Facing redundancy can be challenging both mentally and emotionally and the uncertainty involved can be tricky to manage, especially whilst we are also navigating through a global pandemic. We believe that with the right support in place, it can actually provide a great opportunity to take a step back and re-assess your career and life goals.
It’s important to look after yourself in your current situation but it’s also important to look to the future to start planning your next move. We have put together some tips on how to cope with and positively navigate through the redundancy process.
#1 Make sure you understand the reasons behind the redundancy
Your employer has a responsibility to follow a certain process and part of this includes that they must clearly explain on which grounds you are being made redundant. Redundancies should always be commercially led decisions so understanding the reason behind the redundancy and how many people will be affected can sometimes help you to not take it so personally.
Once you understand the reasons behind the redundancy, you can start to work on acceptance and get closure before focusing on the next steps.
#2 Have honest conversations with your employer and people close to you
You are probably dealing with a lot of different emotions following the news – stress, anxiety, worry, shock. Speak with your employer about any concerns around money, timeframes, your future, whatever it may be – there may be ways in which they can support you and make the redundancy process as smooth as possible for you.
Opening up to close friends or family can also help you to process your thoughts and feelings. They probably know you better than anyone and may be able to offer some advice and support specific to you and your circumstances. It can be difficult to take a step back and gain the clarity you need to come up with a plan alone, so seek the advice of others if you feel this will help, a fresh perspective can be valuable.
#3 Ensure you understand your legal rights
If you’re being made redundant you might be eligible for certain things benefits: redundancy pay, a notice period, a consultation with your employer, the option to move into a different role or time off to find a new one. You must be selected for redundancy in a fair way and not because of protected characteristics such as age, gender, disabilities or being pregnant. Do ensure you understand your legal rights by reading the most up to date official guidance and support: https://www.gov.uk/redundancy-your-rights
#4 Get a handle on your finances
After you have spoken with your employer about redundancy pay, think about forming a budget to cover the coming months. Finding a job in the current market may be more challenging than it would have been a few months ago, so it’s a good idea to plan your finances early on so that you know what you’re working with – this will help to reduce unnecessary stress. There are plenty of free to use budgeting apps which you can download to make this process easier.
If money is looking tight, then look at ways in which you can reduce your outgoings immediately. Could you save money by switching energy providers, your mobile phone contract, tv or subscription services, your shopping habits? Thinking about these cost savings early on can help to maximise your redundancy payment.
It’s also worth considering which benefits you may be entitled to whilst you are seeking employment. There are some great online resources to help you with understanding redundancy pay and managing your finances including this Redundancy Pay Calculator by the Money Advice Service: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/redundancy-pay-calculator
#5 Re-assess your career path and your life goals
Considering the redundancy as an opportunity, rather than a job loss, will ensure that you get the most out of the situation. A lot of people are in the jobs they are today because they fell into the job or industry, rather than them actively seeking the role. Whilst this can sometimes lead to a fulfilling career, for a lot of people it can leave them feeling unfulfilled because they do not truly have a passion for what they are doing day in day out.
Being made redundant is the perfect opportunity to take stock of your skills, experiences, passions, and talents to define your career and lifegoals moving forward.
#6 Look after your mental health
Take time for yourself. Whilst it may be tempting to spend all of your waking hours on your job search, this will not do you any good mentally and can leave you feeling emotionally and physically drained.
Set specific time aside to work on your job search/networking and make sure you also allocate free time to spend on yourself. The harder you are on yourself, the more disappointed you will be and therefore the worse you will feel – this may even lead to you making mistakes when speaking with potential employers.
Ensure that you don’t neglect your basic human needs – get enough sleep, don’t lay in too late, stay active, eat a healthy balanced diet and practice things that make you happy whether that’s yoga, a sport, reading or seeing friends and family.
Make sure you set time aside for yourself and be patient with yourself, understand and accept that you may be feeling many different emotions within the same hour or day – this is normal and you will get through this.
#7 Network and build contacts
Whilst now might not seem like the ideal time to be looking for a new role, it really is the time to try to stand out to potential employers. Once you have thought about what kind of role you want next, use this time to build your network on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Keep your ear to the ground and push your boundaries where you may not have had the confidence before – reach out to industry thought leaders and influencers, engage with them and research the latest industry news. You need to build an online presence so that when the right opportunity comes up you are noticed by the right people.
#8 Own your personal growth
If you find yourself with a spare few hours and there are areas you can develop your skills and knowledge – take the opportunity to do so. This could be formal training or something as simple as researching your industry and keeping up to date with industry news. It will help to prepare you for any interviews or conversations with potential employers in the future as well as improving your CV.
#9 Continue to plan your day as if you were employed
Wake up at the same time, structure your day by setting time aside for specific tasks, have a to-do list, take a lunch break and have some time for yourself to relax in the evenings. This will help you to remain focused and stop you from falling into bad habits. Adding structure into your day will keep you motivated and aid good mental health.
Going through a redundancy can be really challenging and it can be difficult to remain positive – but by following these steps, you are building a foundation to set yourself up for success and when the opportunities do present themselves – you will be there ready to sieze them.
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