A Conversation for Coping With Redundancy


Post 1


How can you best deal with the initial news?

Know it's coming. Know it could be you. Expect it. Make it part of you. Make it so that the worst thing that can happen is that you keep your job...

Do not, under any circumstances, react emotionally while on the premises. If necesssary, leave the premises immediately, and don't feel the need to give an explanation, either - what are they going to do, fire you again?

How to constructively use your remaining work time while seeing out your notice in your present job.

Don't. Leave as soon as possible, and certainly don't feel the need to come back the day after you've been officially notified. Point out that if you are redundant, then by definition your presence is not required. If it IS required, you're not redundant. Point out also that since you are no longer required to be loyal to the company, you do not feel it ethical to come onto the premises. Hint at possible dark deeds. Make them pay you to stay away.

How do you make sure you get a fair deal from your company?

Be in a union. If not, talk to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, who may put you in touch with a lawyer.

What are you entitled by law?

Depends where you live and what you do and for how long...

How should you use/invest/spend your redundancy money wisely?

Spend 5% of it IMMEDIATELY on a treat for yourself. Spend as much as you need to sort yourself out with interview clothes. Put the rest in a building society account, preferably one of those that requires notice of withdrawals. Save it for emergencies.

Who do you talk to if you think that your being made redundant is unfair and possibly illegal?

Union, CAB, lawyer.

Who do you go to for professional advice?

Internet, colleagues, friends, your institution (e.g. IChemE, IMechE, RSC, CIMA, whatever depending on your profession)

How should you rebuild your self confidence after redundancy?

Point 1 - YOU are not redundant. The JOB you were doing is redundant. This THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REALISE.

Even if you are being made redundant because your boss hates you (as I was), at the end of the day it MUST be because there is no longer a role for someone with your skills. Ultimately, although bosses can make it SEEM personal, companies don't honestly care. It's not YOU they're getting rid of, it's your job.

Being "just a number" is in this case a positive thing. Someone else may be crying out for your skill set even as your current company doesn't need them any more.

Do voluntary work. Having someone thank you for helping them, having them tell you that you've done something good for them, will give your confidence and sense of usefulness a massive boost.

How can family and friends help with someone who has been made redundant?

By not nagging. By not judging. By not being over-sympathetic. By suggesting ANYTHING they can think of which may help, no matter how silly or apparently unconnected, but not pushing it.

I was lucky - my partner was incredibly understanding, supportive and close when I was made redundant. That in itself was a massive boost to my self-esteem, having her. smiley - smooch to HB.

What's the best way of deciding what to do next?

Flip a coin.

Depends on age and ambition. For me there was no decision - I was and am an engineer, I looked for another engineering job, and got one, eventually. It never occurred to me to do anything else - but then, I was only off work for about three months.

So I can't really comment.

What should your short- and long-term goals be?

Short term - don't lose your home. Don't lose your partner. Don't lose your marbles.

Long term - find the perfect job!

What are the practical steps you can take to get yourself a new job?

CVs to agencies, ask everyone you know, EVERYONE, if they can help, get to a job centre and use whatever resources they can offer, retrain if necessary, buy a book on interview technique and practice, and be realistic.

How should you explain your redundancy to your next employer?

Don't. Simply stating that there was a round of redundancies and your role was one of those selected should be enough for them. If their HR department are too dense to understand that (and I've never heard of an HR department I'd trust with a wax crayon, so it's possible), you don't want to work there.

This assumes you really were made redundant and not sacked for embezzlement or shagging the boss's wife in the car park...

What should you do if you don't find a job before you begin to run out of money?

1. Get a job, ANY job. Something, anything. Bar work, McDonalds, whatever.
2. Stop spending. You can live for a limited time on very, very little money - see "Big Brother"...
3. Sell stuff. If you're reading this, you can get on eBay and shift your CD collection. You can always download it all again when you get a job.
4. Busk. If you can sing, sing. If you can play, play. If you can juggle, juggle. You'll be amazed how much dosh you can make in a short time with enough brass neck and desperation (to steal a phrase...).

More later, maybe...



Post 2

Barneys Bucksaws

There's always the knowledge that life seems to get revenge on people who do nasty things to other people. I was the 13th buyer/planner cut from a department of 26 buyer/planners. Bit by bit we'd assumed the workload of the redundant people. After I left they lost 3 more who couldn't handle the workload and quit. One, one of the best, most intuitive buyers I've ever known, had a nervous breakdown. Eventually the supervisor who had to submit all these names for redundancy, lost his job. Sweet revenge, and I didn't have to lift a finger. I just found another job.

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