Monday 14 January 2019

Coping With Redundancy

 Happy Monday Guys,
I hope you all had a lovely weekend?
Today's post is a slightly new format for me, but one that I have had a lot of experience in and that's Redundancy.
It's not a nice thing to go through for anyone, and I thought seeing as my experiences with this subject are quite recent it would be good to jot down some tips on how to cope with this period of your life, should it ever happen to you.
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I want to break things down into sections, just so that it's easier to understand.  
And I'd love to know in the comments section below what you think?

It's not you, it's them

It's easy to take this redundancy as personal, but at the end of the day it's just business.  
I have been through redundancy 4 times in my career - twice within Higher Education, and twice within the Marketing sector.  
You might feel victimised when you first get called into a meeting room and told that your role is under risk - it's a shock, and you can feel your heartbeat ringing in your ears, and you want to cry there and then.  And you totally feel like your world is falling apart. BUT, remember you are just a number to your company, and this is business.  
From somewhere higher up the chain your company they have been told to make financial cuts and unfortunately that means in a department, or a certain number of most recent staff.  
You could look at it as last in. first to leave because if you've not been with your company for longer than 2 years you are cheap to get rid off in comparison to other staff members who have been there 5 years plus.  
It could also be that the company is in financial difficulty and needs to make cuts in head count.  There are so many reasons for any company to make someone redundant.
Not a nice way of looking at it granted, but you have to look at it in a honest impartial way.
On the day you've been told your job is at risk, if you find it hard to go back to your desk and carry on working like nothing has happened; tell the people in your redundancy meeting how you feel, and they will more than likely allow you to go home and digest what has happened.

Finding your Feet 

Those first few hours of being told you're being made redundant are the hardest but please DO NOT wallow in it, and please call friends and family members and tell them what has happened because sharing the burden really does help you.  It's a stressful time of not knowing, but no redundancy process is instantaneous and can take months, sometimes weeks to be formalised so you have some time to think about what's happening and take stock.

Sharing has definitely been helpful to me.  I call up my closest friends and tell them the news, and they always tell me that I am a strong person and that everything happens for a reason and they are totally right!

There's no point crying and wallowing it in, as harsh as that sounds because at the end of the day if its going to happen it will happen, and there's nothing you can do to change it, it's simply out of your control.  But what I will say is in the first few minutes of being told about your possible redundancy, take the information gracefully and as professionally as you can.  

Go home and call up the people that you can rely on and they will give you support when you feel like you are totally alone.

Getting yourself out there

The first few hours and the days after the news can be awful, for me when this happened to me back in October 2018, I had just got back to my normal daily working routine after hurting my shoulder, so I was really busy and not expecting to have a random meeting put in my diary and not knowing what that meeting was for.

I was told the news that day, then allowed to go home, and in my first few hours I'd called my closest friends and family and digested the emotions that I felt.  I was allowed a week at home, before I went back into the office to hear the outcome of the redundancy and within this time I took stock.  To me I knew from experience that the inevitable was going to happen, and that I'd loose this job that I adored, so I prepared myself for this news.  I got myself ready - got all my equipment ready to hand back at my next meeting and wrote a list of questions to ask about, such as when my redundancy package will be paid out, any annual leave I should also be paid for, as well as anything else I could think of.

Most importantly in these few days I was kind to myself!  I had long baths, I met with some friends for dinner, I went for walks.  But I also wrote down a list of what I wanted to do next within my role and what my goals were.  And I started contacting recruitment agencies, telling them my situation and I started applying for new roles.  I was extremely proactive and I kept myself busy and therefore it stopped me over analyzing my current predicament.

Hearing the news

It's a tough day for anyone, and you feel as though no one will ever feel this sad as you feel on this day - but it's just a job at the end of the day!  Be polite in your final meeting, ask questions and make sure you get the answers you need so that when the meeting is finished you feel as though you have gotten everything of your chest.  You can even take a colleague into the meeting with you for support and this is what I have done before, and it definitely helps you knowing there's someone who cares 
about you sitting in the chair next to you.

Most importantly any company when making an employee redundant will offer you support - be this career support, or advice with regards to pensions, or if you have a company car to hand back.  Take their support and email them or call them and they will be there to help you.

Leave the building with the bits from your desk and your head held high and think of it as a positive - you learnt new skills from this company, you grew as a person, you made lifelong friends from your ex colleagues and you have a great company to use as a reference as well as adding this old role to your CV.  

My old boss use to say you can make a shit sandwich out of anything = lost job + made redundant + got some money = time off and a career change! (shit sandwiches always make me laugh, but you can make a positive out of a negative in every situation.)

Go get it

Once you know where you stand you can then make more informed decisions.  You have some redundancy money coming your way now, that you can either live on, put towards a house, or towards some DIY or a holiday or just use it to add to your savings.  At the end of the day it's money that you didn't have before and although you might feel that you'd prefer to be working back where you were, you can't; and you have to face up to the fact that this is what is happening in your life and you can't ever go back there again.

Once I got over the fact that this was my predicament and I knew I had some money coming I could take the brakes off a bit and enjoy my time at home a little more.  

I was proactive everyday applying for jobs, but I also took myself outside and got my eyebrows done, or called a friend and organised my weekends so that I had something to look forward too.  

Don't feel bad telling recruiters your current job circumstance, they honestly won't judge you for being made redundant, and don't forget they see this kinda thing on a daily basis!

Look at your CV and add in the last role that made you redundant and reevaluate the skills you learnt from that role and add it to the CV.  Ask a friend or a recruiter to look at your CV and advise you on what needs to be changed.  I did this with my best friend and it really helped me with my CV and getting interviews. 
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Don't stop believing

I know it's hard to get out of the feeling that no one else cares because they are all at work everyday and you are stuck at home job searching, but everyone has gone through a career change at some point all be it their decision or not.  You just have to remain proactive, keep smiling and keep applying for jobs and do interview prep and YOU WILL GET THERE!

I did all of this, I had 4 interviews in total and I was out of work for a month, then secured a job offer and took a month off for myself, knowing that I had a new job to look forward too.  I enjoyed my redundancy money, I went to Bicester, I went out for meals, I looked after myself and read books - I also had a really bad tooth removed and had to deal with my ultimate fear - the dentist!! But i started my new job with high hopes.

My new job wasn't' what I thought it was going to be, it was not the right sector for my career path, and after 5 1/2 weeks I left the company.  I've never ever done this before in my whole career but I knew it was right for me.  I am now back to job searching, but you know what; I am HAPPY!  I did what was right for me, I left a job that wasn't like the one I was made redundant from and I learnt that it was not the right sector for me and made me unhappy so now I am back to job searching again, but you know what? I love being at home, I have now the opportunity to find a job I love.  Am I daunted? Yes.  But I believe in myself, and I know the right job will come for me, because if you put it out to the universe it'll happen. 😇

I hope this post has helped you in some way?  I'd love to hear your career stories? xx

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