remain focused rather than being emotionally. However, some organization do forget that they deal with people and that they need to be prepared psychologically.
    I have been in a simpler situation when I needed my employer most having worked for 13 good years HRM – Kenya and just recovering from a post surgery infection when my position was declared redundant. I took everything positively and focused on my Masters Program that I had started and glad to say that I will be graduating this coming June and looking forward to bounce back to employment.

    Nice article

    • Hello Pamela,
      Thanks a lot for your testimonial..much appreciated.
      We endeavor to bring our readers relevant and practical tips.
      We wish you all the best and Keep it Brighter Monday for more inspiring articles.


    • Hallo Marcello,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      We checked your account and realized that it needs to be completed up to 98% .
      Go to http://www.brightermonday.co.ke and apply the latest job that matches you qualification.
      Make sure you CV and cover letter is updated before you apply.


  8. Hi there i urgently need a job and ve been applying the jobs u guys have been posting but never got any response what could be the problem surely.

    • Hi Becky,
      Thank you for your readership.
      The list below can shed some light on the possible reasons that might have led to your current predicament;
      Do you send applications to job adverts that match your skills?
      Have you updated your CV since last year?
      Do you write a customized cover letter for each application?
      The number of job seekers has gone higher since last year, making the talent pool larger and you have to ensure your CV stands out from the rest.
      Start by editing your CV to reflect all the skills and experience you have gained.
      We hope all these measures will improve your chances of being considered.


    • Hello Mercyrose,
      Thank you for your feedback.
      We are glad to provide timely information for our readers like you.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more tips, advice and career guidance.


  9. Am motivated,Have also tried applying severally and advised others to do so, though yet no fruits, am not loosing heart on the same….am hoping for the best from your team.
    thank you.

    • Hi Angeline,
      Thank you for your sentiments.
      We did check into your account details and noted that you need to update your profile up to 99%.
      Then before you apply, ensure that your CV and cover letter is updated.
      keep that spirit and don’t get tired of applying and for sure you will be successful.


  10. Very informative indeed.
    By the way I sometimes receive your emails for job vacancies but I can’t access them. Whenever I try to open them I get redirected to a customer survey site.

    • Hello Jeff,
      Thank you for your support.
      Sure you can, you only need to pick the job category which you are qualified for and click the apply button.
      Feel free to write to us if you need further assistance.


    • Hallo Dennis,
      Thank you for your support.
      We hope that you will implement what you have gained from us.


    • You’re Welcome Martin,
      We strive to give our audience the best career advice.
      keep it here for more informative articles.


  11. This is a very good read.After what we went through last year from march to September 2015 with the biggest collaboration with KEMRI in Kisumu.

  12. Hello,thanks for the good work you are doing. I have aquestion, when applying for ajob online do write the application in the comment box or you do it in word program and upload it as attachment before sending?. Another area of concern is that your apply now button is not going through what could be the problem?

    • Hi Denice,
      Thank you for taking time to read our articles.
      if its a cover letter or application letter then you can attach it.
      From our end the apply button is working perfectly, kindly try and apply again and If its still refusing, kindly respond to our customer service via this email address customerservice@brightermonday.co.ke and we will be glad to assist you.


  13. Thanks very informative and a reality in perspective, it’s now the anticipated trend in many organization

    • Hallo Alex
      Thanks for showing interest in our job site.
      As a team, we value your time and as such we will ensure that you get unlimited access to all available opportunities on our website at no cost at all!
      Please use the following instructions to create a BrighterMonday job seeker account:
      – using the the URL below:
      https://www.brightermonday.co.ke/ …… click on the sign up tab to create your job seeker account.
      -Once logged in to your account, please update your profile by clicking on “My Career Profile” (a complete profile should have a 99% profile completeness percentage)
      – Ensure that you upload a fresh C.V on your profile so that employers can get a chance of viewing it.
      – You can also create job alerts by clicking on the circled icon at the top right corner of the page. Select the ‘My job alerts’ option from the menu that appears on your screen.
      kindly here to view the variety of jobs that we have in your field of profession.


  14. am faudhia am looking for job of accountant i have a certificate of accounting please help me to find

  15. For the past month, we have seen numerous articles on millennials with various views on their employ-ability based on their soft and hard skills sets. In an evidently transitioning market, what would you say are the critical factors that employers are looking for when employing both entry level and mid level management staff? Do organizations have a tool, aside from KPIs, that guide the organization in measuring the leadership, critical thinking, decision making and communication skills competence that applicants and employees are required to have?

    In short what are employers looking for and how do recruitment agencies assist companies in vetting potential employees especially through just their CVs.

    • Hi Diana,
      Thank you for your inquiry.
      Different employers look for different qualities when looking to hire, depending on what they consider priority. Some employers consider hiring for attitude and training for aptitude as key and hence look at a candidate’s potential rather than the current feathers on their cap. Other employers are keen on experience, especially for more senior positions. With the millennials, especially the newly graduated ones, most employers are considering their attitude and culture fit.
      When looking at a candidate’s suitability for a particular organization looking through their CVs cannot be enough. An interview where the right questions, tests and assessments will be conducted will yield more and better results.


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