Coping with redundancy in the ‘new normal’

Covid-19 means that many are worried about becoming redundant or have actually been given redundancy notice. This article aims to give some advice on how to cope with the impact.

Many people having been given notice of redundancy will find themselves at a career crossroads, or approaching one. So how can individuals deal with the impact that this creates?

Through my experience of coaching many individuals through career transition/redundancy, I have put together the following tips to consider:

  1. You must start with yourself. Have a think about your current career to date. Draw a graph with ‘time’ on the horizontal axis and ‘happiness’ on the vertical. Hence you will have drawn a timeline, marking out the ups and downs in your career. You can start from wherever you feel is relevant. Some people like to start with the subjects they enjoyed at school. Consideration of the highs and lows, thinking about the reasons behind these, will help you to evaluate what’s important for you have in your career. This will give you a bigger picture of where you’ve reached in your career. You’ll also be able to stand back and consider the reasons for the dissatisfaction with your current career situation.
  2. Take into account the skills you have achieved. Write as many of them down as you can think of, giving yourself enough reflection time to do this. It might be good to do this in two sittings, for example. Then, think about the ones that you like using, but don’t use enough in your current career, as well as the one’s you’d like to develop. This can be really useful for taking a snapshot of what you’ve achieved (also always useful for when you are preparing for an interview). In addition, it can give you time to reflect on where you would like to spend time on your personal development.
  3. Start to think of where your enthusiasm lies. Do you have an interest in a particular area that can translate into a job role? Is there a need for someone with that expertise? This is a great starting point for exploring roles that you could potentially go into. You can start out being idealistic, but remember you’ll need to look at your options with a realistic lens. Is there a need for someone with this area of expertise? Will this be something that you can get paid for? Will you need to invest in further training in this area?
  4. Consider all your career choices. Make a list of roles, to begin with it’s good to keep as many options as possible open. Then you can start narrowing these down, once you’ve completed some research on each one.
  5. Consideration of any training you may need to do. Think about whether you can afford the time and money to retrain, if it’s necessary for your next career move. Also, take a look at the full options of what is available. Are there any options where you can be trained on the job, so that your employer will cover the costs? What about the Open University free training courses?
  6. Make sure you have kept an eye on your finances. This will be important if you are forced to leave your current role and take a lower paid role in the meantime, while you upskill in a new career area. Try to create a survival budget, looking at what you typically spend each month, where you could make cost cuts and what the minimum is that you need to earn to cover these.
  7. Take action towards moving forward. Once you have made your plan and decided what type of career change you would like to move into, make an action plan. You can have a think about say, 10 goals you’d like to achieve within the next 12 months. Pick the top 3 of those and this will keep you motivated towards reaching them. Knowing how to market yourself and get ready for your career move will be essential here.

When navigating a career change, you’ll find it helpful to have someone on your side, that’s helping you to stay motivated. Having a career coach will help you make sure you have thoroughly investigated your values, skills and interests. A career coach will give you honest feedback on how you are doing throughout the process and help you bounce back after redundancy. If necessary. they will also gently challenge you, to keep you on the right track and so that you are feeling positive about yourself. In summary, a career coach will be able to cheer you on and give you the confidence to keep going. This is a much-needed ingredient to help you through redundancy.

You can also read the article I wrote previously about career decision-making.

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