13 Jun The First Thing To Do If Being Made Redundant
The First Thing To Do If You’re Being Made Redundant
I’m not proud of how I handled being made redundant. I was in my early thirties, with two young children to support, a marriage that was far from secure, and had found refuge in a start up that was all about wine: my dream job. And that was about to disappear. I won’t lie to you, I cried. It took me by surprise. No consultation period or warning announcement. Just a call into the CEOs office and an apology.
That was then: a lifetime ago. Today, I know much more. I wouldn’t have done what I did then. I wouldn’t have cried in front of my boss and I certainly wouldn’t have rushed to get another job, any job. Now, with the benefit of my own experiences, and hundreds of hours working with career coaching clients who have been right in the thick of being made redundant, I know better. Here are my take-aways on the things you should be doing if you’re being made redundant, in the order I would recommend.
1. Let Yourself Feel
Even if you hate your job and want to be made redundant, its natural to feel panic. Things are changing and our flight or fight responses are being activated. If redundancy is a shock, or it’s going to be hard financially, you may be dealing with anxious thoughts for what this means for the future. You may be sitting with thoughts like “why me” or “not again.” Many coaches will tell you to try and still these feelings, but I believe it’s important to give our feelings space. Give yourself a day or two to feel what you feel. Don’t try to do anything during this time . This isn’t the right moment to send off a flurry of job applications.
The key here is setting yourself a time limit for sitting with your feelings. It could be a day or two. Three or four at the most. Then, draw a line under it. It’s time to move on.
2. Look to Your Security
Of course, we all have to think about paying those bills. Here is the point when you have to hunker down and do the maths. What do you really need to live on each month? Can you reduce that? Cutting out Netflix, Prime and the gym can often bring household expenses down £100 a month in one fell swoop.
Check out what you are entitled to in the way of Universal Credit, redundancy payouts and benefits. Don’t be ashamed at claiming from the state. You have paid your taxes just for this: to come to your aid when you need it. If you’re think of taking courses, double check to see if they have reductions for unemployed.
Can you bring in income any other way, such as letting out a room or doing some online tutoring while you job search? If you are paired up, now’s the time to have those honest and frank conversations about your finances. Don’t be too secretive with the children too. They will pick up on stress levels and wondering what is going on will be worse than the truth. Kids can usually deal with honesty, it’s secrets and lies that cause the issues.
3. Let Yourself Breathe
Its still not time to work on those applications, however. What I would like you to do now is to ask yourself what does this redundancy really mean for you? Even if your first thoughts are worries about paying the mortgage, try to let go of that for the moment. Look at the bigger picture. Maybe you have been feeling unhappy in your job for a while and this is the kick you need to change career. It could be the time you decide to go part time or look for a job share. It could be the stimulus to start your own business or go freelance. Perhaps you want to look for something closer to home, or a smaller organisation where you are more likely to get promoted quicker.
What have you been hankering for but haven’t gone after because of your job? What will being made redundant mean for those dreams and desires?
Even if you were happy in your last role and want something similar, taking this time to check in on that will help you remain motivated in your job search.
4. Try Out Your Possible Selves
If you’ve been pondering changing career, now could be the time to try it out. You could do this by asking for some work experience, interning, shadowing someone or taking a short course. You may never have this time again, so please use it while you do.
5. Prepare For Action
While it’s tempting to throw out CVs willy nilly, it works better if you have a plan. Make a short-list of the types of jobs are after. Create a CV to suit each category. Get someone – a career coach like me – a trusted friend or someone in the industry, to look over them and make suggestions. Move into creating a job hunting routine
Contact me if you’d like some help contemplating our future post redundancy.