Home / Women in Focus / Career

How to deal with redundancy

by Maria Bell ,
How to deal with redundancy

Redundancy can seem like a pretty scary word, one that no-one wants to hear. But unfortunately in this financial and economic climate, redundancy is a word that a lot of us might hear.

How to deal with redundancy - 15 Tips on Dealing with Redundancy

So what do you do when you’ve been made redundant? How do you cope and where do you start to get your career back on track? Well first of all try not to panic, we are well aware this is easier than it sounds, but redundancy does not have to mean the end!

Executive Coach and Finance expert Alexandra Sleator says the number one thing that you can do to help your situation is not to overthink things negatively.

She says: “The main thing that I would like to tell ladies out there who face the prospect of redundancy is that coping all starts with your mind-set.

"You have a choice between how you manage your reaction to redundancy. You can either empower yourself by looking at it as an opportunity or box yourself into thinking it’s a devastating situation. How you manage your mind will determine what comes come next. If you look at it as, ‘this is a new chapter of my life’ then who knows what positive things will come your way.”

So whether it’s the news you’ve been expecting or not, Laurell McManus of McManus HRD, a company which specialises in human resources and training, has some helpful tips to get you back on track and to help you remain positive.

15 tips for dealing with redundancy:

1. Don’t panic.

Like we said, the temptation to go overboard and think ‘this is the end of my life’ is oh so easy but try to sit back, take a breath and think rationally.

“The role has been made redundant, not you, so don’t take it personally. This could be a great opportunity for you,” Laurell says.

If you weren’t sure that this was the right career for you maybe this is the push that you need to kick-start your career in the direction you want it to go.

In the same way if this really was your dream job, don’t worry, even if things take a turn for the worse for a little while you will find something else and you never know, it could be a million times better! You can just use your experience to further yourself once more - it’s all about positive thinking.

2. Give yourself some time and space.

Again this is all about not panicking. Just because you’ve been made redundant does not mean you need to make your next career choice your final one. If you need to try and get a job straight away to bring the money in that’s fine. However do your research online and see what’s out there.

Also if you’ve been offered voluntary redundancy then it is worth seeing exactly what this means for you before you commit to anything.

“It’s not a good idea to rush into anything without assessing the current situation and doing your research,” says Laurell.

3. Be clear on your rights and entitlements.

It’s time to put that business bonnet on. Laurell says that redundancy is a notoriously tricky situation so making sure you’re clued up about exactly what you are eligible for is just plain good sense.

“Ask the right questions, such as, ‘When do I leave? ‘Am I entitled to ‘gardening leave’? (paid leave). Keep in touch with your HR department as they are in place to support you.”

Don’t be afraid to ask, it’s well within your rights!

4. Ask the right questions.

At the same time you don’t want to bombard your future ex-employers with irrelevant questions. Picking the right questions will help you to get the most out of them and advance your situation.

5. Check if you’re entitled to an outplacement service.

This is a little gem that can really give you the extra boost that you need without having to do it all on your own so check with your company to see if they offer the service then Laurell advises - take them up on the offer.

“This could mean that you have access to receiving a certain amount of 1:1 career coaching, Training on CV writing, group workshops, interview skills or even business start-up sessions. If this or anything else is offered, take it. It could be so worthwhile.”

Always remember to be a yes person in your career, if something comes your way then do it, you never know how it might benefit you!

6. Assess your strengths and skills set.

When any situation doesn’t go the way you wanted it to we always suggest making a list of the things that will help you get it back on track. In this case Laurell suggests making a list of your strengths and skill sets to make you focus on what you want next in life.

“If you’re not sure what these are speak to trusted friends and colleagues and revisit past appraisals to refresh your memory. “

Don’t cut yourself off from your old job if you can still keep things amicable, it will help you in the future.

7. Register with a number of recruitment agencies.

Looking for a job is hard work in itself and can be incredibly time-consuming. Getting someone in to do a bit of the leg work for you is always a good idea and will free up your time to focus on interview techniques. This is why Laurell suggests going to a recruitment agency.

“A good agency will help you stay on track and provide you with help and support as well as key contacts and current market information.”

Yes, you probably will get a few jobs where you think ‘what were they thinking?’ but if you sign up to enough and get a good agent then finding a job that suits you should be a breeze.

8. Use Google or other search engines.

The Internet has a massive source of information and job offers just waiting for you to tap into. So if you have been made redundant get online to research your next career move.

“To help you search new roles try sites like monster.com and redgoldfish.com. Visit the job centre and even ask closer to home - friends and family will always be willing to help.”

Use every contact you have too - networking becomes extra important when you're redundant!

9. Consider changing your career.

Becoming redundant is an opportunity for you to get your career in the direction that you’ve always wanted it to go in. Sometimes the best decisions come after you’ve been knocked back a few times - just look at Simon Cowell!

Laurell says use the situation to your advantage and you never know, that dream job might come your way!

“This might be an opportunity for you to realise a dream. Again, research is key, so ask people already in the role what it’s really like to do the job day-to-day.”

10. Research what grants / funded training is available.

If you want to change your career then Laurell says it might be worth having a bit of a break to go back to school, don’t worry it’s not as awful as it sounds. Further Education is a really great way to boost your career prospects and what better time to take a booster break than now?

“It’s always worth visiting the website of your local college or business training centre, they will often have career advisors on site. Alternatively check out Hot Courses which provides info on courses all over the country.”

11. Update your CV.

Updating your CV is a big deal and getting it right is key.

Thankfully we have some handy tips for you here.

12. Research networking events.

Now shut your eyes, open them, you are now networking Nancy, queen on the career circuit! Well, maybe not, but knowing how to network is a great skill to have whatever your career stage but after you’ve been made redundant, calling up that old colleague you met at a meeting a few months ago who showed an interest never seemed like a better idea.

“This can be done by searching for topic related issues or by specific areas. Networking will help you make new contacts - You never know who you’ll meet who might be recruiting.”

This shouldn’t stop when you’ve got your job either says Laurell. “When you find a job, remember to continue networking as statistics show that 70-80% of jobs are found through networking.”

13. Don’t underestimate networking sites.

This is the age of the Internet people and getting socially savvy on LinkedIn is integral to some industries says Laurell.

“LinkedIn and now Facebook are being used in a business capacity and are often visited by Head Hunters. Everyone you meet knows between 200 - 250 people who might be able to assist you in some way.”

So get visible and get employed!

14. Research companies.

If you’re still a bit unsure of your next step it’s worth doing a little digging advises Laurell.

“It’s worthwhile researching company information. This will help you decide who you would or wouldn’t work for. If you like what you read, there is nothing to stop you approaching them for a job directly.”

By getting proactive it’s way more likely that you will take a positive step in your career!

15. Stay positive and focus on the new role ahead.

Once you’ve found yourself a new job make sure that your attitude doesn’t reflect what’s gone on in your previous job if everything turned sour. Laurell reinforces that this is a fresh start so act like it!

“Don’t dwell on the past. No one wants to employ a negative person. Be mindful that people know people so never be negative about colleagues or your former employer. It’s not professional.”

Professional and positive should be your two life mantras!

The most important thing to remember is that this is all about you! Take some time to research what is out there, plan your next steps and ask for help.

Just remember that being made redundant is not the end of your career - but the beginning of a new chapter.

Maria Bell
you might also like