What to do When Facing Redundancy

What to do when redundancy strikes

What should you do if you are faced with redundancy? – Top Ten tips

Are you one of the thousands of job ‘victims’ affected by the downturn in the economy or Public Sector cuts?

Not a pleasant situation to suddenly be faced with, unless you have been quietly plotting your escape route and can now walk away with some spare cash, or you always knew that the time is right to get out.What to do when redundancy strikes

Having been hit with the news of pending redundancy, it is important to take the right steps to protect your own interests and get you moving forward as quickly as possible:

1/ Know your rights – This is an important start point. If you work for a large organisation, the HR department will almost certainly have followed proper policy and protocol and checked out all their legal requirements as an employer. If you have a union then they will be involved in the process to ensure that employees best interests are looked after.

However, as with most things in life, or if you work for a smaller company without an HR department, this is not always the case. Sometimes redundancy programmes are rushed through and things might not always be done exactly as they should and corners may be cut, especially if there is great pressure to reduce headcount and payroll cost.

You need to know if you are being fairly treated, if your reason for redundancy is valid, whether there is scope for negotiation on any redundancy payment, if you have been given the proper period of consultation and a host of other issues.

2/ Know where to get help – If you do not have an HR department or you are for whatever reason uncomfortable discussing your situation with them, find some external help to advise on your situation (there is plenty of free help around) so no need to pay for anything at this stage. If you have a union then this is the time they can be of great help. The site below is specifically targeted to people in your situation. 


3/ Negotiate the best deal – Depending on your standing within the organisation, length of service and and reason for redundancy, there could be scope for negotiation, especially if you may be required to stay on to oversee important handovers or your job is such that it is of benefit for you to remain in situ as long as possible. This could open up the possibility for a retention bonus as you are helping the company whilst making it difficult for you to job search. Even if you negotiate an extra week or two pay this will all help towards your survival contingency and pay some bills.

4/ Find out what career support is available from your employer – Although there is no formal obligation from employers to support staff facing redundancy with career help, many organisations feel that they have a moral obligation to at least help those being released to have a better chance of getting a new job quickly or to be able to review their career options and this is commonly known as Outplacement or Career Management.

Every organisation takes a different approach. However, if nothing is offered it is always worth asking your HR Manager or Trade Union (if you have one) if a programme can be provided.

If there are a small amount of redundancies, it can pay you to agree a budget with your employer and source your own outplacement programme. This way you have a much better chance of having a programme customised to your needs, rather than having a programme the organisation have negotiated. If they are not happy to do this, then take any help that is on offer, as it could really help to fastrack you to your next job plus you never know when you might be in the same situation again.

5/ Career support options if your employer is unable to provide a programme – You have to accept that in a climate of economic downturn and cost cutting, your employer may not have the funds to pay for an Outplacement programme or be willing to pay for such support.

If you have never experienced redundancy before and are ‘all at sea’, you are looking at the opportunity for a possible career change or you wish to fast-track to another maybe even better job, then it will pay you to invest in some professional help to move you forward with your career and help you market yourself more effectively.You will get a much quicker return on your investments a good Career Coach will keep you focused, motivated and on track rather  than going it alone and more than likely losing your motivation on the way.

Expert career development consultancies offer a range of services to suit the needs of each individual from writing a CV to get you on the interview yes pile, honing your interview skills to win at interviews to exploring career change options and specific career development programmes for professionals and executives.

6/  Having the right Mindset – Turn the Threat into an Opportunity. Winning through redundancy is much about positive mindset e.g. it’s not about you personally but about the economic climate e.g. restructuring or whatever else has created the situation that is requiring outsourcing, cost cutting etc. Things usually happen for a reason so take advantage of the situation to review your life and career and walk away with some money to maybe fund a new venture, something that you maybe have always wanted to do but never had the courage or it has never been the right time.

7/ You are allowed to be upset (for a while!) – Redundancy effects people in many different ways. If the redundancy has come as a shock or you feeel bitter about what has happened or frightened about the future then it is only natural to be upset and concerned. Try to get this off your chest, change your mindset and let go and move forward as quickly as possible and learn from the past to help your future. If you are deeply truamatised then you may need special counselling support which your employer may provide.

8/ Get your finances into shape and the right support network – Surround yourself with positive people who will boost you up and who have ideally experienced redundancy and proven that it can be a blessing in disguise plus people that you know, value and tust. This is also where professional career development support and career coaching can be greatly beneficial.  It will also pay you to get professional help to review your pension if your employer has not provided this service.

Get your finances into shape and once you know how much you will walk away with do some serious financial planning to work out how much you need to earn moving forward and how long your redundancy and any savings will last and if you are fortunate to have a good package, how best to invest your money. For many people this exercise can open up a whole new world of thinking, especially if you find that you don’t need to earn as much as you thought to survive or your redundancy money can bring about new financial freedom!

9/ Build your networks – With anything up to 90% of jobs never openly advertised, for many job seekers building and managing your networks can be the most effective methodology to finding a new opportunity.  The impact and power of social media has completely changed the face of recuitment and job searching so building an online presence through Facebook and especially LinkedIn for professionals and executives is as important as meeting contacts face to face and has dramatically reduced the time it takes to build and maintain your networks.

10/ Live your dream! – You may never get a better opportunity than now to re-evaluate your life and career and do what you’ve always wanted to! Research consistently shows that one in two people are in the wrong job and two out of three are unfulfilled.  It is never too late to change and now is the time for you to find the right job or career for you, maybe even start up your own business doing something you love that will make you happy or take that retirement you have been yearning for!

If you want to know more about developing your career, visit our Career & Personal Development website