Redundancy can be a tough prospect to deal with – you go from a stable job with a stable income to an uncertain future, both personal and financial.
A number of Ulster Bank employees are among the latest to face this difficult situation – the bank recently announced it will close 22 branches across the country, resulting in the loss of around 220 jobs. In the wake of this announcement, Carr Communications has launched ten steps to help you cope with being made redundant.
1. Take time. Don’t rush into making a hasty decision. If you’ve been working for a long time, this might be the ideal opportunity to take a couple of weeks to chill out and unwind. Set yourself a deadline to come back refreshed and give yourself the right amount of time to research your options.
2. Research. Research new roles, areas and sectors. Seek advice and find out more from others already working in the sector. This is particularly important if you are thinking of changing career. Try interim management roles or a contract role to first get experience in a new sector.
3. Set career goals. Ask yourself where would you like to work and who are the people I need to contact? What does success look like to you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Know what they are and improve on both. Stay committed – continually take steps to move towards your goal. Ask yourself, do I have an up-to-date CV? Do I need to update my LinkedIn profile? If there are gaps in my CV, are there any courses I should consider doing to help me attain that career?
4. Stay structured. If you’ve come from the banking world, you’ve come from a very structured organised environment where you went into work at a certain time every day and your duties and tasks were laid out for you. Sometimes people really struggle when that structure is taken away. Try and maintain a structure. Use the mornings to try and do any administrative things, such as research, CV updates. Try and start at 9am. Be strict on yourself. Remember you’re not out of work. You’re in a job to get a job.
5. Revamp your CV. Do a personal review of your career to date. What key roles, skills and expertise have you developed? What achievements did you have? Revamp your CV, LinkedIn and online profiles to reflect these skills and results delivered. Think about what motivates you? What are your areas of interest? Play to your strengths. It will give you more job satisfaction in your next role.
6. Remember your transferable skills. When doing your CV, sit with a blank piece of paper and write down all the things that you’ve done over the years. From that, pull out skills that you might have forgotten that you have. Look at those skills and think what areas can I apply those in. Most of us have skills, like good with people, attention to detail, working in a team, etc. that we take for granted. They can be applied in lots of different industries. Sometimes you may think you’re very pigeon-holed when you’ve worked in an industry for so long but try and get out of that mindset. You bring a huge amount of experience and a huge amount of transferable skills to the table.
7. Network. Use your current network of contacts and try to broaden it. Establish new links, meet someone for lunch or coffee, join a group, club or society. Reach out and let people know that you are looking for work. Be bold and be brave. Contact people through LinkedIn.
8. Apply. If there is an organisation you would really like to work for; send them your CV and cover letter, even if they haven’t advertised a job vacancy. Remember somebody, somewhere may be handing in their notice today and you may be the answer to that employer’s prayers.
9. Ask others for advice. Ask family, friends, former colleagues what they see as your main strengths. If you were to change careers, what else do they think you would be good at? Don’t be afraid to ask them for advice.
10. Stay Positive. It is really important to stay motivated and focused on the prize. Remember your task now is to find another job. Don’t let the demons take control. Stay positive – it may take time.
“I worked in the same job in the banking industry for 25 years. Although it was very daunting being out of work in the middle of the recession; I saw it as an ideal opportunity to pursue my dream job and upskill,” said Paula Hanlon, a senior careers consultant with Carr Communications who faced redundancy in 2012. “My advice to anyone facing redundancy is see it as a blue sky. Fortunately, there has been an upturn in the market and there are lots of job opportunities out there. But if you would like to change careers; see this as an opportunity to re-train, re-focus and pursue your burning ambitions.”