Anyone who has experienced redundancy will appreciate what a blow to morale it can be. There are many reasons why someone would be made redundant, and it is often a humbling experience. Whether you loved your job or hated it, and regardless of the circumstances, being back on the job market is always stressful. However, there are ways that you can get through the unfortunate situation, and turn adverse circumstances to your advantage.
For nearly three decades, the team at Search has been helping job hunters in a variety of situations find the perfect role. We understand how hard redundancy can be. It can be a disorienting experience, one that can easily dint your confidence, with many previous certainties suddenly snatched away.
Sadly, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has hit multiple sectors of the economy, and many businesses are struggling to keep people on the payroll. It’s fair to say that a lot of talented workers could soon find themselves being made redundant, if they haven’t already. So to help you get back on the market as soon as you are ready, we’ve put together this list of suggestions to guide you through this journey.
1. Understand your worth
When you’ve been made redundant from one job, there’s always the urge (not to mention the financial pressure) to get yourself a new one straight away. However, before you do anything else, it’s a good idea to take a step back and assess your own value on the job market. What do you want from your new role – both financially and culturally? This will help you realise exactly what you are looking for from a potential employer, and shape your expectations for a prospective new role. Although it may feel like a struggle, the fact you’ve been made redundant doesn’t mean you have to sell yourself short.
Take a look on job boards and sites like Glassdoor to get a better understanding of what opportunities are out there, and what level of salary is on offer. Don’t forget that whilst salary is important, company culture, progression, bonus schemes and perks all have a part to play when figuring out your next professional steps.
2. Take time to re-evaluate
When you’ve been in the same job a while, it’s common to feel like you know it inside out and to operate on autopilot, particularly if the role has been the same for many years. If nothing else, redundancy could provide an opportunity for a new challenge, or to reconsider your priorities. Are you happy with the career path you’ve been on? Can you afford to take a sabbatical and travel? Where do you see yourself going next? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself.
If the worst does happen, most employers will provide some form of financial remuneration, whether that is redundancy pay or possibly putting you on gardening leave. This will hopefully provide you with some financial breathing space, to enable you to spend some time weighing up your options before deciding what to do next. This could be just what you need in order to find a more rewarding and fulfilling role.
3. Learn new skills
A key quality that is valued by employers is flexibility. It’s commonly asked for in interviews, as it demonstrates that you’ll be capable and willing to adapt where needed. So if you find yourself out of work following redundancy, it could be a good time to start learning some new skills to make yourself stand out on the crowded job market. Perhaps you’ve had your eye on a course and haven’t got round to doing it - now could be the perfect opportunity.
It can be a red flag for some employers if they come across substantial gaps in an applicant’s CV, and it can make for some awkward questions at the interview stage. You may need to explain any employment gaps, so if you can, try to give an example of productivity during this time. This can be as simple as learning a new skill, taking an online course or perhaps building up a side hustle – anything to reassure them that you haven’t wasted that time. Plus, it’s a good chance for you to do something new and interesting, potentially leading to additional career openings in the future.
4. Sharpen your CV
When you’ve decided what career steps you want to take next, it’s time to take another look at your CV, particularly if you haven’t done much to it in a while - when you’re settled in a job, you don’t generally feel the need to. But a sharp, well-written and nicely presented CV could give you a crucial advantage over your competitors in the job market. Emphasise key skills, use bullet points for emphasis and keep the whole thing as concise as possible. Also, go over your CV and look for grammatical or spelling errors; it never leaves a good impression if employers spot any.
5. Speak to a recruiter
Once you’ve assessed your options and you’re ready to start searching for work, get in touch with a recruitment agency. They’ll be able to guide you through the job hunting process, providing you with invaluable insights (as well as connecting you to relevant job opportunities) to help you along the way. They may even be able to put you forward for jobs before they’re advertised publicly, which could give you a crucial boost.
If you’re looking for more useful job hunting advice, don’t forget to read our earlier article on how to prepare for video interviews.