In these trying times, with the uncertainty of Covid-19, Brexit and the demise of high street retailers, many jobs are being threatened. More people out of work means less buying power in the market place and increased knock-on effects for the whole economy.
So, what should you do if you think your job may become redundant? How can you turn a potentially highly upsetting period in your life into making redundancy positive? Here are some suggestions, some of which are also relevant to those contemplating a career move as a preemptive strike or for other reasons:
Seek legal advice
Seek legal advice and make sure the proceedings are fair. You may be able to get free advice via your home insurance policy. This will ensure the proceedings are fair and will pay off most of the time.
Have someone accompany you to redundancy meetings
If you are allowed to have someone whose advice you trust, accompany you to relevant meetings, make sure you take advantage of the offer. This will be an emotive time for you and you may not be at your best.
Update your CV
Update your CV if you have not done this in a while, go online and look at the most recent formats (like fashion, CV styles change). Make sure every detail on your CV is accurate, without typos, and that your contact details are clearly shown. Do not add hobbies just because they look good on paper. You may have heard the same horror stories as me, such as the instance of the interviewer having an acoustic guitar in his office and asking the candidate (who had much embellished his strumming skills) to play him something. Similarly, do not exaggerate language abilities. Once it is in currently acceptable format, tailor your CV according to the particular job for which you are applying. Always read the specifications and requirements carefully and emphasize your relevant experience accordingly.
Check your financial outgoings
Look at your financial outgoings. What can you reduce or cancel? What are the ‘must haves’ versus the ‘nice to haves’? There are luxuries that you can probably do without, or ‘must haves’ that you can potentially re-negotiate. Mortgage lenders may be sympathetic and offer a holiday period of up to six months.
Pause for thought
Pause for thought. Is now the time to finally do what you have always wanted to but were too afraid to try? Trying to find a job can be extremely time-consuming and frustrating, and increasingly competitive, often with hundreds applying for the same role. It is also distracting. So what if you took the time to make your dreams turn into a reality?
Start-up a business
If you are thinking of setting up your own business, do an internet search to see what help could be available from the council or ask at your local Job Centre for more information. If you are not sure what business you would like to set up, think about your hobbies and interests that could potentially be turned into a business? Imagine doing something you love and making money doing it? Is there something that you would love to learn that would then give you the skill-set to set up a business in that arena, such as plumbing, interior design, beautician, electrician, etc.? Are you under 30 years of age? Have you checked out the Princes Trust?
You cannot do too much of this in this particular period. Talk to your peers, family, friends, Rabbi/Pastor. Who do they know that could help? Maybe you just need someone to talk to. Networking can lead to your next job – or a list of clients! There are a plethora of networking groups including BNI, linkedin groups, etc. You might want to visit your local Chamber of Commerce, for example, the London Chamber of Commerce…. Read our article on 10 Quick Ways to Raise Your Profile.
Remember, every challenge we meet often makes us stronger and wiser.
Business & IP (Intellectual Property) Centre
If you have an idea that is technology or innovation-led that could be commercialized and turned into a start-up company, the British Library have a Business & IP (Intellectual Property) Centre with lots of help, events and advice for innovative and technology-led businesses.
Be kind to yourself and others
Above all, although tempting, do not take your stress, anger, frustration and bitterness that you may very well be experiencing, out on your nearest and dearest. It is not their fault, or yours for that matter and is counter-productive. Recognize that your self-esteem has probably taken a knock. Give yourself time to lick your wounds, regroup, and get back out there. Seek counselling if you think it will help you. Be positive. Think of everything you have done well in life and focus on those things.
Lesley Anne Rubenstein-Pessok, MD of LAR Consultancy Ltd, has spent her whole career in executive roles, working with and training start-ups and SME businesses, helping them to become more efficient, increase turnover, improve profitability, cost effectiveness and create strategies that pay off. Her client testimonials say it all.