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Heather Townsend

The Excedia Group


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Getting dumped is no fun


Whether you are already unemployed of facing redundancy, it can severely knock your confidence. Heather Townsend gives her tips on how to get your career back on track.

You’ve just been told you are at risk of being made redundant. Chances are that the news came as a shock (even if you were expecting it), and you are now fearing the worse. However, it may be just the stimulus to help you move your career to the next place. Read on for eight tips to help you quickly get back into your groove. 

1. Find some private space

Do aim to leave the premises immediately after hearing the news – and don’t feel you need to give an explanation, either – what are they going to do, fire you? Give yourself the time and space to accept the news and let your emotions come out. This is often better to do out of the workplace! Don’t be tempted to do anything in retaliation – you may still have a role with your company OR you may want help from contacts within your company to help you find a new role.

2. Take a trip on the emotional roller coaster ride

Facing the prospect of losing your job can be a very worrying time. It helps to accept that it is very normal for your emotions to be wobbly in the short-term and you are likely to bexperience first-hand the emotional cycle of change. Everyone has different coping mechanisms; however, most people find it beneficial to talk with trusted friends and family.

3. Crunch the numbers How am I going to pay the bills?

This is for everyone, almost without exception, a present and real fear when we face the prospect of redundancy. This is the time to take a long hard look at your finances, and work out how long you could survive without paid employment. Knowing how long you can remain unemployed is a great way to start planning what the future looks like. It’s important to minimise your outgoings in the short & medium term, as well as making sure you get all the financial help you are entitled to, e.g. your redundancy payout and state benefits. Take a look at the government’s redundancy calculator to see the minimum redundancy payment you will receive.

4. Take stock

Resist the temptation to immediately get out your CV and start looking for a similar job in a similar industry. This is your opportunity to take stock and go and find a new job that will tick all your boxes. It is better to delay refreshing your CV until you are certain on what your next ideal role will look like. Many people report that (in hindsight) being made redundant was the best thing that could ever happen to them. It’s worth answering the question, ‘if redundancy is the best thing that is ever going to happen to me, what going to be different about the future?’

5. Put yourself in the driving seat

In the initial stages of the consultation process it’s exceptionally difficult to deal with the lack of personal control, and easy to take on the role of a victim. It’s very normal to ask ‘why me?’, ‘am I not good enough?’, ‘what have I done wrong’, ‘If only I had...’. Remember that it is your role being made redundant, not you personally. To help you get back into the driving seat; remember to tell people that ‘your role is being made redundant’, rather than ‘I’m being made redundant’; and identify positive choices that you could take if you do find yourself without a job after the consultation period.

6. Call in the favours

Whilst, nobody likes hearing the news that their role is about to be made redundant, it is almost as bad knowing that your role is safe when others will be leaving the organisation. As a result people, whose roles are not at risk, will want to help you out. This is not the time to say ‘no - I’ll be fine’. This is one of the few times in your life when you will receive many no-strings-attached offers of help. As a minimum, you should be prepared to ask – ‘who can you recommend that I can talk with, who can help me..?’

7. Warm up the network

Whilst being put at risk is no guarantee that you will be jobless in the near future, it is safe to say that the fat lady is starting to warm up her vocal cords. The best way to find a new role is through your personal and professional network. Do let people know that there is a strong possibility you will be looking for a new role – and ask them if they know anyone who you should speak to, who would help with your job hunting. Your employers have a duty to help you find a new role – including paid time off to attend interviews.

8. Get a coach

Wouldn’t you like to have your very own objective supporter and champion cheering you on during your career transition? Most outplacement programmes include an element of personal coaching, to give you objective support, practical help and encouragement to identify and secure your next fulfilling role. A professional coach, such as a credentialed coach from the ICF, will be able to quicken up the time it takes you to find your next role – whatever it may be!

Heather Townsend is the driving force behind The Efficiency Coach. She is a highly experienced corporate, career and executive coach with over 10 years experience in many diverse businesses including Tesco, Procter & Gamble, BDO Stoy Hayward LLP. Read Heather's blog here

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Heather Townsend


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