Redundant? Take action as early as possible
Once the redundancy rumour mill starts to grind and long before notices are served, galvanise yourself into action and take control over the situation.
Pre-empting the inevitable, starting the job search early as well as reviewing personal finances, ensures that once redundancy becomes official, important structures and processes are already in place, thus increasing the chances of remaining positive and motivated, and finding a job quicker.
Key pre-emptive actions therefore include:
- Start networking. Make a list of all the people you know and who they know and get in touch. If you feel shy about this then remember, you are simply seeking information from them, not necessarily demanding a concrete job offer with bells on. Could they look on internal jobs boards for you, ask their manager, outline the corporate culture of an organisation so you have an edge when it comes to an interview. Remember around a third of jobs are found via networking so it’s worth investing the time.
- Scrutinise your outgoings. What can be cut back, what savings can you make? What are imperative payments? Plan for a lower level of income.
- Assess your situation and the jobs market. Do you want to use this as an opportunity to try something different, if not who are likely employers, what are your demands? How far are you prepared to travel, hours to work etc? Assessing your needs at this stage will make for a more focused job search.
The above actions will take some of the sting out of redundancy but when the official notice finally lands be prepared to run the gamut of emotions from:
- Denial, to anger, to euphoria and hopes a white knight will conjure the job back, to depression and lethargy, to growth and renewed confidence. It is not surprising that the feelings and reactions toward redundancy have been compared to other life changing events such as getting married, divorced and specifically, to losing a loved one.
- People I have coached through redundancy have said it was actually helpful to know what to expect and to have sense that what they were going through, others have gone through before. This certainly compensates for the sense of isolation and misplaced feeling of shame that goes with redundancy.
- Self esteem will often take a knock during this time, namely after the bitter realisation that the job is definitely no longer yours. It is from this dip that individuals return to their more normal state, redouble their efforts and start embarking on a concerted, systematic job search, and rebuilding their confidence.
Organisation and Planning
- If you are not an organised person, then now is the time to become one. Finding a job is like a military procedure and anything less than 100% dedication will a) knock the confidence and b) reduce the chances of finding the right job for you. By being systematic you will be self motivated and feel you are achieving, which in turn will boost self esteem. Equally it will open doors and provide opportunity.
- Draw up a modern CV. These days CVs are no more than two pages, bullet pointed, strong on skills and light on detail. Don’t let his fool you though, be sure to be able back every point made on your CV with evidence.
- As mentioned earlier, network, but in addition, keep a watchful eye on job adverts in newspapers, regularly review online job websites and jobs boards, sign on with relevant recruitment agencies and treat each agent as a prospective employer. And finally be speculative. If you have a clear idea of where you want to work, then target the employers in that area with a well-written cover letter and CV demonstrating your understanding of that organisation and why your skills and attributes would be an asset to that company. Keep it short and snappy, using bullet points, and no life stories. Some 25% of jobs are found by directly approaching organisations, while on-line methods harvest only 10%. Devote your time accordingly and cover all bases.
- Make a note of every call you’ve made, people contacted, letters and CVs sent out and keep a record of jobs advertisements, applications and phone calls etc.
It may sound a great deal of trouble but it will be worth it in the end, particularly when you’ve found your dream job, and discovered that redundancy, as many clients tell me, was the best thing that ever happened.