In the last 4 weeks I have personally spoken to over 40 people who have been made redundant.
I’m talking great people- intelligent, articulate, well presented. Some are even funny and charismatic too. People that typically have people like me all over them (as a recruiter, not just a general fanboy). As a group, these people are tackling this challenge with courage and grace.
Having spoken to them I’ve put together my thoughts on making the most of a redundancy- and to come out the other side in 12 months feeling resplendent.
- Give myself a break! Easy to say and much harder to do. The reality is that macro forces in the form of microorganisms have had more to do with your employment status than yours, or your bosses, or your company’s performance. I highly recommend being your own biggest cheerleader throughout this challenging period. Personally the best break I can give myself is exercise- and we all know the rules- you got a door? YOU GOT A GYM.
- Think about what I want to be doing 12 months from now. There can be a tendency to romanticize the stability of a job you didn’t love. Give thought to what you really enjoy, where you believe your skills and experience can have the biggest impact and what sort of role/company you would love to work with. Getting clarity on what you want to do (or what you don’t want to do!) will have a direct positive impact on your actions.
- Adjust my short term expectations. Tomorrow, someone who has been made redundant will land their dream job- better pay, amazing employer, meaningful work. Someone will- but the vast majority of people will not. Understand that the next job you get may be a short term contract! It may be less money than you’ve received in the past. It may be in a location you’ve never been to. It may not be in your first choice industry. Your next job doesn’t need to be your forever job. The reality is that the CVs of 10% of the working population will have some sort of asterix next to them from March/April 2020. By putting yourself in a new or different circumstance you will open up other opportunities and learn new skills in any case.
- Get talking to everyone I know! Your old boss, an former supplier, a friend of a friend you met at a BBQ (those were the days), your university tutor you got along with. Identify the people in your network who a)respect the work you do and b)ideally have some visibility on hiring within an organization. (if they like you it’s a bonus but not necessary). Call/text/whatever these people, organise a time to speak properly and ask them for their opinion/advice. “Here’s my situation, I’d love to do XXXXX in 12 months, I’m open to XXXXX in the short term. What are your thoughts? Who should I talk to? What opportunities do you see for someone with my skillset?” The more conversations you have like this the better.
- Give myself a break. It’s like the 2nd rule of Fight Club. Repeated for emphasis.
If anyone who is reading this would like to discuss jobs, redundancies or recruitment further with me- please get in touch. It’s literally my job to talk to people about their jobs.
Lastly, I bet you thought you were finally going to get through an article without the words unprecedented and uncertain in it. Almost.