What To Do When Your Job Is Made Redundant

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Redundancy, lay offs, downsizing. It doesn’t matter what you call it or how many people are being “let go”, losing your job is always a shock.

All the signs could have been there but when the announcement comes, bam. It can feel like a body blow. Okay, some people are jumping for joy but for many, and especially those made redundant for the first time, feeling bewildered and or fearful would be pretty normal.

We have been hearing about some big redundancies of late. Ford will shed more than 1,000 jobs by 2016 and Telstra just announced its biggest restructure in decades but is remaining coy about job losses. In recent times the media industry has seen huge redundancies.

When I first started reporting on employment, an expert told me the average worker would be made redundant at least once in their working life if not twice. I have been made redundant twice and survived redundancy three times, so my advice is from the heart and based on experience.

Here are the Top 10 Tips for surviving redundancy.

1 – Don’t take it personally
Many people who have been made redundant email me and say, “I thought I was doing really well in my job.” Redundancy is not about you not doing well, it is about your company and or industry sector not doing well. Or, it could be the entire global economy struggling. We’ve certainly seen that. Also, when you tell people or go to job interviews, explain how your job role was made redundant rather than say “I was made redundant”. You are still very much an important person.

2. – Move through it ASAP
It is a shock and there will be anger and grieving but don’t get stuck in that mode. Share with colleagues, get the support of family and friends but if you are really sinking, then talk to your GP. I don’t want to sound unkind or rush you but on the other hand, weeks can turn into months so quickly that some action, however small, is better than nothing as soon as you can manage it. However, there are other jobs. Help co-workers where you can but don’t get stuck in the past with them and all the “could of” and “should of” language. Also, there is only so many times your spouse, family members and friends can hear a re-enactment of the dreaded moment you heard the news or about all the things your former managers could have or should have done to save your job.

3. – Make the most of outplacement services
Another reason for trying to process your feelings ASAP is so you can make the most of any outplacement services offered to you. If you are still in shock or stuck in anger mode, you will not be paying full attention when you should be learning how to market yourself for the job hunt. Some people are cynical about outplacement but it is free and the providers are dedicated experts so make the most of your time with them.

4. – Think about up-skilling
As you will have some time on your hands and some extra money as well, look at ways you can up-skill. For example, during their time in their job, many people may have taught themselves how to use a variety of software programs. Post redundancy is a good time to seek proper certification for these skills to better market yourself on the job hunt. Look at all the Certificate courses as well as short courses to upgrade your software skills or even public speaking or a technical skill – anything that will boost your confidence.

5. Don’t just jump at the next job
Take a breath and think about what you really want to do next.  This is an opportunity to look at all the possibilities. After one of my redundancies I was offered a prestigious job that was really a wrong fit for me. I took it and stuck it out for a year but I really didn’t like it. That was before I became a careers specialist – my next role at it lasted for 12 years. I actively sought a job as an employment specialist working as the editor of a specialist website  and I loved it. Now I have my own little business in careers and communications consulting and still love it.

6. Flexibility is key
After a redundancy, consider a different style of work than what you are used to such as temporary work (“temp” work) or a contracting role. Often after a redundancy people will turn down a great temp/contract role because they have this image of the perfect permanent role. Hopefully, that will come if you want it, but keeping your CV fresh and your skills honed is also important so keep an open mind. While some employers are holding back on listing their permanent jobs right now, the number of casual and part-time work has increased. You might need to be flexible.

7. Review your skill set
Make a list of all your skills, attributes, education and training. See yourself as a collection of experience and skills rather than a particular job role. This will help you take advantage of the opportunities that are out there. If you have been in your last job a long time, the industry may have changed and job titles for job roles might have changed too so seeing yourself as a collection of skills, experience and training will help you search and consider different options. Tying your work identity to one particular job title could limit your options.

8. Focus on your own race
Do not let headlines about other redundancies stop you looking for jobs online, in the newspaper, via Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, your personal and professional networks, recruitment consultants and on the websites of employers you would like to work for.  Do something toward finding a job every day – even if that only takes an hour.

9. Information is power
There is a tonne of information out there on redundancies and job hunting. There is even a very good children’s book that explains what a parent goes through when made redundant but from a child’s point of view – Downsized by Mike Dumbleton and illustrated by Jeff Jellett is a wonderful book. There is no need to feel that it is just you. It is vital you let your network of friends, family, former colleagues, ex bosses and key information conduits in your neighborhood, sporting clubs and community groups know that you are back on the market. Some people feel shame attached to being made redundant and so withdraw socially just at a time when they need to do the opposite. Job leads can come from anywhere including local merchants, the family doctor’s receptionist, your boss from three jobs ago – anywhere.

10. Check your baggage
When the employment market slows, competition for jobs increases and the number of applications rises. There is nothing like having your job application disappear into a cloud of silence to get the blood boiling. The fact you were made redundant coupled with not hearing back from an employer about a job application could make you angry, depressed or upset. Even bitter. Be careful not to take all that emotion into job interviews, coffee chats and casual catch ups. There really is nothing wrong with saying you were made redundant when you are asked at a job interview why you left your last job. Just make sure it is not said through gritted teeth.

[Source: www.katesoutham.com]