Many of us have been there. That time at work when the HR team or your boss informs you that your services are no longer required at their workplace. You are being made redundant!
You might have been waiting for that moment. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you might have been waiting for that moment when your boss asked the team if anyone wanted to take voluntary redundancy. This is your big chance to take your boss up on that offer, get your redundancy package and take your life in a whole new direction.
If you are not one of the lucky ones, you could have been dreading this moment for some time. Whether you like this job or not, you certainly need it! Perhaps previous colleagues have already faced the same fate so you have known, deep down, that your turn will come sooner or later. Rumours that the company you work for is struggling, restructuring, moving its operations to another area. All of this can be a reason for your redundancy.
For others of you, being made redundant might come as a complete shock. You thought everything was going well, no redundancies in the near past at your company and no clues or telltale signs that redundancies could be on the cards now or in the future.
Whatever the reason for being made redundant, as well as the practicalities, the process can affect you psychologically. For some of you, it can make you feel rejected and worthless. Why were you chosen for redundancy over someone else? Don’t they like the way you do your job?
It can make you feel angry towards your employers. You thought you were valued and now you feel that that is not the case. That feeling of rejection can be difficult to shake off.
What is important here is that you keep your cool. This article is about how to come out on top after you have been made redundant. Leaving your old workplace for the last time without causing a scene is going to go a long way towards making any potential benefits come to fruition.
After all, don’t forget; these are the people you might be looking to in the future for a reference. If you are applying for jobs in the same field, you also don’t want your old bosses talking to future potential employers about how you caused a scene when you left.
So, you have been made redundant, you have left your workplace for the last time. What next for you? Let’s take a look at a few tips for not just surviving redundancy but also using it as an opportunity for changing your situation for the better.
First things first when you have been made redundant – don’t panic! Your instinct might be to start trawling through job vacancies immediately and applying for just about anything and everything. You need an income. You need a job. This is the best way to go about it, you think. You were rejected by your workplace and you need to feel wanted and needed again. Any job will do.
This is not the best way to go about getting a new job. If you apply for jobs in a panic and they are not necessarily jobs you have researched well, your application might not be as strong and focused as it would otherwise be. This can lead to more rejection and more dents in your confidence and self-esteem. Don’t do it to yourself.
Right now is not the time to panic and apply for jobs. Now is the time to sit and think and take stock. Here’s what to do next…
What Was Your Previous Job?
If you have just been made redundant, you need to first have a think about why you have been made redundant.
What was the industry you were working in? If your skill is a specialist skill that is necessary for that industry, are companies starting to look elsewhere for that skill? Perhaps companies are outsourcing abroad for cheaper labour.
Or is it a skill that is perhaps not as much in demand due to developments in your field? Perhaps the industry you work in or the need for the skills you have is in decline for some reason.
Having a think and making notes about the industry you worked in can give you some clarity on why you might have been made redundant and can also help you when making future job decisions.
If your industry is in decline or your skills are available abroad for a cheaper price, is it an industry you want to stay in, moving forward?
Take Control Of Your Finances
Get your finances in order. Did you get a redundancy package when you were made redundant? Have you got savings? Take a good look at your financial situation and work out how much time you have to play with before you need to get work.
Are you dealing with a short time frame or have you got the luxury of taking some leisure time and time to yourself for a while? Again, taking this time can help you decide which direction to take when applying for your next job.
Have you got any outstanding debts? Again, if you got a redundancy package or if you have savings, clear those debts as much as possible so that they are not hanging over you. You don’t want to be struggling to make any repayments further down the line.
If you are entitled to any benefits, make sure you find out what these are and take advantage of them, too.
Don’t Suffer In Silence
You are not the first person who has ever been made redundant and you certainly won’t be the last. Ask amongst your friends and anyone in your other circles. If they have been made redundant, ask them about how it made them feel? You will feel better knowing you are not the only one. Ask them how they dealt with their situation.
Knowing other people have been in the same boat as you will make you feel less alone in dealing with your redundancy. You can bet they probably felt the same sense of rejection as you do right now. And they might even be able to come up with some ideas you hadn’t even considered for moving forward.
If you have friends or contacts who work in similar fields to your area of expertise, let them know you are available for work. This can be temporary work or part time roles to tide you over and they are the types of roles that can keep your hand in with that line of work without losing touch with it.
Dig Your CV Out
When was the last time you looked at your CV? Now is the time to think about getting it in order. Even if you don’t know what type of job you would like to do in the future just yet, take a look at the layout of your CV. Is it up to date or does it look like you last updated it after leaving school or university?
If you do know the type of part time jobs you are looking for, is your CV tailored to that type of work.
Take a look at our tips for getting your CV in order so that you don’t clutter it with information that might not be relevant. There is no such thing as once-CV-fits-all. If you do apply for part time jobs or other contracts, the person looking at your application needs to know you are serious about, and keen on, THAT job. Don’t make it look like you are applying for any vacancy out there.
Organise Your Job Search
Whether you have the luxury of taking your time with your job search or you need to get work as soon as possible, make sure you get yourself organised with your job search.
Set time aside each day for your job search and stick to it. This can just be a case of browsing vacancies to see the types of work out there or it could be about targeting geographical areas or particular fields of work. Try to create a structure so that you know exactly what your aim is and what you are looking to achieve.
