Redundancy: with all its associations of uncertainty and anxiety, it’s a word that employees dread and, in the wake of the global coronavirus outbreak, a reality that many are facing.
While you may think your chances of finding new employment immediately are slim, there are steps you can take now to help you move forward. Our experts share their advice on getting your career back on track.
Being made redundant can trigger intense emotions which can lead to hasty actions that you may later regret. Being calm, methodical and logical will help you to focus on proactively moving forward. “Employees need to know that redundancies happen due to changes in the direction of the business. It is the job that has been made redundant – not the individual,” advises Rachmi Fauzie, manager at Robert Walters’ HR division in Indonesia. In these increasingly uncertain times, company restructuring may be essential to a business’s survival and this can inevitably lead to redundancies, especially at more senior levels.
“Although you may have been let go from a role, your experiences and skill sets are still valuable,” Rachmi says. “Understanding this will help you stay confident about finding good opportunities in the market for your next role.”
“As soon as you become aware that redundancy is imminent, start organising yourself as quickly as possible,” suggests Alex Martin, manager at Robert Walters’ Singapore office. You should contact your line manager and request written references that you can share with potential future employers, he says.
You also need to make sure you sort out your payslips and other employment documentation. “That paperwork can be a lot more difficult to acquire once you’ve left a company, so try and get as much sorted as possible before you leave.”
“The redundancy provides a good chance to contemplate your next steps. There are no fixed timelines or expectations when it comes to landing a new role as this is dependent on your personal circumstances,” Rachmi shares.
“You may want to take a break and upskill with short courses or pursue your hobbies. Whatever you decide, use this time to recharge, so you feel refreshed and ready to resume your job search,” she says.
“Redundancy is difficult, but it can also be an opportunity to make positive changes,” says Alex. Taking the time to reassess your career and work-life balance can help you to identify what you want from your next role and employer. For example, you may want more flexibility than you were previously offered or a shorter commute.
Additionally, the time and money afforded by redundancy can provide the impetus you need to make the bold changes you’ve been dreaming of, such as a career change or returning to full-time education.
“Despite the stress and anxiety that being made redundant ultimately brings, it’s essential you take the positives and look at ways to make your new circumstances work for you,” advises Alex.
“One of the fears many people share regarding redundancy is that they’ll quickly lose contact with their colleagues, peers, and wider industry networks – but this doesn’t have to happen,” says a senior manager at Robert Walters’ Sydney office.
These days, there are plenty of virtual ways to network and connect with those in your industry – including potential employers, she notes. “Some employers will put you in touch with professional networks when making you redundant, but do make sure to explore your personal, social media, and professional networks to keep yourself connected too.”
“Once you’ve decided on the right move for you, invest energy in bringing your CV and social media profiles up-to-date, highlighting all relevant skills and experience,” says Alex.
Many people who have been in the same senior role for some time are unlikely to have updated their CV, yet their most recent experience and expertise may be their most valuable. Don’t be evasive about your situation either: “In terms of your redundancy, it’s always better to be up-front and honest with hiring managers.”
“Being back on the job market can be a daunting prospect, especially when dealing with the uncertainty that redundancy brings, but connecting with a recruiter can make this process a lot more manageable,” suggests Alex.
Not only will a recruiter provide much-needed advice when it comes to your CV and interview technique, they’ll also give you invaluable market insight and introductions. “Recruiters can provide access to jobs that aren’t being advertised, such as commercially sensitive roles – access you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get.”
“You never know what opportunities are available on the market in this time, so be flexible and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and try out a new role you have not attempted before,” suggests Rachmi.
The search might well introduce you to roles you hadn’t previously considered, so prepare to be open-minded and assess every role on its merits.
“In interviews, be honest about the redundancy. If you stay positive and convey the value you can bring to the role, employers will still regard you as a strong candidate with good qualities and skill sets,” she says.
Robert Walters offers expert hiring advice to our clients looking to attract and retain top professionals, whilst accommodating the needs and demands of the modern workforce. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org for your latest recruitment needs.
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