Coping with redundancy
Like many things in life, redundancy can be seen as a challenge or an opportunity. It may be a heavy blow at the time but real positives can be drawn from the situation. Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
Treat redundancy as an opportunity - a chance to re-evaluate your career goals and tackle new challenges.
Good things can come from bad. A majority of clients in outplacement find new roles with a salary higher or the same as they earned before redundancy. You may, however, need to be flexible to facilitate a career shift or broaden your experience in the marketplace. It’s your career so take control and explore all your options.
Don’t be too quick to flood the market with CVs, running around to find any job. Take time to reflect. Avoid the scattergun approach to recruiters. There is a temptation to apply for jobs that you can do rather than jobs that you want.
But early on you should update your CV and taking care to highlight your accomplishments. Be sure to ask for outplacement as it provides crucial support and advice on maximising your offering, impact and effort.
Look to the future
Once you know what job you want and what you need to get it then start looking for ways to get there. Produce a development plan for the skills, knowledge and expertise you need to develop to be the best possible candidate.
How do you persuade an employer to hire you so that you can gain the skills you do not have? Recruiters tend to want to hire only those with the prerequisite skills, so you are debarred from selection if you want but do not have this skill-set. Identify who has the power to hire you — the ‘point of purchase’. The wider your network the greater your chances of success, but recognise that an introduction will only get you the meeting, not the job.
Build up your network
Networking is the essential skill. Eighty per cent of recruitment results from networking introductions. Most people know this but hate networking and are not confident about it. Feel awkward and hate asking for help? Get over it. If you explain that you ask because you respect the opinion of your contact then most will happily help. You should aim to build internal and external networks for your career progression using your contacts to get to people who wield real influence.
Redundancy does not necessarily close off internal opportunities but most organisations pay lip service to the idea of redeployment, so be proactive. If you do not have the requisite skill-set for a role, how are you to develop your ‘aspirational competencies’? The organisation that knows you best is your current employer. They are most likely to offer you an opportunity to develop these aspirational competencies as they already know what you are capable of. Network internally; share your view of the future with your current employer to see if you can make an internal career transition.
If you cannot or do not want to stay where you are then start targeting companies and roles where you will be able to build on your competencies.
Use your network! The stigma of redundancy has gone - everyone knows someone who has been through the mill so they will be sympathetic. 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?
Some advice for the active and empowered jobseeker:
- Maintain a positive outlook, don’t play the victim — redundancy is an opportunity.
- Make sure you get outplacement services.
- Think about your career plan and moving forward.
- Target employers and network to get yourself in front of them.