If you have this time set aside each day, it means that when you are enjoying some free time or doing other things, you are not feeling guilty about not looking for a job. There is still structure to your day.
No Time To Sit And Dwell
Being made redundant can make you feel rejected and at a bit of a loss as to what to do with your time. This is no time to let your mind wander and sit and dwell. Try to keep a positive frame of mind and avoid the urge to sit and scroll through random social media posts all day. Seeing your friends sharing their ‘perfect lives’ on Facebook and Instagram will do nothing to boost your mood.
This is the time to start reading all that quality material that you might not have had time to read otherwise. Read that novel you have been meaning to read for some time. Read interviews or articles about people who have been successful in your field of expertise or in your hobby. If you have a hobby or passion and you have been meaning to learn more about it and read around the subject, take that time, now.
Harness The Power Of Physical Exercise
Being made redundant can make you feel quite low. Physical exercise is a powerful way to combat any feelings of low self confidence or low self esteem. If you already keep fit, you will be aware of the mental benefits so make sure you keep up with the physical exercise.
If you are not someone who has really ventured to the gym or done any real exercise in the past, now is the time to start. Exercise releases endorphins and serotonin.These are chemicals that boost your mood. Regular exercise can help with depression and anxiety and it will also make you physically healthier.
Okay, you are out of work right now, so you might not want to be paying for a gym or exercise classes. But exercise can be something as simple as just getting out there and going for a walk or a run. Going to your local Park Run for example can be a great way to meet people and do some exercise in the process. And you never know, it could lead some networking opportunities.
Use Social Media Wisely
As mentioned above, don’t fall into the trap of scrolling through your friends’ happy posts. Don’t fall into the trap of saying the wrong thing on Facebook – how terrible your boss was for making you redundant.
Social media is also a powerful tool for getting yourself out there. Go through your current profile and make sure your public posts really are suitable for everyone to see. If they aren’t, adapt your privacy settings so that the right eyes are seeing the right things.
If there are groups or pages to follow that match your interests and area of expertise, join these and contribute. If any of these pages advertise job vacancies, make sure your settings are arranged so that you see these in your feed.
If you are not currently using LinkedIn, set up a profile on there and ask any contacts you have on there to endorse you for your strengths.
Do A Self Analysis
Being made redundant can be seen as an opportunity for possible change. Sometimes, you can be so busy with your job that you haven’t got the time to think about other directions. Now could be the time to think about your strengths and weaknesses. Think about your interests. Think about your motivators.
What are the things in your life that make you happy and make you want to get out of bed in the morning? Making a note of these aspects of your personality can help guide you towards thinking about different types of work opportunities.
Once you have worked out your motivations, you might be able to use this information and the fact that you have been made redundant as an opportunity to take your work life in a whole new direction.
Take a look at some local courses or online courses that are connected with your strengths and interests. You can completely retrain in a whole new field. If you haven’t got the funds to retrain or pay for courses, you could apply for part time jobs to help fund your studies. You could even apply for part time or temporary work in different fields to see how you like that area of work.
Take your time and think about where you are in your life. Don’t rush. Use this time to focus on what YOU want, not what you feel you should be doing or what others tell you ought to be doing. You know yourself and your strengths.
Build some experience by volunteering, doing some temporary work or part time roles. If you were working full time before and tired of doing the same job in the same surroundings you could consider multiple part time jobs. If you have other commitments in your life such as raising a family, now could be the impetus for applying for the types of jobs that give you the opportunity to work from home or job share.
Know Your Role
If you do decide to take your career in a whole new direction after being made redundant, make sure you take the time to do some thoughtful research into the field you want to work in.
Research the area you want to work in and the companies you want to work for. What are your reasons for wanting to work in this field? What have you got to offer? Have there been any recent developments in your field?
A change in direction in your career needs to be convincing. You need to show potential employers in your new chosen field that you are keen and you are taking your job search seriously. As mentioned earlier in the article, you don’t want those reading your application to think you are a candidate who is just applying for any job out there.
If there is any recent news surrounding the sector you want to work in, make sure you are aware of this. Likewise, if the company you have applied to has any plans in the pipeline, make yourself aware of these and be able to demonstrate how you can contribute to making these plans come to fruition.
Keep A Positive Frame Of Mind
Whatever the reasons for it, unless you accepted voluntary redundancy, being made redundant is never going to be pleasant. No one wants to be told their services are no longer required. If redundancy happens to you, the main thing to keep on board is to try to remain positive.
If you are retraining for a whole new career or you have decided to apply for jobs that match your interests and lifestyle, then you can view your redundancy as an opportunity to take advantage of the chance to do just that.
If you aren’t sure which direction to go in because being made redundant has left you feeling lost at sea, volunteering can give you the chance to experience different types of work and also keep you in touch with the workplace. You get to meet different people, network, feel valued and it also means you won’t have gaping gaps on your CV. Volunteering and temporary work could also lead onto permanent employment.
When we come through difficult spells in our life, it often makes us into a stronger person. You can learn a lot about yourself from being made redundant and when you come through it, it will make you a stronger person. This can be used to your advantage when you apply for jobs in the future and you can describe how redundancy has changed you when you are in interview.
If you are currently looking for one or more part time jobs, take a look at the list of current vacancies in your locality or in your specialist field and you could soon be enjoying your first day at work in your perfect role.