Being made redundant is often a challenging time and can come as a huge shock. Often it means making a big life adjustment both practically and mentally, even if you knew it was coming or requested it yourself. On the other hand, I also view it as a great opportunity to change or tweak the path that you are currently on.
Most clients that I see have had some life-changing experience that has enabled them to change direction or at least stop and evaluate what is the correct path for them moving forward. Redundancy is one of these times.
My top tips on how to use redundancy to your advantage:
Use this opportunity to do something different
This is the perfect time to start thinking about changing tact. This could be a small tweak to what you have been previously doing or a more significant change.
Use this time to reflect, analyse and think through what you are suited to and really what you would like to be doing next. Take your time rather than rushing into the next thing without thought and reflection. Could this be a good time to educate yourself by doing a course?
Do some self-awareness work
What do you enjoy? What do you dislike? What are your strengths, values, interests, and motivators? Spend time on this as your first step.
Have a positive frame of mind; it will make you more attractive. I have seen many people in this situation, it is a common occurrence for bright, talented individuals. You were recruited in the first place and will be again. Whilst you are looking do things you enjoy, that provide you with satisfaction and don’t forget to exercise.
Put the work in
Dedicate scheduled time to focus on yourself and your next move. Work hard on presenting yourself well, preparing, researching and soul-searching. The work will pay off.
Use your network
Your network is a brilliant place to explore who can help you. For information and for introductions, use it. Once you have worked out what you want to do next, speak to people in the area that you would like to go into. Most people who enjoy what they do are very happy to talk through their background and useful contacts and sources.
Build your experience
If you are finding it is taking a while to find that right job for you, start building your experience. It is better not to go into something completely naïve and to have some knowledge and background on what will be involved. Volunteer, help out on a consultancy basis, do some temporary or contract work. If you can build experience in the area you want to move into. The benefits of experience and meeting people will assist you. Don’t wait to be found, get out there, be visible, don’t hide away.
Present yourself well
This is a time to revamp yourself. Make sure your CV looks good and other documents look good. Your LinkedIn represents who you are and what you would like to do next. Pull out and highlight the most relevant experience to what you want to go on to do next. Match key words from job specs to your CV and LinkedIn profile (if you have the experience).
This is one of the best tools to assist you in the process. Make sure you have at least six recommendations on LinkedIn. People who are recruiting are likely to look at them. Join and use agencies Get to know key consultants at agencies or headhunters. They will then think of you first when a suitable opportunity arises.
Do your research
Do your research and lots of it. On the industry you are targeting, the market, on individuals who have done well in your field, on agencies, groups, companies in your field, blogs, relevant meet ups and conferences the list goes on. Once you are at interview stage continue with this level of research. Research the company through their website, social media, google on press, other background sites e.g glass door. Research its people, the person interviewing you, their recruitment process, their position in the market, future plans or any news relating to them.
Practice and prepare. Familiaries yourself with the format and what will be involved. Buy a book to assist you if you are rusty or hire a coach if you feel you need it to be on top of your game and to stand out from the competition.
Have an elevator pitch
Be sure when you are meeting with others what your experience is and what you are now looking for. Once people know this they may recommend you to others. Practice this with confidence.
Being clear on what you want is key to moving forward. Before any of the groundwork or meeting people it is important to stop and evaluate yourself. As you progress there will be some small changes and avenues that open up along the way but it is important to have a focus before you start.
Focus on what you want
Really think about what you now want, not what you think you should do or what others might expect of you. What do you want? Listen to your intuition on what feels right for you at this time.
Look at the clues
Look closely at and analyse what you have done in the past. List all of the jobs you have ever done and identify those aspects you have enjoyed, what you disliked and what provided most work satisfaction. Don’t undervalue yourself or underestimate yourself.
Find a mentor
Find someone you trust, respect and value the opinion of to talk to when needed.
To assist you with thinking through what you would like to do next Charlotte Billington’s recently written book What to do Next? (which is available on Amazon.co.uk) has worked successfully for those who find themselves in a redundancy situation. The book has also recently been given to employees from HR as part of the outplacement package that they provide.
About the author: Charlotte Billington is a career coach who helps individuals at this crossroads. She has recently written a practical exercise book and outplacement tool, What to do Next? (available on Amazon) that can guide HR and individuals through the redundancy process.