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Gabriella Steed

Layoff season has unfortunately arrived, and it is no secret that the levels of redundancies have rapidly increased over the past few months. Businesses have stumbled amongst a perfect storm defined by high inflation, stretched budgets and a looming recession and consequently have had to make the tough decision to tighten their belts and reduce the number of employees within their workforce.

Understandably, the most common response to redundancy is stress and anxiety causing a domino effect of low self-esteem, self-doubt and panic. However, an important thing to remember is that losing your job to redundancy is completely out of your control and it is not your fault. Despite the perceived negativity affiliated with redundancy, believe it or not… It’s not all doom and gloom! You have heard the saying that every cloud has a silver lining and there are ample reasons why redundancy could be the best thing that ever happened to you; an unanticipated opportunity that you didn’t see coming. So, whether you have been personally impacted by redundancy or are at risk of redundancy, this article aims to help you manage the feelings associated with your situation and provide you with top tips to get back in the saddle and plan your next move.

 Reframe redundancy

Just as businesses have found themselves in a position to restructure their organisation, see redundancy as an opportunity to reframe your scenario. Embark on your new journey as a fresh chapter to find a role that provides you with fulfilment both mentally and financially. Humans are creatures of habit and can often become content by coasting within their career journey. Redundancy, however, forces you to jump into a new opportunity, so why not take advantage of your situation and take your career to the next level? Acknowledge your transferable skills and achievements, brainstorm a set of skills you would like to develop and paint a picture of your ideal working environment. You will soon start to realise that you have a lot to offer a new company and by remaining positive about your new venture you will shine light on your capabilities and room for growth.

 See redundancy as a new project, placing your career growth as the desired outcome

Pursuing a change of employment whether planned or due to conditions beyond your control is daunting, there’s no sugar coating it! The natural response to being made redundant is to panic and potentially start applying for any role that might be a fit. Avoid this tactic. By applying to random job applications, you risk exhaustion and depleted motivation. Essentially you are encouraging yourself to settle for a role that may not provide you with great fulfilment or play to your key strengths. Instead, see redundancy as a new project, which requires thought out stages to ensure that the aims of the project are met. Initiation is the first stage of any project – the process in which goals and objectives are outlined. Goals can be defined as the small tasks you need to complete in order to achieve your objective e.g. updating your CV, researching firms that are hiring, enrolling on educational courses in career-related fields and so on. The list is almost infinite, as long as these goals will help you reach your desired outcome – your career growth. Instead of feeling controlled by your redundancy, change the narrative and embrace it.

 Network, network, network!

Networking is an essential method to help people get acquainted with those within a particular industry. Now is a perfect time to identify and involve yourself with a network of individuals – some of whom you would have built over the years, but also new connections who can expand your horizons. These people not only can act as a support mechanism but can also put you in touch with individuals/organisations who may be hiring. Networking is vital for those looking to secure a new role and according to HubSpot, 85% of jobs are filled through networking. 

So, where should you start? Firstly, consider who to target. Start with who you know – friends of friends, former colleagues, family members etc. Often, speaking about your current situation and potential opportunities can spark new ideas, skills you may have forgotten you had and simply provides you with a team of cheerleaders to help you get through this next chapter of your life. Once you have targeted the low hanging fruit, consider reaching out, via email or LinkedIn, to people who are currently working at companies you’d love to work for or those who are currently in jobs that you’d love to perform yourself. They may not have any opportunities at the moment, but they will appreciate your confidence and use of initiative – people will remember you for your proactivity and are likely to consider you for future openings.

Planning an effective reach out message will ensure that you’re getting the most out of this activity. Ensure you are including information about who you are, why you are contacting them specifically, and what you would like to get out of this contact. Keep the message clear and concise and then start to compile a list of those you have contacted so you can follow up and keep track! You may also wish to consider attending networking events within your industry and connect with like-minded people. Be sure to take a copy of your CV and ask around about job opportunities.

 Give your CV a make-over

Redundancy gives you the opportunity to completely revamp your CV, allowing you to showcase all the reasons why you are a suitable fit for an employer. It is likely that you may not have submitted a job application for a while and since have built a plethora of new skills and responsibilities that will make you shine bright on your resume. It is important to remember, however, that a one size fits all strategy will not be advantageous for all job applications. Be sure to slightly tweak your CV depending on the role you are applying to, whether this requires altering your personal profile or highlighting key areas of expertise depending on the role concerned. As a job seeker competing against other suitable candidates, it is crucial that your CV depicts all the reasons why you specifically would be a great fit for each particular role – carefully analyse the job description and mirror the language used on your CV.

Formatting your CV appropriately will also help you land more interview invitations as most companies now actively use an applicant tracking service (ATS). As many of you will know, ATS’s are not always watertight, and a percentage of the CVs never reach the eyes of the hiring manager as a result of over formatting and fancy graphics. In order to avoid being part of that extremely frustrating percentile, make sure you check for a provided list of acceptable file formats. If a PDF option is not available, upload a .doc or .docx version. Try also to avoid using columns and imagery as although these bring your CV to life, an ATS may not be able to make sense of the information and consequently your CV will fail the ATS filters. There are many resources online which aid the creation of an ATS friendly CV, so it is advised that you keep this in mind before submitting your applications. Here are some helpful links – How to create an ATS-Friendly CV (With example and template) | UK, The Best ATS-Friendly CV Examples (+ ATS-Compliant Template) (

Finally, look after yourself!

Amidst all the various tasks you need to complete in order to land your new role, putting your mental health first and practising self-care is paramount. Avoid falling into the trap of attempting to use every waking hour on your job search otherwise you risk exhaustion and burn out. Spend some time enjoying personal pleasures, disconnecting from the search, and remember your situation is temporary and is through no fault of your own.

Thank you for reading! If you have any questions, please contact me on [email protected]

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