It’s not easy to learn you’re going to lose your job, especially at this time of year

It’s the wrong time of the year. Any time is bad to announce job losses, but when it is so close to Christmas it feels somehow worse. In the last six to eight weeks we have heard of job cuts at Merck & Co and Teva, the UK Environment Agency, Novartis, Shire and Vertex to name a few. And in Australia 1400 job cuts may be on the cards for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

These cuts vary in size but none is insignificant (they never are, especially for those losing their jobs). There is always a ‘sensible’ reason, which seems to involve a major – ever ongoing – restructuring plan, intended to ‘concentrate all R&D in major hubs’ in, say, the US and China, or that will see the company ‘focus on treatments for other diseases’. Whichever category the cuts fall under, however sensible, they are hardly welcome for those who have dedicated part of their careers to support these organisations.

As ever, the Royal Society of Chemistry can offer careers advice and guidance to members likely to be affected. In addition, at Chemistry World we are very well placed to hopefully provide some ideas and support. If you turn to the Chemistry World jobs section, you’ll have access, for example, to company and personal profiles that highlight what other opportunities may be open to you with your skills and experience. There is information about the latest job offers in the chemical sciences, which you can also go and check online. Here you’ll have the opportunity to upload your CV, make it searchable to recruiters and also set up e-alerts that will deliver a selection of job opportunities directly to your inbox.

This year, we launched and have just hosted the Chemistry World Jobs Live event. This careers event took place in London on 25 November and attracted more than 25 employers from different sectors. Roughly 500 job seekers who registered had the opportunity to meet with exhibitors, attend workshops and seminars and participate in round table discussions to help them on the way to their new jobs or careers.

As you can see, it is too late to attend this year’s event (it is to become an annual event and has already been confirmed for 26 November 2014 ) but we’d be more than happy to send you information and contact details for the companies recruiting at the event.

Our thoughts are with those who are facing redundancy here or elsewhere and are faced with the prospect of finding a new position in a difficult environment where jobs are scarce. 

May 2014 bring plenty of opportunities for all!