First of all, be clear that being made redundant is not the same thing as being sacked. In a nutshell, redundancy happens when you’re dismissed from your employment because your job no longer exists, not because you’re at fault. It’s hard but try not to take it too personally. And remember that when it comes to finding a new job, you will have far more experience and contacts than some young buck just out of university. Employers value these things, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t find a new job quickly.
Things to do before you leave
Redundancy can come as an extremely nasty shock, and you may want to get out of your place of work as fast as your legs will carry you. However, slow down as there are several steps you can take which will make your situation much easier to deal with in the long run. Before you go, leave the office furniture but do grab the following:
- Your P45
- Written details of your redundancy package – including a statement showing how your benefits have been calculated and information on your pension rights.
- Contact details for your line manager, trade union representative (if you have one) and someone approachable from the human resources department.
These things are especially important if you have a grievance against your employer. Your trade union representative can then be a big help, and you can also get assistance from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and the Trade Union Congress’s workSMART website.
Take stock of your career
Every cloud has a silver lining and while it may not feel like it that applies to redundancy too. Use it to re-evaluate your career goals, consider a change of direction. Getting off the treadmill for a while can give you fresh impetus when you get back on, especially if you…
Gain new skills
A valuable way to use your time while looking for work is to update or broaden your skills set. Any new skills will be useful to have in themselves, but they will also show employers that you are motivated and have initiative. What’s more some courses reduce their fees for people who aren’t in full-time employment, and others cost nothing at all!
Earn money on the side
While you’re looking for another job, there are loads of ways for you to make a bit of extra cash to tide you over. From being a market researcher to being an Avon lady or walking-dogs, there’s loads you could try – you’re bound to find something you enjoy.
Save money on the side
Obviously not having a steady income means you’ll want to be particularly careful with what you spend, so it is a perfect time to spring clean your finances and make sure you have the best deal possible on your mortgage, your energy supplier, your phone or your utilities. Check out your current and savings accounts- could you get a better deal? Why not do your shopping on a cash-back site? These small things might slip under the radar while you are earning, but there are always real savings to be made.
Revitalize your CV
Obviously to get a new job you will need to start making applications, and that will undoubtedly mean sending off a CV. Get thinking about it to give yourself the best chance of making an impression. To stand out from the crowd tailor it for each application, emphasising the experience that is most relevant to that particular employer.
A particularly good idea is to send your CV as pdf file. Not only will it look more professional and slick, it will show off your technical expertise. Using a free converter like Doc2pdf will easily convert your existing text CV.
Did you know that the vast majority of jobs are found through connections, with a majority never even being advertised? The value of having good contacts is greatly underestimated when it comes to finding the right job, so get out there and get networking. A business card and a friendly attitude is all you need!
If you have significant experience in your profession, why not become a consultant? In theory you can become a consultant in anything and there are loads of benefits to being your own boss. For some great tips on how to do it, check out Entrepreneur.com, the Institute of Business Consulting and Businesslink.
Obviously we hope that you never need the advice here. But if it does, remember that redundancy isn’t your fault so there’s no reason why it should harm your long-term prospects. Good luck!