Massey University CareerplaNZ

Career and student learning issues brought to you by Massey University’s Careers Service – New Zealand

Redundancy then?

Posted by John Ross on February 23, 2009

It is a fact of life that redundancy will be a reality for many people in the months to come.  Being ready for this worst-case scenario will have a major impact on your ability to bounce back and to do so quickly.  I’ll avoid going over the old ground of previous posts to this blog, but I will stress the centrality of keeping yourself as employable as possible.  Although it’s unlikely to feel like it at the time, redundancy can offer a ‘window’ to work on this – to focus on what you want; what you can offer; who you are and what you need.

There’s no doubt about it, redundancy is stressful.  It’s a natural and human reaction to think ‘why me, what did I do wrong and what am I going to do now?’  Indeed, many have equated redundancy with bereavement – shock, disbelief, anger, fantasy, depression and guilt are common psychological reactions that precede acknowledgement and acceptance.

Chances are however, that your redundancy is not a reflection of you as a person nor of any lack of motivation or ability on your part.  It’s also natural and human to rush into decisions and to take the first new job that comes along – after all, you’re likely to need the income and may well be feeling the rawness of a sense of loss of identity.  It’s highly unlikely that this will be the best approach though – negativity is anathema to effective job search after all. 

Instead, take a realistic view of how long you can be out of the workforce for.  In addressing this, you’re likely to look first at your finances.  How much do you have – and need – to cover your bills; debts and other commitments?  Is what is left sufficient to allow you to life – if so, for how long?  Is anything left over for spending on any retraining that might be sought or needed?  Support can help with this – be in from friends and family; on-line budgeting services; financial advisers or any assistance offered through your previous employer. 

Many people who have experienced redundancy in the past stress the value of establishing a routine, not least for self-motivation reasons.  Needless to say, it’s likely that this routine will include time spent on job-search activities, re-training and suchlike.  This, in turn, may also require realism and creativity.  If you’re not finding relevant advertised vacancies, how comfortable are you with building, accessing and networking with a range of appropriate contacts?  Do you have the time – and money – to take on voluntary work…this can be a great way to develop your skills base; to be seen to be using your time constructively and to enhance your contacts list?  Equally, are you open to freelance or short-contract work?  Is it possible in your role?

Finally, I guess I’d say that it’s vital to stay in ‘work mode’.  As hard as it may be, it’ll pay dividends to remain focused on the type of work you’re seeking and on the many things you have to offer your future employer.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: