MT Expert's Ten Top Tips: Coping with redundancy

Personal Career Management's Corinne Mills on practical ways to manage if you are made redundant.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Redundancy can be hard to deal with if you take it too personally and don't have a plan. Here are ten simple ways to mitigate the downisde and maximise the upside of losing your job, courtesy of Corinne Mills of Personal Career Management.

1. Don’t panic
It’s common for people to either rush into a flurry of activity or be like a rabbit caught in headlights when they get made redundant. Avoid either fate by keeping calm and making a list of all of the things you need to arrange in the months ahead. Legal and financial arrangements, outplacement support,networking meetings and so on.

2. Know your rights
Check out the ACAS website for information, and consider speaking to an employment lawyer.  Obtain a copy of the in-house redundancy policy if there is one and check out your contract for exit terms.

3. Negotiate
Don’t be afraid to bargain and ask for more than your employer is initially prepared to give. This might include keeping the company, re-training, enhanced lump sum etc. What have you go to lose by asking?

4. Depersonalise
It’s easy to take your redundancy personally and to feel aggrieved either by the decision or by the process leading up to it. However, if you do choose to challenge the redundancy be careful to focus on facts and policies, not on personalities. Similarly, when talking to prospective employers about your redundancy, present it as having been a tough business decision and don’t criticise particular individuals.

5. Don’t burn your bridges
Try to maintain good relations wherever possible with your previous employer, even if you disagree over the manner of your exit.  You will still need a reference for your next job, and it may be that your boss or colleagues can make useful introductions or offer you consultancy work.

6. Get support
Help from a professional outplacement company such as Personal Career Management can make a huge difference to your job search success and reduce the amount of time taken to find your next role.  You can purchase this yourself, but there are tax and VAT advantages to having it arranged via your organisation. Always check to see if they can supply this for you.

7. Plan your Finances
Work out your financial situation so that you have a realistic picture of your finances and cash flow. Contact Jobcentre Plus to find out what financial help you are entitled to.

8. Do your research
Don’t rush into applying for any or every job that comes up. Take stock of what you have to offer, what you want to do, and research what employers are actually looking for. Talk to people in your target industry for advice and information. This information will be invaluable in helping you identify potential employers.

9. Brush up your employability
Assess whether there are any gaps in experience or training that could be a barrier to getting another job and address them. Redundancy is a good time to take some of those courses you have always been too busy to go on: not only will this enhance your skills, it also shows your commitment to continuous professional development.

10.  Think Positive
This is a great opportunity to move your career forward in line with your own personal agenda. Although it can be traumatic at the time, many people find that in the long run redundancy is actually the catalyst they need to take their career in the direction they actually want to go. So use this time to think about what you really want, and go for it.


Corinne Mills is chief executive of Personal Career Management

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