Redundancy is no longer quite the dirty word as in years past, but it can still come as a nasty shock. The whole process is a nasty, uncomfortable affair for all involved, especially when those who stand to lose their livelihoods have mortgages and children.
Witness the bloodbath described in this Sydney Morning Herald piece where staff are engaged in a ‘Hunger Games-style’ redundancy process at ABC.
Here’s the good news; this could be the start of something better, and with a bit of money in your pocket to boot. Play your cards properly and you could make your way into a new role in a company that is really going places. So here are a few key steps to rejuvenating your career following redundancy.
It’s not your fault
While redundancy can feel personal, remember that it’s your role that is being removed – you were just the unfortunate incumbent at the time, and there was probably nothing you could do to prevent the change. You probably won’t be the only one.
There’s also something else to consider: companies that are making people redundant are not usually in a good state. Buzzwords such as streamlining and realigning priorities might sound softer, but they usually mean the same thing; we’re in trouble. You could be leaving at just the right time.
You have time
No-one is told they are to be made redundant one day and then leaves the next. You’ll have a consultation period and then a month, or maybe several, to find a new job, but there’s absolutely no time to waste. That night, make sure your CV is up to date and pinpoint roles that might be of interest. Set up a LinkedIn account if you don’t have one already, and not just for jobseeking; Forbes reveals the multiple benefits here, including finding influencers and learning more about other relevant companies.
What’s more, you have statutory redundancy pay if you’ve been at your employer for two years or more. If not, you may want to look at your legal position, as described by The Money Advice Service here. If you’re lucky you may even get enhanced redundancy pay. So at least your mortgage or rent should be paid for a month or two, which gives you even more space to breathe and research your next step.
You don’t want to leave…
The consultation period is designed to give you the platform to air grievances and explain your position, but also to ask for alternatives. You may be able to reduce your role to a part-time position, or a completely different job elsewhere in the company. Worth a try.
You got the job in the first place so presumably you had enough obvious talent, experience and ability to impress someone. You might also have topped up your skills with other talents and responsibilities in the meantime. List your skills and put them into your CV with pride.
Back to school
You may have a hole in your CV that needs filling, and it might be the time to return to night school, college or university as a mature student. It won’t necessarily be easy studying with people a decade or more younger than you, but there’s a high likelihood you won’t be on your own. You may even be eligible for a loan.
If you’ve put these steps into place there should be no need to be negative. Life has handed you a chance to write a new chapter in your career, or embark on a totally new direction. Don’t let the opportunity go to waste.