By Leon Gettler
Redundancy is now a fact of life. With companies restructuring everywhere, whether they’re under pressure to cut costs or readjusting following a merger and acquisition, people are being laid off. Unfortunately, it is a normal part of conducting business in today’s economy. Indeed, if you haven’t been made redundant at some stage, some might see that as unusual.The big problem is how many are surprised when it happens to them. How do they deal with it?
Career coaches say redundancy can be a blessing in disguise for many people. It can give you the chance to take a step back and see where you are in your industry, and what progress you have made. You can explore other possible career paths with the skills and credentials previously gained.
The coaches suggest staying proactive and even doing voluntary, charity and other non-profit work. Sure, it does not pay but it keeps you busy, teaches you new skills, and gets you connected with people. That might increase your chances of getting noticed and give more material for your resume.
Another good piece of advice is to network. Remember, the reality is that about 80 per cent of recruitment comes from network introductions. It’s about who you know. It could take you six to nine months to find another role. You have to use that time to meet as many senior people as you can to understand what the options are and to evaluate them.
And don’t ask people for jobs when you’re networking, ask them for advice. If you have the skills, they will connect you with work opportunities.
Recruitment specialists say you should think seriously about what job you want to do next. Do you want to stay in the field or move across into something completely different? Do you want to become a consultant? Have a portfolio career? Or set up your own business?
They also recommend using social media. If you are not already signed up to LinkedIn or Twitter, you should be. Both these tools can be effective as you can sign-up to job alerts. Social media allows you to research companies quickly, find jobs that may not be advertised on job boards and research interviewers and their backgrounds.
Sally Hamilton at The Guardian says people should in those circumstances plan their finances and see how long they can survive on their payout. For finding the next job, she recommends tapping all your contacts and network to improve your chances of finding a new position. Update your CV and refresh your interview techniques. Do not necessarily take the first job offer that comes along unless you are sure it is the best option. You could try working part-time or freelance while you weigh up your next move.
Make sure you CV is ready and you have references. And last but not least, keep a positive mental attitude. For sure, there will be knock-backs, deal with it. Don’t get hung up by negative responses to applications. If you can, get constructive feedback and use this to tailor your next job application(s). You will get knock backs, but how you deal with them is important.