With the economic fallout from Covid-19, many people are dealing with redundancy from their jobs and many more may face redundancy in the coming months. Some people have been working within their organisations for many years, some people will receive a generous redundancy payment, whilst some won’t. No matter the circumstance, facing redundancy can be a daunting situation to find yourself in.

For many people who have lost their jobs, the thoughts of finding a new job in a challenging market may feel impossible.

Here are 10 things to consider whilst dealing with redundancy:

  1. Know your rights and entitlements

Check with your HR partner/ contract of employment and official government guidelines about what redundancy payments you should be receiving. It may be worthwhile seeking financial advice before you agree or receive your redundancy payment to allow you to minimise tax and maximise your entitlement to other benefits. Ask your employer about any outplacement or career support they are offering that provides professional and emotional support to help you prepare for the job market or your next move. Also, don’t forget to register for unemployment support payments as soon as possible if you will be without work following your redundancy.

  1. Allow yourself time to grieve

The loss of a job can impact in similar ways to the loss of a relationship, a loved one, or anything else important in your life. Whilst dealing with redundancy, you might go through different stages while processing the loss such as denial, anger, bargaining and despair before you’re ready to move on.

We often have a significant connection to our jobs or organisations for many different reasons – it gives us purpose, we have strong relationships with our colleagues, we feel a sense of achievement or status from the work that we do or the position that we hold, we’re aligned to the values of the organisation. When redundancy happens, we need to grieve the loss of these things and our routines. It is important that we acknowledge the feelings we have around redundancy and allow ourselves the time and space to process our grief until we are in a position to move forward and find a new and different purpose.

  1. Don’t feel shame – this is not personal

From my experience working with people that have been dealing with redundancy, some have reported feelings of shame. And it isn’t something we need to be ashamed of or worry that it isn’t normal. Redundancy can happen to anyone, in any job or industry. It is not personal!

  1. Speak to others in a similar position

It may be helpful to reach out to colleagues that may be in the same position as you or friends who have gone through something similar in the past to support each other and to find out others’ perspectives on dealing with redundancy and to gain insight. Sometimes we may feel isolated in situations like this, especially as we are used to the relationships we form at work and the common ground we share with colleagues. However, try to remain mindful not to get caught up in negative energy and conversations about past employers etc. The aim of these conversations is to support each other in moving forward.

  1. Take time to reflect

Whilst this may be a challenging time either financially, emotionally or otherwise, try to take some time out to reflect on your career. It is sometimes easier said than done when the stress of gaining new employment is at the forefront of your mind. However, your reflections at this stage might save you a lot of time in the long run. What did you love about your job/career? Was it the tasks or accountability that you had, was it the relationships you formed or the title or salary? What did you not enjoy? What were the values of the organisation and is this the type of organisation that you hope to work for in the future? It would also be a good time to reflect on how you’re enjoying your time off and is there anything new that you would like to incorporate into your routine with a new job to promote a better work-life balance or a happier life?

  1. Look after yourself

Look after yourself: eat well, sleep, drink water, exercise, relax, and avoid unhelpful coping mechanisms such as excess alcohol and smoking. Spend time with people you love and do things that make you feel good about yourself. Remind yourself that whilst your job or career is an important part of your life, you are also a friend, son/daughter, mother/father, carer, mentor, individual, who is independent of your work or career. Your career does not define you! This is a time for a good dose of self-love.

  1. Keep structure to your days

Whilst you may not have to be anywhere specific at a certain time each day, make it your priority to structure your days to ensure that you use your time off well. Some of this time may be used as an opportunity to do an online course, take up a new hobby, do some volunteer work or plan for your future. It can also be useful to schedule in downtime too of course. This can allow you proper time to relax and to appreciate the downtime more. Structuring your days in this new norm is also enhancing your skillset by increasing your skill and ability to deal with ambiguity in a positive way.

  1. Speak to a career coach

It may be worthwhile to speak with a Career Coach who can support you in focussing on where and how you would like to move forward. Areas where they can help might include identifying where you should focus your energy, job search strategies, providing knowledge of the job market, knowing where to look and how to position yourself for different opportunities.

  1. Spend time updating your CV

This may sound like an easy job to do however it’s also easy to get wrong! Gone are the days of the 5 page CV, where the longer your CV, the better. These days, many employers are looking for shorter CV’s with more concise information. For someone with a lot of work experience, having worked through various roles or organisations in their career, keeping your CV to 2 pages or less can be a challenging task! Your Career Coach can support you in tailoring your CV in line with the specific jobs or industries you are interested in.

  1. Utilise your LinkedIn profile

Depending on your industry, having a strong visibility on LinkedIn can be hugely beneficial when it comes to networking or looking for a new role. In recent years, LinkedIn has become the most internationally recognised platform for employers in their search for talent. It is also a great space for you to showcase your experience, skills, achievements and personality. Taking the time to complete your LinkedIn profile can prove to be a worthwhile task in the long term and something your Career Coach can help you with.