Redundancy as an opportunity
It’s that dreaded word employees fear, but most of us have to deal with it at some point in our careers, nearly half of us in fact (1). It’s a bit of a whirlwind, but we need to look at redundancy as an opportunity. Departments are downsized, merged, re-located, or even disbanded, and the impact of these business decisions can result in redundancies.
One of the things I love most about recruitment is the diversity of the role, we are approached by people from all walks of life, with different backgrounds, experiences, expectations, and recently we’ve represented a few candidates dealing with the challenge of redundancy.
Redundancy – A window of opportunity
Three of us in the Dovetail office have been made redundant in the past. I myself was made redundant early on in my career, when I was working for my sins :0) as an estate agent. I’d been there for four years, and wasn’t thriving and didn’t feel like it was right for me; but at that point hadn’t had the confidence to make a move. The redundancy actually did me a huge favour, funnily enough I walked into a recruitment agency to seek a new role, and the agency gave me a job! I was lucky. Recruitment was definitely for me – as here I am 15 years later, embracing my role with Dovetail who are the 3rd recruitment agency I’ve worked for – I’m happy and thriving!
My colleague, Lara has been through the redundancy process twice, although thankfully was made redundant only once. Having been with a Financial Services company for nearly 4 years – she survived the first round of redundancies, having to be interviewed again for new roles in a new centralised marketing team. This turned out to be a blessing, as it started her on the road of digital marketing where she remains today. Finally, she was made redundant in a much later round of redundancies, but this led to her first contracting role – working at the company that made her redundant! So redundancy, can introduce a whole new world of opportunity and most certainly be a good thing, prompting us to find our feet in a role we’re much happier in.
It’s not uncommon…but of course it’s not pleasant.
It’s ranked alongside divorce and bereavement as one the most stressful things we can go through – but when companies are struggling, the pressure is on to perform, cutbacks have probably taken place and the rumours are flying around the office. This all creates an unsettled work environment full of uncertainty and stress.
One might say you could even view the news of redundancy with a sigh of relief.
Let’s not forget though, when you do find out, it’s draining – emotions run high, there’s shock, upset, uncertainty, anger and worry. But that does pass.
Pastures new are calling
Redundancy equals change, and change can, of course, be a good thing. Once you get over the shock and uncertainty of what’s happening, it’s time to review where you are and if you’re on the right career path – or if you fancy a change. Hopefully, you can start to see the positives of what a potential change could mean for you.
Wherever you’re at in your career, your focus has to be on the benefits that come from this, whether they are financial, a better work-life balance, complete change of career, relocation.
Change – it’s a good thing
If you’re facing redundancy or have just been made redundant, I expect you’ll have had many people tell you – ‘look at it as an opportunity’, you can spread your wings etc and hopefully you haven’t wanted to hit them in the face :0). If you’re lucky redundancy could mean a nice large payout depending on the amount of time you’ve been with the company.
Back in 2015, The Association of Accounting Technicians did a fascinating poll (2), they asked 2000 adults on their work life so far, and estimated lifetime figures based on starting work at 18 and retiring at 65. Here are a couple of facts I wanted to share with you:
- There will be six different job roles for the typical Briton from the moment they start work, which will span across six different companies.
- 45 percent of those polled claimed to have been made redundant at least once, enduring two periods of serious financial worry.
- Fittingly, they will also make their way out of two bouts of unemployment before getting back on their feet in the job market.
Read the full results
It’s always reassuring when you find out you’re not alone and most other people go through this too – and survive!
Top Tips for dealing with redundancy
- Don’t burn your bridges
It might be tempting to get angry and voice opinions at your employer in the moment. But don’t forget your workplaces, past and present – are all natural networking opportunities for your future – Keep your colleagues on-side, build your network + build your brand!
- Stay positive
“What do you do well? What recent successes have you had? Ask your friends and family too. What would they say are your best strengths or achievements? Surround yourself with people who boost your confidence, and avoid anyone who grinds you down.” (3)
- Early bird catches the worm
Don’t hang about, if you know things are changing, then get that CV updated and start thinking about your next move, unfortunately, there’s likely to be a few people in the same position as you so give yourself the best chance and move quickly.
ACAS have put together some help and advice for employees and employers facing redundancy. It’s a concise overview of what the redundancy process entails, what to expect and what your rights are: Redundancy – what to expect.
Don’t forget the ‘other side’
On the ‘other side’, who you might suddenly feel is the ‘enemy’ – your employer’s actually having to implement the redundancy process. They too will also be feeling the strain, and more often than not the HR Team having to make the process happen are under threat of redundancy too.
So, for those of you facing the unfortunate prospect of rolling out the redundancy process at your company, here are two guides that ACAS put together that will help guide you through.
Related Career Advice Articles from the Dovetail Blog:
Job Search Toolkit – everything you need to secure your next job
Your CV – Stand out and be noticed
Salaries are on the up in Dorset & Hampshire
Questions to ask during an interview
5 questions you should ask during an interview
Original blog posted 09/2017