With unemployment rate hitting a record high of 4.8% in the UK, redundancies rose to 314,000 in the three months to September.
If this should happen to you there are a few steps you can take to help alleviate the stress.
Get as much information
Get as much information as you can from your employer about the reasons behind the decision. Learning more about the reasons will help you depersonalise the situation. Get information about your packages and the support you will be given during this period. Outplacement is a very useful area of support provided by some organizations to help former employees transition to new jobs. Before you leave your current job, make sure to address your budget and finances and plan for the few months ahead. Try to assess which costs can be cut, and what level of emergency money you want to keep aside.
Take time to process what happened
Rather than frantically trying to look for the next job, try to use this time to rediscover what you like and where you were always meant to be. This is the perfect time to practice self-analysis. Self-analysis is particularly important when you are thinking of a career change or simply reassessing your career prospects to date. It is a great exercise that focuses on your values and strengths and ties them back to your career prospects. What to do next (Self Analysis) is a great exercise Module by Charlotte Billington (ICF accredited career coach) that can help. Self-analysis helps you decide on challenging questions like what do you want to spend the next 5-10 years doing? You are able then to create a bank of activities to address all your career aspirations.
Roll up your sleeves and do the work
Once you have taken some time to rediscover and reconnect with your strengths, weaknesses, and values, it is very important to be brave and honest with yourself. If you no longer want to do the job you were doing and could apply your skills to a cause or a job that you care about, then this is your chance. In both cases, sticking to your existing career or pursuing a new role, it is never been a better time to upskill. Learning a new skill that could enhance your career prospects is a great way to polish your CV and increase your self-confidence. Try to look for formal training and make sure to contact professionals or old colleagues in your area of interest to gain their advice. With the COVID-19 situation most of the courses and training are being offered online and there is a huge portion that are being offered at reduced rates. Most importantly is for you to choose a course that you enjoy and that relates to your career goals.
Update your CV and LinkedIn Profile
Many individuals wait until they are looking for a job to update their CVs, but most career coaches advice is that both your CV as well as you your LinkedIn profile should be regularly checked and should reflect your current work experience. Make sure your CV is error free, succinct, targeted to the job you are applying for. It can tell a little bit about your personal brand; spend time working on your CV and ask for help from a coach or friend if required.
Your LinkedIn profile is now becoming the first stop for recruiters. Make sure it is up to date and includes all your career information. However, just be mindful that LinkedIn shouldn’t be the online version of your CV. It should reflect the career move or the job you wish to move into and that’s because LinkedIn uses AI technology to find jobs for you based on your profile. LinkedIn is also an amazing way to network. More on LinkedIn will be covered below.
Network, Network, Network
Yes, you can still network (and more than ever) virtually. The power of networking is still there despite the pandemic. Reconnect with your old colleagues, and friends virtually and make sure to set some time for strategic connections. Remember that networking is a two-way stream; when meeting a person virtually make sure to ask how they are and to listen to any story they might have. If you feel you need to expand your network, you can always research and attend networking events, webinars or talks that suit your interests and career aspirations. One of the great ways to network, you guessed it, is through LinkedIn. With over 660 million users in more than 200 counties worldwide, LinkedIn is expanding at an exponential rate especially after it was bought by Microsoft. Comment, like and share also join groups and networks. Make sure to dedicate sometime every week for networking, it really helps!
Reassess your personal brand on social media
Recruiters and potential employers are more than ever using social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook to learn more about their potential employees. It is a good idea to spend time polishing your profile on platforms other than LinkedIn.
Use the power of referrals
Think deeply about the people in your personal and professional network is there anyone who knows you well enough to recommend you to other employers? According to an article posted on LinkedIn “a referral is essentially an endorsement of you and your talents for a specific position.” Remember that companies now have referral programs where employees get rewarded for successful introductions. So, when asking for a referral try not to think of it as a favour but as a way of helping the other party. The important thing is to find the right time and to avoid asking the same person incessantly.
Ask for recommendations and endorsements
Recommendations and endorsements are mostly done through LinkedIn these days. Try to ask individuals whom you trust to recommend you; you can easily return the favour by also recommending them. Use the power of recommendations as this is something that recruiters regularly check.
Finally, whatever your situation is at work, following the above steps would help you prepare for redundancy in case it happens. And if it does, make sure you are ready and equipped with everything you need to move on beforehand. The reality is that redundancy is tough, but it can be transformative.
About the author
Linda Ghusayni is a Director at Transition Peak Limited. Transition Peak is an online career coaching and training portal that helps corporations look after their departing staff. Training material can be bought as a package or as individual modules. Learn more about Transition Peak and the team here. For the latest career advice Sign up to their newsletter here. Connect on LinkedIn here
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