The 2020s have certainly got off to a turbulent start. The UK has been hit by widespread storms and flooding. And, of course, health authorities around the world are struggling to cope with the coronavirus outbreak.
It’s too early to determine the long term effects of all this upheaval. But, for many, the uncertainty is already hitting home in a hugely personal way. Every day brings alarming headlines about redundancies in sectors as diverse as the City, BBC and the high street.
Losing your job – or worrying about the possibility of such a thing – is one of life’s biggest stresses. If that’s how you’re feeling right now, don’t panic and try not to let all the anxiety get you down. Instead, check out our action plan for bouncing back – or just ensuring you’re well-prepared and in the best position to handle whatever comes your way.
It’s never personal
The first thing to remember is that although being made redundant feels agonisingly personal; it is not a reflection on you as a professional. The role you had may be made redundant, but you still have lots of value. You haven’t lost your skills, talents, achievements and experience.
Try to take a step back and stay focused, calm and determined. Every member of the City CV team has an uplifting story to tell about clients who have experienced redundancy but gone on to land a better job or create a whole new career. Be kind to yourself and take this opportunity to reassess your career direction and remind yourself of your skills and what you have achieved.
Taking some time to yourself will also stop you rushing into major decisions too soon. You’re probably feeling a range of strong emotions right now, but try to avoid blaming individuals or acting out any bitter revenge. Remember, you may need a reference and your former colleagues can be a great network for future opportunities.
Start small – here are some micro steps
Even if you’re still feeling a bit low, it is important to set realistic goals and stay focussed. Our career coaches are highly experienced at helping people deal with the emotional fallout of redundancy. It can be challenging, but they all recommend starting with small confidence boosting steps.
Here are some practical ways to help you feel more positive and productive:
- Pin your list of strengths and achievements somewhere where they’ll act as a constant reminder.
- Add to your skills with part-time or online courses or volunteer work. Remember, there are lots of new ways to learn now. You don’t necessarily have to go back to college full time. Boot camps or other short, intense courses focusing on specific skills have become extremely popular. It’s what Simon Nelson, CEO of FutureLearn calls ‘micro credentials’ and anyone can benefit from them at any point in their career.
- Spend time with family and friends or on hobbies and interests that make you feel positive. Having a supportive network will help you stay confident and optimistic. Most importantly, never be afraid to ask for help.
- If you’re looking to move in a totally new career direction, a professional coach will help you gain clarity and confidence.
Re-assess your career and future direction
Redundancy is the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate your career to date and what’s important to you now. What are your special talents and values? What did you love about your old job – and what are you privately relieved you no longer have to face each day?
What are you most proud of? Did you win new clients or save the company money? Write it all down. It’s a huge confidence boost and will look great on your CV.
An objective look at your CV is next on your to-do list. If you’ve been with the same company for several years, or you’re looking to change career direction, the chances are it will need an overhaul.
Take a strategic approach to job hunting
The recruitment market has changed beyond recognition in the last few years and you’ll likely need to revise your job hunting strategy. Firing off your generic CV to dozens of potential employers might feel like a positive action, but it’s unlikely to lead you to a great opportunity. You’ll need to be a bit more strategic.
Tweak your CV and covering letter for each application. This helps you to demonstrate how you will add value. It will also ensure you’ve got the keywords to get past the Applicant Tracking Systems that 90% of recruiters now use.
Leverage your network
If you’ve yet to embrace social media, now is the perfect time. A 100% complete and keyword optimised LinkedIn profile is vital because it’s the biggest business network in the world. Investing in an up-to-date, active and professional profile will definitely pay back.
Face-to-face networking is still important. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a new role, setting up a new business or starting out as a consultant. Friends, family, former colleagues, professional associations and Meetup groups are all great ways to make connections, update your industry knowledge and hear about potential opportunities.
Keeping in touch with your professional world is also essential interview preparation. Getting out there and networking means you’ll be well practised in talking about your key selling points. It’s also worth rehearsing positive, professional responses to questions about your redundancy. And, if you’ve got specific concerns, are out of practice or have anxiety about interviews, consider some professional coaching.
Our outplacement services provide an end-to-end solution to assist you through your career transition. We’ll help you send a positive message to future employers, using a variety of practical and professional approaches. These are designed to help you move on quickly and increase your chances of success in securing a new role. Why not give us a call on 020 7100 6656 for an initial chat?