Redundancy Tips – what to do if you are made redundant
So it’s happened to you! Perhaps it was unexpected, perhaps you saw it coming, perhaps you went voluntarily or perhaps you felt you were forced out. Whatever the circumstances, and even if your initial feeling is one of relief, redundancy represents loss and all of us will go through a process of grieving to a greater or lesser extent. Many people feel a real sense of shock when something like this happens and experience a ‘rabbit in the headlights’ reaction – they feel paralysed and unable to move.
Allow yourself the opportunity to grieve but remind yourself that in the midst of any bereavement there are always practical arrangements and steps that need to be taken. Focus your energy and attention on engaging in these practical steps – you’ll find this activity to be a positive therapy in itself.
1 Review your budget
In these difficult economic times this is a sensible exercise for all of us to carry out, but it’s especially important if you are likely to be out of work for a period of time. There are many excellent websites providing tips on how to reduce your expenditure and claim any benefit you might be entitled to. Try Money Saving Expert and The Guardian.
2 Take some time to reflect on what you want to do next.
Don’t jump at the first similar job that comes along unless you are certain it’s what you want. Whilst the process of redundancy can be traumatic it can also lead to some extraordinary life changing opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise come about.
Many organisations will make additional training and guidance available to staff at risk of redundancy. Access any support that is available to you through your employer. Decide if there are any areas where you would benefit from updating your skills. If there are training opportunities available at no cost take them, it’s all free development. If there are professionals available to provide 1-1 guidance make maximum use of this resource.
If support isn’t provided consider investing in your own development. Enhancing your self awareness and confidence or improving your interview or presentation skills can only be a good thing.
3 Make the process of finding work your ‘job’.
One of the reasons why being made redundant can be such a paralysing experience is that our self-esteem takes a battering. When we lose our job we can also lose our sense of purpose - remind yourself that it is your job that has been made redundant, not you. Make a conscious effort to see finding work (or deciding what you want to do next) as your ‘job’.
4 Use active verbs to describe what you do.
When updating your CV or completing application forms try to focus on describing what you do using active verbs. This can make a stronger impression on potential employers as you are highlighting what you have achieved rather than listing all the tasks you carry out. For example, take the following list of tasks on a job description:
- Set-up, manage and maintain databases for clients and courses
- Arrange travel and accommodation for delegates
- Prepare handouts and certificates for training sessions
These can be reworded as achievements using active verbs:
- Established, managed and maintained databases for clients and courses
- Arranged travel and accommodation for delegates
- Prepared handouts and certificates for training sessions
This simple change of emphasis can help your application to stand out from the crowd.
5 Make your personal statement count!
There will be one or two places on an application form which invite you to make a personal statement about yourself and how you feel your experience is relevant to the application in question.
This is by far the most important part of the application form. Use this opportunity to show explicitly how your knowledge, skills and experience meet or exceed the minimum criteria of the job. You would be amazed at the number of people who skim over this section but it’s where you should invest the most time. It is the one area where you can gain a real advantage over other applicants.
One final point – commit to owning responsibility for the quality of your work life and career. Do not expect, or allow, any organisation to assume that ownership!
Interested in finding out more about our 1-1 Career Development Sessions to enhance job search, presentation and interview skills and confidence? Call us or email us today to discuss your development needs further.