Redundancy Advice: First Steps After Redundancy

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The news that your employer is making you redundant is often a shock even though it may have followed a long period of organisational review.

The first reaction of most people is to start jobhunting  immediately. To get a job – any job – as soon as possible.

Taking Stock After You Have Been Made Redundant

Give yourself time. Your confidence may be dented and your motivation low. You may not be thinking clearly about your career. You may need time before you can market yourself effectively to new employers.

Redundancy can offer an opportunity to reflect . It provides a pause to consider your career direction free of the time constraints of your day job.  This may be the time to finally investigate a long-held ambition. And your financial settlement may make some options, such as retraining or setting up your own business,  a realistic possibility.

Employer Support

Find out what support your employer will offer as part of your leaving package including:

  • Outplacement services, such as CV writing and interview practice. If no formal services are in place, ask your institution’s Careers Service as most will help individual staff if approached. You may be entitled to use alumni careers services at a previous University
  • Financial assistance for training. Your manager may be prepared to pay for courses to improve your employability before you leave
  • Time off work for jobhunting , career planning or training as your leaving date approaches.

Staying Positive After Redundancy

  • Try to maintain a positive frame of mind and good relationships with your colleagues.  This will have an impact on your own outlook and self esteem.
  • Be co-operative, such as agreeing a structured handover of your work. You will then be in a stronger position to negotiate favourable leaving terms. Don’t forget you will be relying on your colleagues for references  and recommendations in future.

Laying the Foundations

  • Whilst you are still at work, start building and strengthening your networks.  Be open about your career plans and ask people to let you know if they hear of any  opportunities. Make sure people know how to contact you once you leave
  • Don’t forget to network with other staff who are leaving  . They may lead you to opportunities with their new employer, or may need to hire staff themselves
  • Now is the time to update your CV and online profiles. You may want need to tailor these once your career plans are clearer
  • Gather together a portfolio of your work . This includes online as well as hard copy materials , appraisal records and so on. This can form the basis of an application to a new employer and is a useful resource in your next job.

Maintaining Momentum

Expect it to take time to work out your career direction and for the job offers to arrive. Don’t put yourself under pressure and be realistic in your financial planning.

In the meantime you can:

  • Schedule  time  for career planning and jobhunting  . Break down the tasks involved into manageable chunks
  • Give yourself  short term targets, such as updating your CV within the next fortnight or researching potential employers online
  • Start a Careers file to store all your job related information, such as potential networking contacts. Keep a written record of networking conversations
  • Sign up for email alerts from and other sites. Consider signing up to relevant recruitment agencies (ask your contacts for recommendations or find agencies).


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