Coping with redundancy


A quick scroll through your LinkedIN feed, and the evidence is there – despite the furlough scheme there are organisations shedding jobs - impacting the lives of people who have undoubtedly put their heart and soul into firms that now have no work for them to do. It can seem cruel, uncaring, and can appear to display a lack of respect by the employer for the work that has been carried out in the past.

As a recruiter who worked through the last recession in 2008/9 I have seen the negative effect redundancy can have on people’s mental health and well-being. Similarly I have also seen how people can cope, adapt and emerge positively if they adopt the right strategy.

Here are my top 5 tips for coping with redundancy, and developing the right strategy

1.      Remember it is not your fault

This is a big one – you need to banish any thoughts that your redundancy is your fault – redundancy programs are commercial decisions, implemented for the benefit of the organisation’s bottom line. The people involved are collateral damage and the process is often unfair to those people, even if it is carried out meticulously and sensitively, which often it is not. It’s up to you to look after yourself, come to terms with your own situation and do what is best for you. Rather than tell people “I was made redundant", say "My position was made redundant".

2.     Face Adversity Head On

Life throws many challenges at us, and redundancy can be one of the most stressful events you deal with – but as evidenced by people who have recovered from this during the last downturn you can treat it as an opportunity. It could be the kick you need to shift career, or set up that business you’ve been developing in your head for years.  Be positive and try to grow as a person

3.     Reach out

Trust your friends and your family, and talk about your anxieties. It's very hard to decide on your own what you should do next with your career – a problem shared as the saying goes. Use your social contacts to gain insight and to discuss what you think you want to do next – connect with people that could help you – LinkedIn is a great place to start. Training opportunities, webinars, opportunities for networking abound.

4.     Don’t rush in

With no money coming in and bills adding up, you might start thinking you will take anything. Whilst everyone needs to maintain payments for crucial outgoings there are schemes available (mortgage holidays for example) that can buy you time to make sure your next step is in line with your values and your skills. As a recruiter who fills multiple roles across different sectors seeing someone apply for multiple roles simultaneously creates a feeling of desperation and a lack of clarity on direction. Better to have thought about your next step, and invested time in explaining why you want a job than just applying for everything in hope.

5.     Select a decent recruiter to help you

No surprise to see this in my top 5, but you need to talk to someone who has a great appreciation of the local employment market. They can provide FREE advice, CV Tips, moral support and be someone who can use their network to speak to decision makers and hiring managers that could value your skills and experience. There are some people that I have found new permanent jobs for starting this month. There are several others that I haven’t been able to help in this way, but have still managed to provide positive input to assist them as they traverse a Covid-19 job search.

The next 3 months do not look pretty to most – there will be more casualties. There will also be more people who re-invent themselves, who make a move they’d never had made were it not for the Covid-19 crisis. Remember it is not your fault, treat it as a challenge to be overcome, reach out to others, plan your job search properly and seek out a recruiter who can really add value for you.


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