Bouncing back after redundancy

Bouncing back after redundancy

November 21, 2022

woman lying down on bed

Getting laid off is a worry that constantly lingers in the back of many employees’ minds, with a 2019 survey revealing that more than a third of UK workers fear redundancy. These statistics would no doubt be significantly higher if you were to ask the same question now, post-pandemic, in a world where redundancy looms over many employees like a black cloud.

Layoffs have been hurtling like a tornado through the tech sector in particular, with Amazon this week revealing plans to let go of 10,000 employees, and Elon Musk presenting employees at Twitter with an unforgiving ultimatum: work “long hours at high intensity”, or move on. With shockwaves like these being sent through powerhouse tech companies, it’s easy to see how many of us feel vulnerable in our positions.

Whilst the number of employees made redundant reached a peak in May 2021, the number is ominously creeping up again. But if you happen to be made redundant yourself, what happens then? Your first instinct may to hunt for a new job at the speed of light, all guns blazing. But this could actually prove to be detrimental in the long run. Here are some of our top suggestions for bouncing back after redundancy.

Take a breather

First of all, take a step back. Redundancy, especially when it comes like a bolt from the blue, can flood your brain with emotions: anxiety, uncertainty, anger; you name it. The best thing you can initially do is shelve the job search for a few days, or as long as you can afford to, as a time to process your feelings about the situation. You don’t want to make any important decisions whilst still getting over the initial shock of the blow.

You’ll thank yourself in the long run. If you begin looking for a new job straight off the bat without letting the dust settle, you may be carrying negative, unresolved feelings with you into the initial stages of the job hunt. Recruiters will be able to sniff any lingering resentment on you from a mile off, so it’s best to take a breather in order to put your best foot forward when the time comes.

The same applies to LinkedIn. The last thing you want to do is start ranting on social media. A hiring manager’s eyes may fall upon these tirades, and it could be a bad reflection on you. An HR magazine poll found that most HR professionals think that people should not overshare on LinkedIn, and angry rants about ex-employers definitely falls under that category.

Figure out where you stand

Assessing your financial situation is a crucial step. If you calculate how long you realistically have to look for a job, buoyed up by the cushion of severance pay and any other potential unemployment benefits, you’ll be able to better map out your path for the future. Work out where you can afford to make cuts in the meantime, in order to further reduce any potential anxieties or stress that risk wiggling to the surface.

Ease into the job search

Diving straight into a job search after years of employment at the same company can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. If you dip your toe in gently, you can take control of the situation. There are many steps you can take to gear up to a successful job hunt.

For one thing, refamiliarize yourself with what’s going on in your particular sector, gauging the steps those within it are taking to be successful. After years at the same company you may have developed tunnel vision, losing sight of the bigger picture.

One way of gaining industry knowledge is by networking with former colleagues, friends, respected people in your sector, and recruiters. Every conversation is a building block that levels up your confidence. Make a mental note of their advice, using it to hone the image you present to hiring managers. Listen to their market insights and their tips for updating your CV with an attentive ear. Recruiters in particular can help you understand how to leverage your recent experience in your CV to put your best foot forward.

Make the most of it

Let’s be honest: no one wants to be made redundant. But there is something to be said for making the most of a less-than-ideal situation. You have the chance to take a breath and genuinely think: where do I want to take my career now? What are the things that are most important to me that will make me feel fulfilled? It could be the perfect opportunity for a much-needed rethink. Give yourself the chance to reflect to get a sense of what you liked and didn’t like about your old job, which is helpful moving forwards. Just like coming out of a relationship, you don’t want to dive into the next one too quickly!

Once you’ve come to terms with redundancy, you can confidently put yourself back out there on the job market. When talking about your layoff, remain calm and composed, framing it as an opportunity for new adventures whilst acknowledging the positive impact you contributed to the company. Keep in mind that layoffs often aren’t personal and don’t diminish the role you played during your time there.

And remember: in today’s climate, being made redundant is not something to be embarrassed or shameful about. It’s an all-too-common reality that hiring managers are highly familiar with. A quick scroll through LinkedIn is in itself enough to prove how supportive people are to those going through it: our feeds are often home to people talking about their recent layoff and saying their open to work, and the comments restore our faith in the LinkedIn community. The posts are frequently flooded with comments from others offering their support and guidance. You can bounce back from redundancy, returning better than ever.

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