The blow has been dealt. Ok. One day, you feel sorry for yourself, the next you’re ready to take action. Who knows where this road will take you? A new challenge? Let’s face it – it’s been a while since you’ve felt this invigorated! So have faith in yourself and project confidence…
So you’re at home. You allow yourself a lie-in on your first day, but no more. There’s work to be done, plans to be made and, most importantly, jobs to be hunted. For there are jobs – lots of them.
If you’ve been given a redundancy package, the chances are you already know what to do with your pay-off. Invest, splurge, pay off your debts, it’s up to you – but don’t make any hasty decisions.
Redundancy counsellors stress that it’s important to consider how the situation affects not just you, but your family and those around you. If you are ‘in shock’, you may suffer from a general apathy or lack of concentration, as well as insomnia or stress headaches.
The main thing to bear in mind is that activity is key to feeling good about yourself and your situation. Focus your mind on the future, and apply yourself to job-hunting. Consider your future career – where do you want to be in five, ten years time?
‘The first thing is to remember that old Dad’s Army adage – don’t panic!’ says Peter Stansbie, director of development at ATM Consulting, which advises those who have been made redundant on what steps to take next. ‘It happens to a lot of people and will continue to happen – but there is life after redundancy, and there are a lot of jobs around.’
You can start by just standing back and having a look at your overall situation. ‘Firstly, be aware that you are not alone,’ says Peter. ‘Start gathering all your thoughts, skills and resources – take a step back, find some space and either write things down or find someone you can talk to – or both.’
Many people say redundancy is in some ways a catalyst for long overdue life changes. ‘We’re all so busy doing our jobs that we don’t ever think about whether we’re actually doing what we want,’ says Peter. ‘If you can avoid panicking, and can give yourself the time and space, then it’s an opportunity, not a problem. You can consider options other than just going back to the same sort of employment, and a lot depends on age and financial position.
Nobody loves me
It’s natural to feel negative and to worry that employers may be sceptical about hiring someone who has been made redundant. But, according to Peter Stansbie, this is rarely the case. ‘Increasingly, people at all levels have some experience of redundancy – because it’s happened to themselves or to people close to them,’ he says. ‘There’s not the stigma attached to redundancy that there might used to have been. You have to focus on the positive aspects of your resume, think about it psychologically.’
If you do feel that your employment prospects have been hampered because you’ve been made redundant, think about it this way: why were you taken on in the first place? Somewhere along the line, someone invested in you because of your value. Just because you have been made redundant, it doesn’t follow that you have become any less valuable to others.
In fact, your immediate availability can work in your favour, says Geraldine Maxwell, HR manager for a publications company. ‘Many companies recruit on a temp-to-perm basis these days,’ she says, ‘which for people already in a permanent position, can be somewhat unfeasible. If you’ve been made redundant, then unless you’re being held to a notice period, which is unusual, you’re instantly more marketable. Even for straightforward permanent positions, in today’s marketplace, you can be more attractive to prospective employers if there is no chance of a counter-offer. Although, they will still have to compete with all the other employers who want you.’
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