Redundancy; it’s a word, as an employee, that we all dread! Being made redundant causes intense emotions: anger, fear, uncertainty, and the whole experience can be incredibly challenging and often demoralising, leaving us feeling anxious, confused and completely exhausted.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve known about it for some time, experiencing redundancy is never easy. It hurts. Our career identity is so strongly linked to who we are and how we perceive ourselves, it can feel like a personal rejection rather than an occupational one. It dents our confidence, can make us feel helpless and undervalued.
It is possible to stay positive after redundancy though and bounce back, and we’ve put together a few thoughts to help you on your journey:
Take Some Time Out
You’ve just been through a horrid ordeal, you deserve some time out, so allow yourself this time to digest what has happened and to rest and recover. The emotional rollercoaster needs to settle, and being calm and refocusing your mindset helps you to proactively move forward.
The urge to make a knee-jerk reaction, to find that new position tomorrow, is very powerful. However, the money that being redundant gives you, coupled with taking your time, can offer you an opportunity to really think clearly about the best next steps for you and your career.
Time to Get Practical
Use your time effectively and positively! Firstly, get clear about what situation you are really in and figure out a short-term plan of how you are going to deal with it and manage.
Review, reflect, re-shape
Now it’s time to get re-energised. Think about what you want to do next. The first step is to appreciate how far you have come and to understand what experience and skills you have gained so far. Being able to reflect will help boost your confidence as well as helping you to get clear on what’s important to you in your next role.
Make a list of your achievements to date and what you are good at.
Try to think about the positive elements of your career to date:
Think about what has worked well for you in the past as well as what to avoid in the future. It’s time to be thinking about where you want to go next and what type of role you really want.
It could well be that this reflection time is helping you to realise that you don’t actually want to work in full-time employment anymore, so you’re starting to thing about self-employment and starting your own business instead. You may want a better work-life balance, more flexibility than you had before or a shorter commute. This could be the perfect opportunity to work on something and allow it to grow!
You may decide that you’d benefit from working with a career coach. They can help you get clear on what you really want and redefining your skill set.
Be Clear About Your Target
Try to get as clear as you can about your next role. Figure out what is really going to work for you in terms of what the role and responsibilities look like, the types of tasks you’ll be doing that will harness what you’re good at, the people you want to work with, the type of business and where it might be located. Think about what you want and how it’ll work around the rest of your life so that it feels right and practical for you. Spending time on figuring out what you are going after is really important, and will be much more valuable to you than going straight into CV writing and filling in application forms online.
For a much more effective job search strategy, be clear and focused about your target before approaching it. Then you will succeed.
Time to re-do your CV
If you’ve been in a role for a while you may not have looked at your CV for quite some time. Use this period to bring your CV and your social media profiles up-to-date, making sure that you’re including all your most recent experience and achievements.
You may also want to consider tailoring your CV for different job roles you are applying for. This is a more effective strategy than simply uploading the same CV for every application, it then becomes unique to the Company you’re applying to, helping your CV stand out from the competition. (See our tips on creating an awesome CV for more information)
Time to engage with Recruiters
It can be really daunting being on the job market, especially when you’re dealing with the uncertainty that redundancy brings. Things have most likely changed since the last time! Engaging with Recruiters is a great place to start. They give you advice and guidance on your CV, which Companies or industries your skills would suit, and support you with your interview
technique. They can also give you invaluable insight into the job market, make introductions, and provide access to roles that aren’t being advertised.
Network Network Network
Make LinkedIn your priority! Update, or create, your profile and start connecting. It’s a wonderful platform to connect with people from different industries, across multiple roles, which may lead to amazing new opportunities. You need to put yourself out there, share your story, engage with people’s content, even write your own! The key is being active, sharing your thoughts and asking questions.
If you’re interested in certain companies, connect with their employees, talk to them about their role and their experiences, you will learn a lot and you may hear about available positions.
Don’t forget your personal networks too, as well as professional networks. There are plenty of ways to network and connect with those in your industry, and beyond, including potential employers.
Resilience is key!
Redundancy is challenging and you’re going to need to be resilient in order to navigate through the emotions and the actions that you need to undertake. It’s time to dig deep! This is about finding the motivation within yourself to move forwards towards your next job goal. (See our guide on resilience through the recruitment journey to help you).
The most important thing to focus on is the future! Put the past behind you, what’s done is done.
You may not be offered your dream job straight away, that’s ok, be flexible. Also, maintaining your right to be selective about roles is a wonderful confidence boost. You might have the opportunity to consider roles you wouldn’t have done previously, be open-minded. Approach interviews positively, focusing on what you bring to the role rather than dwelling on the redundancy.
You may find this experience is pushing you into exciting new directions!