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Surviving redundancy: advice from Scotland’s top recruitment specialists

Redundancy is rarely a pleasant experience – let alone being made redundant in the midst of a global pandemic and all of the uncertainties and pressures surrounding this.

Even though it may feel like the end of a career right now, it doesn’t have to be. With our five steps, redundancies can create opportunities and possibilities you might not have thought possible.

1. Stay Positive

Don’t panic, it’s so important to remain calm and collected – which can seem like wishful thinking for someone facing an uncertain future.

The first step is to review your finances and carry out a mini health check, which will help you figure out a timeframe for a job search (and depending on any redundancy package and savings, could give you more peace of mind).

Start conversations with people in your network and your industry. Speak with people over LinkedIn – many of us will have either experienced or know someone who has experienced redundancy in the past. This is the time for you to gather as much information as possible and take as much advice on as you can about other experiences and coping mechanisms.

2. Stay active

Turn your job hunt into a project by dedicating some time every day to going through job boards, tailoring your CV, setting up meetings and calls, and networking. Try be as disciplined as possible, if you set aside two hours a day, stick to it as best you can.

This will help you become more efficient at your job hunt, but more importantly it will give you a dedicated time and ensure your job hunt doesn’t blend into other areas of your life.

Something we come across with a post-redundancy job seeker is that feeling of guilt that you might not be doing enough – you should enjoy some free time and dedicate it to catching up with family and friends, and time for yourself.

Keep yourself physically and mentally fit – whether that’s getting out for walks or some at-home workouts, take advantage of the time you have to invest in yourself. Keeping your brain active with reading, crosswords and puzzles will also help you.

3. Diversify

It might sound counterintuitive, but this is a great opportunity to take stock and think about the career you’ve had and what you’d like to do in the future. Would you be interested in moving sector?

Jot down the goals you’d love to achieve and review what steps you’d need to take to get there. While this is a nice exercise, this should be done with your feet firmly on the ground – it’s not an easy job market at the moment.

You need to research the market to find out what jobs are available and where the demand is. Your skills and experience could also lead you to a new life as a freelancer – your new lucrative, flexible career might be just around the corner.

4. Remain Visible

It would be entirely understandable to retreat after a redundancy and spend time dwelling on the what if’s and but’s. If you do, make sure it’s only for a week or two and get back on track (sooner rather than later).

It’s a good time to contact former colleagues and industry contacts, making sure people know you’re available and ready to work (without going overboard!). There might just be some projects you could get involved in on a temporary or part-time basis – you won’t know until you ask.

Make sure your social media presence is up to scratch. Update your LinkedIn profile and make sure your skills and experience reflect your latest work – don’t forget to switch your status to ‘open to opportunities’. Utilise Twitter and LinkedIn to keep up to date on vacancies.

If you choose the route of a recruitment agency, please choose wisely. Insist on having a chat with a consultant before giving your details, to make sure they understand you, and what you’re looking for. If you’re met with blank looks it’s definitely not the agency for you.

5. Stay positive and most importantly, persevere

The key to surviving redundancy is maintaining your morale. While it might sound clichéd, you still have so much to offer and you will be stronger for the experience.

Don’t give up, your perseverance will pay off and you will get through it.

Our team of recruitment specialists have 135 years of collective experience and have placed hundreds of candidates out of redundancies. While you’re entering a difficult job market, it’s not impossible and there are plenty of industries and markets which are continuing to hire.

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