Trainer Ian Crocker shares his tips for coping with redundancy
I have bounced back from redundancy four times. Each time was very different, and each time it was more difficult. Over that time, I have collected my own tips for dealing and coping with redundancy.
The first time I volunteered for redundancy. I worked at a large company who had realised that recent significant changes in technology had meant that they needed far fewer staff. I always thought that my skills were not specific to just that company but could be applied in any company in any sector. Here was my chance to check out whether my theory would work in practice. Although I had asked for this to happen I still had the roller-coaster of emotions that go with any personal change. I now often talk to companies to encourage them to provide support to all those who are leaving, including those who have volunteered.
The second time was when the company relocated. Not too far away, but far enough for me to require long distance commuting. I had that tricky combination of a young family and elderly parents who were needing increasingly levels of support, so moving house was out of the question. Often it’s family considerations that lead people to make career changes. I really enjoyed that job and the people that I worked with.
The third time was when the large Group of companies that I worked for decided to reduce the size of its Head Office. It’s a common thing – Head Office grows and then it’s reduced in size, and then it slowly grows again! There’s definitely a cycle to this happening. I loved that job and was learning many new skills to add to my toolbox.
The fourth time came completely out the blue. I hadn’t picked up any warning signs. And it was two weeks before I was getting married! When I was told about the consultation period all I could say was “how are you going to consult with me if I’m on my honeymoon?”!
And that was the last time. I decided that I needed more control over my destiny and decided to work for myself. Since then I have built a Training and Coaching business that has always included helping others to respond positively to redundancy.
Given my personal experiences, here are my top tips for coping with redundancy
Tips for coping with redundancy…
Be crystal clear about what you want your next job to be
You are surrounded by people that want to help – family, friends, work colleagues. It’s important to make it as easy as possible for them to look out for the ideal job opportunity. They might ask you what you are looking for. It’s really difficult for them to look out for “anything really”. If you clearly say exactly what you are specifically looking for they can keep an eye out for you.
Tell everyone that you are looking
Make sure that people that have just your work contact details know how best to contact you. Send out an e-mail explaining your situation and asking for their help to find your next job. Be specific. Get someone else to read your message before you send it to double check that any negative emotions that you might have about your situation have not found their way into your e-mail.
Set up a separate email account
If you use your long-held personal e-mail account for your job search your in-box will never be the same again. It will be full of job opportunity notifications (mostly unsuitable) for years to come. It’s easy to register for job boards etc but really difficult to unsubscribe. By having a job search e-mail account you can simply stop checking it when the perfect next job comes along.
Update your CV
Your CV is a vital part of your job search. It should clearly detail your strengths and achievements. It should grab attention quickly so having a short engaging profile at the top can act like a newspaper headline to draw the reader in to the rest of the document. Put your contact details at the end of your CV – the top of the first page of your CV is “prime real estate”, best used for the most essential information. No-one gave someone a job because of where they live, so why put your contact details there?!
Keep people updated
Let people know how you are getting on. Stay positive. Send out regular messages to tell them about your applications and the interviews that you have had so you remain on their radar.
Wishing you every success in your job search.
Ian has over 30 years’ experience as a trainer, facilitator and coach with experience working in organisations of all sizes. His specialisms include management skills, communication skills, performance management and career transitions. He is particularly well known for helping newly appointed managers to face the challenges of their new role, especially in having courageous conversations about performance.
His career transition clients say that he brings clarity to their career planning and builds their confidence so that they can be their best at interview.
If you could benefit from some extra support with coping with redundancy, consider joining our hub to receive support and redundancy and career coaching from careers psychologist and coach Paula Gardner.