Dealing with redundancy can be hard at the best of times, especially with the current lockdown situation where there is so much uncertainty about how and when work and normal life will resume.
If you are facing a redundancy situation, then here are our ten tips to help you through the process and put you in the best position possible to find new employment in the future.
How to deal with redundancy
- Stay calm and start preparing
It’s common for people to either rush into a flurry of activity or be like a ‘deer caught in headlights’ when they face potential redundancy. Avoid either fate by remaining calm. Make a list of all the things you need to arrange in the months ahead such as legal and financial arrangements, outplacement support, talking to your contacts, sharing your new contact details etc.
- Know your rights
Obtain a copy of your organisation’s in-house redundancy policy if there is one and check out your contract for exit terms. Check out the ACAS and Government websites for information about your entitlements and measures that the Government is putting in place to help employees and businesses. You may also want to consider speaking to an employment lawyer. Is there any chance of being furloughed instead, or could another compromise like temporarily reduced hours be a workable option instead of redundancy? For resources and help in finding an employment lawyer near you, visit the ‘Employment Law’ section on Personal Career Management’s website here.
- Negotiate your settlement agreement
Do not be afraid to bargain and ask for more than your employer is initially prepared to give. This might include an extra month’s pay, keeping the company laptop, money towards re-training, an enhanced redundancy lump sum etc. Organisations are looking to act quickly to protect their cash flow, so they may be happy to offer more if it helps facilitate a swifter and easier exit. For further advice and guidance on settlement agreements, visit Personal Career Management’s website here.
- Plan your Finances
Work out your financial situation so that you have a realistic picture of your finances and cash flow. Contact Jobcentre Plus to find out what financial help you are entitled to.
- Get some outplacement support
Help from a professional outplacement company such as Personal Career Management can make a huge difference to your job search success and reduce the amount of time taken to find your next role. You can purchase this yourself, but there are tax and VAT advantages to having it arranged via your organisation. Always check to see if they can supply this for you. Visit here for more information on Personal Career Management’s outplacement services, and how we can support you through your redundancy.
It is easy to take your redundancy personally and to feel aggrieved by the decision or by the process leading up to it. However, if you do choose to challenge the redundancy be careful to focus on facts and policies, not on personalities. Similarly, when talking to prospective employers about your redundancy, present it as having been a tough business decision and do not criticise particular individuals.
- Avoid burning any bridges
Try to maintain good relations wherever possible with your previous employer, even if you disagree over the manner of your exit. You will still need a reference for your next job, and it may be that your boss or colleagues can make useful introductions or offer you consultancy work.
- Do your research
Do not rush into applying for any or every job that comes up regardless of its suitability. Take stock of what you have to offer, what you want to do, and research what employers are looking for. It will be a changed job market post-lockdown, and while some sectors may still be struggling there will be others which are more robust and in growth mode e.g. remote technology services companies. Read the business pages and talk to your contacts to assess where the areas of demand are likely to be and for career advice about what you can do to appeal to those employers most likely to be hiring.
- Improve your chances of employability
Enhance your competitiveness in the job market by undertaking some continuous professional development. Fortunately, there is a huge range of online courses like distance MBAs or vocational qualifications that you can undertake. There are also thousands of different webinars, virtual conferences and other CPD activities and resources to utilise – all of which you can participate in from home and often at little or sometimes no cost.
- Keep a positive mindset
This is undoubtedly a difficult and unsettling time for everyone. However, redundancy does give you the opportunity to think about what you really want for the future. It also gives you the space to explore a wide range of opportunities that you otherwise may have been too busy to consider. It can be an extremely positive catalyst for making much needed changes in your career. The best years of your working life may be yet to come!
Corinne Mills is Managing Director of Personal Career Management, an outplacement and career coaching company who are the official Career Management partners for GAAPweb.
Personal Career Management offer GAAPweb users a free career review to assess your needs and to see which programme is right for you.
If you’re looking for help in exploring your career options, reaching your career goals, and practical help in improving your job search strategy, call Personal Career Management directly on 01753 888 995 or fill in their online contact form.