Redundancy Sucks. The Fastest Route Back to the Happily Reemployed
Redundancy happens and let's be honest - usually it sucks. It's awful for the person affected, their family, it even sucks for the poor HR person who is sick to their stomach at having to deliver the news. And with up to 40% of current Australian roles set to be replaced by technology over the next 20 years it's affecting more and more of us.
The truth is redundancy hurts, and if you are going through it the fear and emotion you feel is real. The good news is for almost everyone this will ultimately pass and you will get another job but that doesn't make us feel any better in the meantime. The challenge is making the transition as quick and painless as possible.
Read Also: Why Redundancy is No Longer a Dirty Word?
The following are my tips from years of helping people survive redundancy and come out the other side whole and happy. This is, of course, not a one-size-fits-all formula - every journey is different and you need to trust your intuition when it comes to your future.
1. Allow yourself some time to come to terms with it - just don't dwell too long.
It's natural for a period to feel angry, sad, betrayed, scared or any number of other emotions. In fact it's normal. Take time out to breathe and adjust. If you can talk with someone about it- great; it usually helps. If you are really struggling or it seems to be going on too long don't beat up on yourself but do get professional help. For some people it just hits emotionally a little harder but you do need to seek support because you can't move forward when you are stuck in the past and really struggling.
2. Get serious about your career marketing - it's important!
Get the best resume and LinkedIn profile you can and make sure you sell your skills and value strongly. To get a job you need to get in front of recruiters and employers, and these materials are make-or-break. This is not the time to be shy, blasé or humble. Map your strengths and achievements out and then sell them to the best of your ability. If you have outplacement use it, as a good resume writer is an incredible asset during a job search campaign.
3. Learn everything you can on the latest interview systems and job search tactics.
Things are changing rapidly in the world of work and the old days of sending out a few resumes to the job boards and sitting back waiting is over. Now is the time to really embrace mediums like LinkedIn, social media, and personal branding to maximum effect. It may feel hard but lean into the discomfit until you can navigate these areas like a pro.
4. Stay active and disciplined with your time - don't get caught in the trap of doing odd jobs around the home rather than starting your job search.
Re-employment can take time so get the ball rolling. This means scheduling time for applications, networking, market research and life balance. What this doesn't mean is running yourself into the ground 24/7 - this won't help. Not enough balance will hurt your resilience and you need this more than ever now so include time for self care, exercise, healthy self indulgence, mindfulness activities or whatever rings your bell. You can do your home renovation projects too.
5. Surround yourself with an army of supporters and ignore any naysayers that bring you down.
Pursue your career goals and don't let doubt slow you down. Positivity and confidence breeds momentum and success.
6. Ditch any ideas of trying to keep up the perfect career image or keeping the news of your redundancy to yourself.
Redundancies happen everyday so kick any unhealthy shame tendencies. Don't be shy to tell people you are seeking new opportunities and if they could keep their ear to the ground it would be appreciated. Invest in buying lots of people coffee and using this time to get their advice and support. The most important thing you need to know is it's usually second level connections that lead to jobs, not friends and certainly not job boards. If you want a job quickly invest in connecting with people and be prepared to tell your story. This includes being articulate about what you are looking for and what you bring potential employers. Invest time in getting this dialogue right. Don't forget your career coach can be an invaluable source of networks so leverage these!
7. Avoid the victim card if you can. It almost always just holds you back.
This is not the case for everyone as for some people seeking legal action is important and part of their road to recovery but for most it seems a path fraught with heartache and being caught in the past. As Brene Brown says " there is a lot of difference between feeling hurt and acting out your hurt, between feeling disappointment and choosing to live disappointed. Embrace your 'badassery' and be willing to feel your way through the tough emotions and rise again. Own your story, live your values and keep showing up! Thanks Brene - I love those words.
Finally be kind to yourself and remember with the right actions you'll move forward again in no time on to a bright new future.