Redundancy is a sad part of modern life and something that many people have to deal with during their career. Obviously being made redundant has far-reaching consequences on all aspects of your life. There are potentially serious repercussions financially, with your personal relationships and, of course, your mental wellbeing.
It’s vital to take the correct steps and deal with job loss effectively. Also always remember that being made redundant is seldom ever your fault or because of your performance. Redundancy can be because of various reasons, including company takeovers, revenue losses, technological advances and increased competition.
Here’s our top tips to help you through the challenges you might face with redundancy as well as putting you in the best position possible to find new employment in the future.
Being made redundant causes one of two behaviours in people, they either rush headlong into a flurry of random activity or are so completely bewildered they do nothing. Avoid all of this by keeping calm and compiling a list of everything you need to sort out, including anything legal or financial. This should restore some order back into your life as well as giving you a sense of purpose and a rough plan.
Losing a job that you depend on either financially or emotionally can be difficult to bear. Just keep in mind that this is not the end of your career and just a transition. Many people find being made redundant is the making of them because they can rethink their career and change direction or find they can get a much more interesting and rewarding new role. It’s easier said than done but stay calm and be positive.
Most organisations make their staff redundant as the last resort and do not take the decision lightly as many redundancies come with some type of protection for workers. You'll normally be entitled to statutory redundancy pay if you're an employee and you've been working for your current employer for 2 years or more. Statutory redundancy pay is the legal minimum an employer can pay you and the amount you get can depend on your current salary, age and time you’ve spent with the company.
It's always worth trying to get hold of a copy of the company redundancy policy, if they have one, as well as checking your own employment contract for exit terms. There’s also a lot of extremely useful information regarding redundancy and your entitlements on the ACAS and Government websites. If you feel that something is amiss, then it might be wise to think about speaking to a specialist employment lawyer. You could also check to see if there are any possible compromises such as temporarily reducing your hours instead of making you redundant.
Take some time to reflect on what you really want to do next in your career and don’t jump straight onto the job boards applying for every role in a 50 miles radius!
Were you truly happy in your last role or would you like to do something different? Now is a good time to think about a different, more fulfilling career or a job that doesn’t take over your every waking hour. This is also an opportunity to focus on something practical such as training or refreshing your skill set.
Don’t be too nervous to negotiate and ask for more than your company is initially prepared to give. This might include an extra month’s pay, keeping the company laptop or phone, money towards re-training or an enhanced redundancy lump sum. Organisations are looking to act quickly to protect their cash flow so they may be happy to offer more if it enables a swift and easy exit.
Work out your financial situation so that you have a realistic picture of your finances and cash flow because even if you have been given redundancy pay, it’s important to be realistic about the current situation and understand that a lack of a steady income could mean certain changes to your lifestyle. Your redundancy pay should be saved for your monthly bills and other essentials such as food and travel costs. It might also be worth contacting Jobcentre Plus to find out what financial help you are entitled to. Hopefully the situation will be temporary, and you will soon have a steady income again. Either way, budget planning will give you some peace of mind.
Don’t take redundancy as a personal attack and feel aggrieved either by the decision or by the process leading up to it. Even if you choose to challenge the redundancy, it’s important to be careful to focus on facts and not on personalities. This would also be wise when talking to prospective employers about your redundancy, always present it as having been a difficult business decision and never criticise individuals.
It’s important to think of the long game and that’s getting a new job, so try to maintain good relations wherever possible with your previous employer, no matter how upset you feel about being let go. After all you will still need a reference in the future, and you never know, one of their contacts might need your skill set and they can make an introduction. Always play nice – you will look unprofessional if you bad mouth anybody.
You can start your job hunt once you’re in a positive frame of mind. Start with checking that your CV is up to scratch. There are several articles in Lioness Recruitment’s Career Advice section which will assist you with creating an effective CV and getting the best out of interviews. It’s important to keep going with job hunting and to not get dismayed. Interviews and even job offers are often like buses and several can turn up at once! Just make sure that you are organised and get into a routine of spending a set amount of time every day looking for new opportunities.
Always remember to look after your mental and physical health during job hunting and never suffer in silence. Move forward, maintain a positive mind set and hopefully it won’t take long to find that your ideal job is just around the next corner.