Some of us may remember the concept of a job for life, where you worked for a large blue-chip company or solid family business and received opportunities for training, promotion, travel and even relocation, leaving only due to personal choice or circumstance.
Today this is a somewhat alien concept, with many people changing their jobs every three years or so through boredom or redundancy. A job for life is pretty much extinct.
As companies fold, get bought out or reorganise redundancy has become a regular occurrence, with some people being made redundant several times in their working lives.
And, as we move through this global pandemic, it's increasingly commonplace to find someone whose role has changed, whose way of working has been revised and who now works part-time, from home, has gone from staff to contract or whose duties have changed.
Often there's little choice but to comply with the company's decision. But what a depressing word 'redundancy' is, meaning no longer needed, outdated, unwanted, superfluous!
Let's look at ways of lifting the mood and moving forward from redundancy;
- Start by reconciling yourself as to why it's happened. Redundancy is when a job, role or position is no longer viable, relevant or adding value to an organisation's working practices. So avoid the temptation to take the decision personally. There are many reasons, especially at the moment, why your role may no longer meet the business's needs. Being made redundant is less likely to be about you and more about present circumstances.
- Could now be a good time to take the plunge into self-employment? You're probably already managing on less and there seem to be fewer job opportunities. If you've a hobby, interest or good idea that you'd like to road test now might be a good time to trial it and explore what you need to learn and action to improve your chances of success. Maybe you could partner up with someone who complements your business plan, so sharing your expenses or find an experienced ally to initially coach or mentor you.
- Think of ways to work without money changing hands. Take the pressure off needing to earn by exchanging skills and trading with others differently; cleaning, gardening, baking, book-keeping, admin, virtual PA are some ways you could work for each other, support yourself and maybe gradually grow your contribution into a full-time, permanent business.
- Think about the many people you know who reflect back on being made redundant as the catalyst for achieving what they now have. They'd never have made the move to change career or start their own business if they'd been salaried and committed to regular employment. It took that push for them to find the courage and motivation to start anew.
- Consider your options. Look at your skills. Ask yourself what you'd like to do now that you've had time to think and perhaps discover what you don't want to do and also what you're good at and enjoy.
- Identify your transferable skills. If you've got good people, management, selling or organisational skills, are good with your hands, enjoy finances, these are all skills that be applied successfully in several business settings or even to working on your own.
- If you've little work experience and want to enhance your abilities look to volunteering, maybe in a charitable organisation, a youth group or as an apprentice. Or cold call, make contact, perhaps with HR, and see if you're able to source ways to learn and obtain some experience in an organisation you like.
- If you're looking for a new job online agencies can be one way to find vacancies. Or use business networking sites like LinkedIn to search in niches that are of interest. Ask around on social media or through friends, family and contacts, both on or offline to explore if they know somewhere that's looking to recruit.
- Investigate options to retrain. There are grant-funded opportunities available through government schemes and colleges.
- Look to refresh your CV. What might an employer be looking for in a new recruit? Tailor each application to the specific job you're applying for, rather than use a generic one and include a covering letter. If necessary be prepared to utilise a professional to help with this as well as having a professional photograph taken. Treat it as an investment in your future.
- Potential employers look for things like a consistent work history, relevant interests, appropriate skills, like time management, coping with stressful situations, successes you've had, adversity overcome. They're keen to know what you can bring to the job, why you want it.
- How flexible are you? Do you want full-time, part-time, shift work, working from home? So much is new and open to negotiation. We're all finding our feet in this new 'normal'.
Now could be the time for you to open new doors and make the very best of this opportunity as you move forward from redundancy.