How to survive redundancy

Article by Belinda Fuller

How to Survive RedundancyThe time following a redundancy is usually fairly stressful and extremely unsettling. You’re stirring up all kinds of emotions including disappointment, anger, resentment, shame, anxiety, and uncertainty, which can all lead to reduced levels of confidence and self-belief. Despite this, it’s important to look to the future – and maintaining a positive attitude is going to help you in achieving your next role.

At 29 years old and six months pregnant, I was made redundant from a senior executive role. Despite the fact my company had recently been bought out, I was caught completely off guard. Looking back now, it was definitely for the best, however there was a period of pain and anxiety, not helped by all the ‘what ifs’ surrounding the impending birth of my baby. I got through it and managed to come out the other end with better options and an improved outlook on my career.

Here are our tips to help minimise your own pain in a similar situation:

  1. Be positive. OK this is hard because when faced with challenges, we tend to focus on the negatives. Accept this natural emotion, then try to encourage positivity by engaging in activities that help you think clearly and optimistically about your future.
  2. Take a step back, then forward. Try not to panic and jump straight into searching for a new role. Give yourself some time to acknowledge your feelings and work out if this could be an opportunity for change. Ask yourself if you are in the right career or if you could undertake study or work towards diversifying your skills. Grieve the loss if you need to, however the sooner you let go, the better. Redundancies are business decisions, so accept it is out of your control and try not to take it personally.
  3. Start networking. The sooner, the better. If you’re not on LinkedIn, now is a great time to create a profile. Invite colleagues to connect and let them know you are seeking new opportunities.
  4. Sort out your finances. Depending on your financial situation, you may need to seek financial advice or talk to your bank about loans. Do this quickly, so you have one less thing to worry about.
  5. Maintain a routine. Treat Monday to Friday like a working week. Dress like you are leaving the house and establish a schedule. Aim to complete some job search tasks every day – these might include networking, searching for jobs online, talking to recruitment agencies, polishing your resume, or practicing your interview skills.
  6. Seek professional help. Career Consultants provide independent advice and up-to-date job trend information. They can help with career transition by advising how to position yourself in the market, identify job opportunities, and present yourself effectively to potential employers. They’ll also help boost your confidence and ease some of the anxiety you might be feeling at this time.
  7. Polish your career documents. Revamp your resume or enlist a professional to prepare a resume and cover letter for you. If you’re applying for government positions, you may need assistance preparing Selection Criteria. Having a set of professional documents you feel proud of will also help boost your confidence.
  8. Start looking for a new job. Think about the perfect role for you. Research job sites and the careers sections on individual company’s websites. Meet with recruitment companies, and talk to colleagues about who you could approach for assistance. Then start applying!
  9. Practice your interview skills. You could enlist a professional or simply think about the types of questions that might be asked. Devise your perfect answers, and practice responding so you feel more confident and prepared.

The period following a redundancy can be stressful, however it is important to look to the future. By all means, take some time out, but don’t wait too long to begin your job search. This will allow you time to achieve the perfect role, rather than becoming desperate and needing to take the first thing that comes along.

Are you are struggling following a redundancy? Would you like some assistance from a professional writer to prepare a winning Resume, Cover Letter and/or LinkedIn profile? If so, please see our Resume Writing Services, LinkedIn Profile Writing Services and Job Search Coaching Services. We also offer Outplacement Services for organisations who wish to support their employees through redundancy.