Unfortunately most people have lost a job in one way or another over the course of their career; they have either been let go before the end of their probation, fired or made redundant. It definitely seems the way of the world where no job is guaranteed for life anymore.

This isn’t a topic I would generally blog about as I do prefer to write about happier more upbeat things but I have been made redundant in the past and do know it is a horrible and unsettling time in anyone’s life. I got through it and most people do but I also know if I could go back to 2008 when it was happening I wish I had done a little bit more to protect myself, been a little bit more selfish and also reached the best possible outcome for me! Here are some of the things I would have done differently…

Understood my rights

I had never been in a position where I might lose my job before. I’d always left jobs of my own free will so I didn’t have a clue what procedures my employer should have followed or what rights I had as an employee. If you are ever given redundancy notice I would highly recommend you know your rights inside and out. If you are in the UK contact the Citizens Advise Bureau and  check the Government website on redundancy procedures.  Your employer must adhere to a strict set of guidelines so that they treat the employee fairly this includes giving the employee lots of notice that redundancy is possible, giving employees time to look for other jobs, offering alternative roles in the company etc. If you know your rights and the company know you are aware of your rights they are less likely to treat you unfairly.

Didn’t panic

I was quite shocked when I was told I was being made redundant, I was only 24 and was not very good at standing up for myself.  I wish I hadn’t panicked in the initial meeting and accepted what I was being told. If you have a tendency to feel like this I would recommend bringing someone level headed or with more experience to come into the meeting with you. You are allowed to take in a representative so do if you feel you need some support. You will probably feel a whole mixture of emotions when you are going through redundancy so try hard to not let this override your normal pragmatic outlook. IF you feel overwhelmed ask to take more time thinking through what you want to say before meeting again.

Fought for the best redundancy package

I wish I had fought harder for a better redundancy package. By the time I left I really just wanted to get out of there despite knowing that I had the right to a better deal. Although you might not have the strength to fight for a good deal for yourself make sure you do at least get enough to make your life easier in the months that follow redundancy. By knowing your rights and not panicking you should be in a good position to negotiate. Do remember that you can negotiate if you think you deserve more from the company for the level of service you provided them when you were worked there.

Thought about what I wanted

This I did do to some degree. After being made redundant I moved into a full time personal assistant role which I thought was a great career step for me. What I didn’t do was really think through what I was going to do with the redundancy package I received. Blame it on me being young! I would recommend you make a clear plan and also take the opportunity to think about what you want from your personal life and career. You never know this horrible experience might turn out to the be the best thing that happened to you!

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  • Silvina December 3, 2012   Reply →

    I was made redundant from my first job when I was 25. I didn’t know my rights, and they didn’t give me any time to think about them. Just pick your staff and leave. I don’t even know if the money they paid was alright but I was shocked and I didn’t know what to do except do what they told me to.
    It was the best for me because I was comfortable there but that was not the way I expected to leave. Now I’ve learned fron that experience and hope anything like this will happen again. 🙂

  • Amanda Reid December 4, 2012   Reply →

    This is great practical (no pun intended) advice. I’ve been made redundant twice and each time I managed to stay calm as I was the sole income for my household and had to ensure the mortgage and all bills were paid. The first thing I did was contact my mortgage company and explain my situation, they were incredibly helpful and gave me a payment holiday (max 6 mths) which was a great finacial break. After that it was contact everyone on LinkedIn, my personal contacts and all good recruiters to sort myself out with a new full-time postition…while doing this I ensured I had temp work so that I still had money coming in: I did everything from 2 days of non-stop photocopying, 2 weeks of filing and 1 month of standing in a draughty warehouse filing single sheets of paper into thousands of folders…but it paid the bills until the right job came along. Plus the benefit of temp work is they are aware that you’ll be going for interviews!

  • Belinda Corris December 7, 2012   Reply →

    I was also forced into a position of redundancy which was very stressfull and in hindsight should have negotiated a better package my advice get a good solicitor or seek advice from the CAB.

    However on a lighter note it gve me time off with my little boy in th school holidays and I took the time out to reflect on what I have achieved in my career and where my next path would take me. I have since invested some of my redundancy back into myself by re training having decided to peruse a new career as a PA. life throws you some curve balls but everything we deal with makes us stronger.

  • Rita December 31, 2012   Reply →

    I read an article recently by John Hadley, an actuary, located in USA. He wrote in 2003 about networking as a method of getting introduced to new contacts which MAY lead to future opportunities. The trick is not to arrange an interview with a stranger and ask for a job. No. Here is a link to his article:
    I am not sure how well this may work in the UK. I certainly enjoyed reading your blog and it has many points that I had not considered. Thanks for posting. Keep up the good work. Happy New Year! 😀

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