There’s no denying it – a redundancy can be a blow to the self esteem at first.
But rest easy knowing redundancy is commonplace in today’s evolving markets as companies scale up and down with economic fluctuations, and that it’s not a refection of performance. Even the most highly-talented professionals can be faced with it at some stage during their career.
Our advice? Use it as an opportunity to seek new challenges, and take some time off to tick a few items off your bucket list! Volunteering in Uganda? Surf trip? Why not.
In all seriousness though, in our experience it can traditionally take senior executives longer to find the right role, and their first mistake is they don’t start their search until months after they were first made redundant.
So here’s our tips on making the most or your redundancy, without putting your career on hold.
Think about what you really want to do next. Consider a plan of attack in terms of putting your feelers out before taking that holiday to ensure months don’t fly by and your payout runs out. Look at all possibilities carefully and whether there is scope for growth and development. Think about the types of employers you’d like to work for and research their company profiles.
You should also start organise referees straight away, and reach out to recruiters you can build a relationship with who will act on your behalf in finding the right role for you.
If you know you are going to be made redundant, seek financial advice immediately to ensure you don’t miss out on any financial planning opportunities. Talk to a financial adviser before you receive your termination payment – this will allow you to minimise tax, maximise your entitlement to other benefits and ensure you avoid making any costly mistakes.
Your resume is your number one marketing tool, so it needs to make a big impression on recruiters to get your foot in the door of your target companies. Start by formatting and structuring your resume so that it looks professional and is easy to navigate and read. Highlight your most in-demand skills and experience so that they catch recruiters’ attention quickly and prove your value with impressive achievements, backed up by facts and figures. Be sure to update your CV with all the skills you have gained in your current role.
Your recruiter will be able to guide you on building this out with transferrable skills too should you be looking for opportunities outside of your current role.
Continue (or start!) networking both online and offline as job leads can come from anywhere. Even your last employer is a lead – don’t burn your bridges with your former colleagues and don’t take it personally. Talk to people in your chosen industry, family, friends and former colleagues to build up your contacts.
Your recruiter will also be your best cheerleader and advocate, knowing your industry, contacts and job vacancies, as well as your own requirements.
Discuss with your recruiter or mentor, or do your own research on new skills you can add to your portfolio that will add value to your resume, particularly if looking outside of your current role or industry. Software, management, digital media and languages are just a few ideas to get you started!
Then it’s time to get interview ready! The final hurdle in securing your new role will be a job interview, so prepare yourself well in advance so that you are ready to interview at a moment’s notice. Whilst your searching and applying for roles, understand why you are a good fit for them and prepare to sell yourself at interview stage based on those reasons. Prepare for curve ball interview questions by reading this previous post.
Enjoy the journey and good luck!