Over the past few months, the UK has felt the full force of the health pandemic which has unfortunately impacted businesses and careers heavily.
As a result of COVID-19, many businesses in the UK and worldwide have had to make major changes to the structure of their businesses due to financial implications and as a result, staffing has become a major issue. As the government has tried to come to the aid of businesses with the job retention scheme, some businesses cannot retain employees on a long-term businesses; resulting in many employees becoming redundant.
Whether you have recently become redundant or you have been for a while, we’ve put together some ways in which you can look after yourself as you deal with the redundancy process.
When you are first made redundant, it is important to know everything that you are entitled to. If you are made redundant, it won’t be based on your age, sexuality, gender, mental-health status or other factors. If you have been an employee for two years or more, you have rights to unfair dismissal. You can find out more about redundancy via ACAS: https://www.acas.org.uk/redundancy
Making a change in your career or losing a job can be a huge adjustment. If you’ve been made redundant, you are likely to feel sad, angry, confused and shocked. These are all emotions in which are normal to feel in a short space of time.
Being made redundant due to the pandemic is nothing to be ashamed of. If you have a family or loved ones to support, it can be difficult; but having social support around you during this time can be a great cure. Try and take the time to reflect and think about what makes you happy and fulfilled besides work. It’s not your fault you were made redundant, write down a list of skills and qualities you have and be proud of them.
If you’ve been made redundant, your money is most likely to be the first thing on your mind. We know that money can be a huge source of stress and worry. When we’re worried about our finances that can have a major effect on our mental health. If you have savings to fall back on then that could leave you in good stead for the short term.
To start, it could be a good idea to create a budget so you can keep on top with how much you are spending. If you are seeking advice on money management, visit The Money Advice Service: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/budget-planner
You will be eager to get back into work as soon as possible; however it is important that you don’t rush into anything or apply for every job that comes up regardless of its suitability.
Take some time to take note on your skills, what you have to offer, and what employers are seeking. The job-market is likely to be very competitive post lockdown and not all sectors will be in growth mode. It is likely sectors will struggle and as result, job opportunities will be limited. It’s a good idea to do some research on business pages, reach out to contacts about where the demand of new jobs will be.
Reach out to experts to gain career advice on your potential next steps.
This is an ideal time to brush up on your employability skill, so you’re all set when you finally land your next position. In between the time you are actively looking for your next position, you can enhance your current skills and perhaps earn a qualification in the process.
There are a range of webinars, online tutorials and online courses in which you can undertake in your spare time to keep ahead of the rest. As the job market is likely to be even more competitive in the near future, by gaining extra qualifications, you’ve already put yourself in a great position to be considered for your next position.
Taking up some voluntary positions such as a key-worker positions will help boost your CV and provide more creditability. You’ll be actively boosting your skillset and CV whilst gaining some valuable experience.
For additional tips on boosting your employability skills, check out: How To Boost Your Employability
Being made redundant shouldn’t necessarily be the green light to begin networking. However, we’re now in that position. It’s an ideal time to begin networking with previous colleagues or those in your field of work to let them know your situation and availability for any new opportunities that should arise. LinkedIn is the perfect platform for this.
If you have existing connections that can provide you with the advice you need, this is perfect. Using other social media platforms can also help. Have a clear presence online, join groups, be active and showcase your knowledge for your chosen sector. The more you put yourself out there, the more you start raising your profile and (hopefully) start getting noticed by the right people.
Being made redundant is never a ‘good thing’. However being put in that position gives you a chance to reassess where your career is going. You can look at your skills, past achievements and future targets and ask yourself whether you want a career change or would like to continue on the journey you are on.
If a work/life balance is the issue, you can always opt for a more flexible position. Going forward, it is likely most companies will allow employees to have a say on where they would like to carry out their work duties – whether from an office or from home. While discussing your option with friends and family can be helpful, talking things through with an impartial, outside person such as an career adviser or expert, can be a big help in creating clearer goals and identifying what you want from your career (and life) as a whole.
As you enter the job search, be prepared for a ‘new look’. The markets will be different, competition will be higher and requirements for skillsets may change. With the new way companies and employees will be operating, it is important to take all aspects into consideration. Are you looking to relocate for opportunities? Do you seek flexible working hours? Do you have added responsibilities? These are all questions to ask yourself before looking at your next steps.
For example, maybe you’ve found the perfect career move, but have you considered the additional stress a longer commute may cause? Or perhaps you’ve found a well-paying role in the right area, but is going to challenge and engage you? It’s good to dream big and keep your options open, but make sure you factor in areas that may affect your well-being.
There are so many ways being made redundant can affect your life and the decisions you make afterwards. Taking our recommended steps, we believe, will steer you in the right direction and see opportunities come your way.
Get in touch with us today to discuss your next steps and how we can help your job search.