What do you do when redundancy looms? Rebecca Barnes looks at how to bounce back when you lose your job.
For some, losing the job they’ve invested so much time and energy in can be a devastating blow to lifestyle, finances and self-confidence.
Now more than ever before it is likely that you, or someone close to you will be made redundant, but you should never blame yourself; there’s a different attitude to redundancy today than there was 10 years ago, and it no longer carries the same stigma as it did in the past.
However, redundancy can also be a great opportunity to take stock, understand your position and skills and start afresh.
So if it happens to you, you’ll need to think about a few things to safeguard your future and move forward towards a new beginning.
Assess your finances
If you have been made redundant and haven’t got another job, you may be able to claim benefits or Jobseeker’s Allowance depending on your circumstances. You may also be able to get help with paying your rent, paying your council tax, free prescriptions and free school meals for your children. If you are struggling to pay bills, speak to your lenders and explain why you are having problems. Check your redundancy payment: by law you are entitled to half a week’s pay for each year if you are between 18 years and 21; one week’s pay up to and including the age of 41; and thereafter 1.5 weeks pay subject to a maximum of 20 years. The payment is capped at £330 a week.
Watch your wellbeing
Even the most laid-back individual will be affected by redundancy as a range of emotions could surface. You’ll need to learn how to cope with these feelings and de-stress, so start by talking to friends and family – a problem shared is a problem halved - and make sure you’re exercising and eating well to minimise the impact of stress on mind and body. This will also give you the energy and motivation you’ll need to succeed. If you need to talk to someone in confidence, contact The Samaritans; samaritans.org
Reassess your career
Reflect on your skills and personal qualities before you start looking for a new career. Keep your days structured to avoid becoming lazy or negative - your job now is to get a new job. If you’re standing at the career crossroads wondering what to do next, maybe its time to start thinking about what you really want, and how to go about getting it. Use your imagination to visualise the future – where do you want to work, what do you want to do? Make a list of what you have to offer, and plans and ideas should start forming – once you have the desire to achieve your real goals, you’ll be unstoppable.
Start the job hunt
Work on your CV and tailor it towards the kinds of jobs you are after. Use the web to help organise your job hunting, and register with websites relevant to the industry you want to work in such as engineerjobs.co.uk. Check local newspapers for jobs in your area and network with friends, family, colleagues and professional bodies to hunt down additional leads. Register with recruitment agencies, and brush up on your interview skills. Finally, make the effort to visit specialist exhibitions such as The National Engineering and Construction Recruitment Exhibition which houses thousands of job vacancies, careers advice, CV consultation and interview clinic all under one roof.
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