9Honey: How to thrive after a redundancy: 'Pause and Breathe' - Michelle Gibbings

Thanks to 9Honey, Michelle outlines nine strategies to consider after a redundancy.

Being made redundant is challenging, especially if you were not expecting it.

However, redundancy is not the end of your career. Instead, it’s the start of your next chapter.

So, let’s focus on turning your setback into a comeback with nine tips to help you thrive during this time.

1. Take time to process

First things first: take a moment to pause and breathe. It’s normal to feel a range of emotions.

You might feel upset, angry, scared or something else. Allow yourself time to process what’s happened.

Reach out to friends and family for encouragement and comfort. You can even engage professional support from a career coach.

2. Don’t take it personally

Most people will get made redundant at least once during their careers, and many are made redundant multiple times.

So remember, redundancy is a business decision, not a personal one. It doesn’t reflect your worth or capabilities.

You’re still the talented, capable person you were before this happened.

3. Review your finances

Now’s the time to critically examine your finances. Figure out where you stand and how long you can manage without a regular paycheck hitting your bank account.

As part of this, identify your discretionary expenses. You might want to stop, scale back, or adjust your spending habits to give yourself a longer financial buffer.

4. Conduct a skills audit

Getting back into the job market requires some adaptation, so it helps to consider your skills from a different perspective.

Identify which of your skills are:

Transferable – directly applicable in another industry or occupation
Adaptable – usable in another industry or occupation once they have been modified in some way
Replaceable – likely to be industry or occupation-specific, and therefore less helpful when moving to another job or career.

Having this knowledge will help you pitch your skills more effectively.

5. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile

Dust off that resume and LinkedIn profile to ensure they are current and relevant to the role you are applying for.

Both tools need to highlight your skills, experiences, and achievements. Also, tailoring according to the type of position, organisation, and industry you are targeting is essential.

The more specific you can be about your skills and how they match what the organisation is looking for, the better.

6. Consider upskilling

Now’s the perfect time to assess what skills you can acquire or improve to enhance your marketability. For example, you can enrol in a short course or pursue a micro-credential, all of which will enhance your resume and LinkedIn profile.

7. Know your career drivers

In my work with clients, I’ve found that identifying your next career step is best done in the context of your whole life.

This starts with determining what drives your career.

So, consider your motivations, interests, and goals, as well as the practical factors that determine your career parameters (e.g., whether you are willing to relocate, target salary, type of organisation you want to work for, etc.).

Knowing these details helps set the scene for the environment you want to work in.

8. Network, network, network

Many jobs are unadvertised, so networking is crucial not just to land a new job but also to help you identify potential roles.

The more you connect with others, get involved with groups, expand your network, the greater your ability to uncover new opportunities. Talk to them about your interests and skills. Find out if they know of opportunities and, where possible, get them to make an introduction for you.

This is all about expanding the range of what’s possible so you can discover the best next career step for you.

9. Stay mentally and physically sharp

Even if you don’t feel like you are experiencing emotional overload, looking for work is mentally and physically draining.

Find time to rest and reflect. Reward yourself when you make progress, such as when you finish updating your CV or get a job interview.

Finding work can take time, and there are often setbacks. Ruminating and recriminations when you experience a setback won’t help you. Instead, take time to reflect on your progress and assess what’s working in your job hunt and where you might want to shift, adjust or realign your expectations and behaviour.

Remember, redundancy is just a bump in your career journey. The upside is it can lead you to uncover a new path where you leap into a whole new career that is much more rewarding.

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