Redundancy Survival Strategy Part One: Days 1–7

What To Do (And Not To Do) When Your Role Has Been Made Redundant!

Most people when they receive the news that their role has been made redundant feel an overwhelming sense of shock and bewilderment.

Often in the days and weeks following the news it’s not uncommon to experience a range of rapidly changing emotions that can swing from numbness and disappointment right through to anger and even betrayal. These fluctuating emotions can make it difficult to know what to do. The following are some tips and advice for dealing with redundancy.

  1. On the day, ensure you gather all the paperwork and information you are given by your employer as, often, it is hard to take in information verbally when you are going through shock. If they are giving you information that is not printed, try to write it down so you can revisit it later with more time.
  2. It’s natural to feel emotional and angry but try not to let these emotions lead you to say or do things on the day that you will regret. Avoid burning bridges or saying things in the heat of the moment as your employer can be important as a referee for your job search.  Managing the news with dignity will reflect well on your professionalism.
  3. Following the news being broken make sure to give yourself time to let your emotions settle and the information sink in. Avoid driving home if you are upset and if needs be take a cab instead. Seek the company of a good friend or family member so you are not on your own. A friendly face to listen or just put the kettle on can be gold at times like this.
  4. If you are finishing up with the company immediately you will need to gather your personal belongings and return any company property. This may include company laptops, phones, cars and files.
  5. If you have been offered outplacement support it can be helpful to speak to an experienced career transition consultant on the day or days following to help you understand the emotions of redundancy and the support you have available. If your employer hasn’t mentioned outplacement support it may be beneficial to ask if this is being offered.
  6. Avoid the temptation to rush out into the job market unprepared. Give yourself time before contacting your networks to gain clarity around what you want to do next and to help ensure you can identify and articulate your value clearly and succinctly.
  7. Seek quality financial advice regarding your personal circumstances so that any tax implications are handled effectively and to ensure your pay -out is managed well. This can also be a good time to gain assistance with planning a budget for the future when you are between roles. This advice should not just be general advice but tailored to your personal situation.
  8. Remember your partner may also be experiencing strong emotions following the news so take care to talk these feelings through.  If you need it can be helpful to speak with a Doctor or Counsellor if you feel you or your partner is not managing the emotions or experiencing depression. You can also contact organisations like Lifeline or Beyond Blue.
  9. If you want to begin making a start on your job search now is an ideal time to start thinking about potential directions and next steps, and to begin gathering information and jotting notes ready to update your resume. If you are seeing a Career Coach as part of an outplacement package you may want to start collecting sample job advertisements for the types of roles you are interested in to discuss with them. You may also want to dig out your old resume and begin writing notes on the challenges and your key achievements in your recent roles.
  10. Whilst it’s not ideal to begin contacting people in the first few days after you have received the news, this can still be a good time to start writing a list of your industry networks and personal contacts.

Finally take time out to take care of yourself over the next few days. Remember it wasn’t you that was made redundant it was the role.

Redundancy is highly common in today’s ever-changing markets as companies scale up and down with market fluctuations. It is not a reflection of performance. There is no shame and every day highly talented professionals around the world are going through it.

Career change is a constant in the new world of work and often many people find redundancy can lead to new opportunities and career paths as they take the opportunity to stop and really consider what they want to do next in their career.

Surround yourself with positive people, look after yourself physically and emotionally and seek quality advice to help guide you through the transition process.

I wish you success, health, and happiness for your future.