Relish Your Redundancy

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In the modern work world, it’s becoming more and more common to hear that employees are being made redundant. Whether you’re the Vice President or an entry level assistant, it seems no one is safe from the R word.

But how do you deal with it, without completely losing the plot, and going into panic mode? Further more how can you, use it to your advantage? We speak to a brave woman that saw the light at the end of the tunnel and relished her redundancy. Plus we bring you seven tips on how to stay cool, calm and collected if you’re experiencing redundancy right now.

 

‘I’m so sorry, they’ve shut us down. We’re all unemployed now.’

It was a phone call in the summer of 2009 which changed my life.

Only the year before I’d been headhunted for the role of Communications Manager for A1GP; a bold and exciting new Motorsport series set up to rival F1. I’d gone from my job at the Financial Times and working in the city to jetting around the world working in motorsport.

But then the credit crunch hit and the sponsorship money needed to fund the series disappeared. There was no money to pay suppliers and wages, and bailiffs turned up at the office.

There was always a sense of optimism that we could turn things around. But on that fateful day a supplier who hadn’t been paid had taken legal action. The courts took one look at the finances and shut A1GP down. The dream was over.

I remember feeling shocked and angry. But worse of all I was mortified – I’d taken a gamble on a dream job and it had failed. I was owed wages, holiday pay and expenses and left unemployed.

I collected my belongings from the office, claimed what little redundancy pay I was entitled to from the government and started the search for a new job.

Ironically, the experience gave me skills that employers found interesting and appealing. Within weeks I had started a new job at Getty Images and from there I moved to Reuters where I was quickly promoted to Head of PR, EMEA.

A few years later, life changed again when I became a mother. Redundancy taught me a lot of things but, most importantly, that life is about more than a job. No one is going to write my CV on my headstone when I’m gone.

So I decided to take a step back from the corporate world. I’ve become a freelancer, something which gives me extra precious time with my family. I’ve had the chance to do PR for some organisations which are changing lives and to fulfil my dreams of doing some writing.

Life doesn’t always follow the script you’ve written; it often takes you on a different journey. I’m a big believer in fate. I used to be terrified of redundancy, but it has ended up giving me opportunities I could only have dreamed of.

Jo Crosby is a freelance PR Consultant and Columnist. She has previously worked for Time magazine, the Financial Times, A1GP, Getty Images and Reuters. Follow her on Twitter @JoCrosbyPR.

If you’re experiencing redundancy now, read these tips by award winning Career Psychologists,  Denise Taylor  to help you remain calm.
7 key ‘Don’t panic’ tips for when you are made redundant.. 
 
1.    Treat it as an opportunity and a chance to take stock. Not many people love their job so take stock and work out what you would like to do – different company, different job, something radically different? Then create a plan to get there.
 
2.    Unpick your underlying skills and abilities to help identify something new.  Think about what you enjoyed; how can you get more of that into your job? What do you do in your spare time that could be used in the workplace? Refocus your CV to include this. 
 
3.    Get your marketing material ready. Bring your CV up to date, and make sure your LinkedIn profile is effective, they should work together and present you for what it is you want and make it clear why a company would want to choose you. 
 
4.    Get it in writing. You will want to have a written reference you can attach to an application and even better ask your old boss, and colleagues to write a recommendation on LinkedIn for you. You want proof that you can do the things you say you can do.
 
5.    Get talking to people. Most people find a new job through someone they know so be clear on the job you want and why you would be a great candidate. Don’t be vague, the more specific you are, the easier it is for others to help you. 
 
6.    Consider your finances. You may have got a pay-off, which helps to ease the transition, but money may be tight. In both cases review your expenses and see where you can make savings. You may even like to take on some temp work to bring some money in.
 
7.    Keep focused. It may take time to get your next job, but don’t give up! Look for people to support you, and make sure your job search campaign is effective, making good use of social media, especially LinkedIn. There’s plenty of advice to help you, and look to my website for a comprehensive eBook – How to use LinkedIn to get a New Job. 

 

Denise Taylor is an award winning career psychologist and author of Find Work at 50+ A Positive Approach to Securing the Job You Want published by Trotman, RRP £14.99.

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