If you have recently been called into the managers office and given the unexpected news that your services are no longer required, or that the company cannot afford to keep you on and you are being made redundant, don’t panic. Even though the country is going through a ‘double dip’ recession, this does not mean there are no jobs in the market place, in fact, the jobless toll decreased last month for the first time in around five years. See the news as a little nudge that you need to take a new direction in life. You may not have wanted to but now you can re evaluate your working career and this actually could be a great opportunity for you.
First, you should make sure that you have been given all you are entitled to from your last job. This could mean a redundancy package of money, an offer of retraining, the correct amount of leave and holiday time, and any bonuses that you might have been expecting. Importantly, if your company offers you an outplacement service then definitely take them up on the offer. This could mean that you might receive one to one training or coaching on your career, which would involve a certain amount of help with writing your CV, attending group workshops, brushing up on your interview skills or even business start up sessions. If this or anything else is offered, take it.
Next, take some time to really think about your future and what you want to do with your career. Although in this economic time you may not have that luxury if you have a family to support, but if you have to take any job, while you are working, do some research into the types of careers you’d always wished you could do and see if you have the qualifications to do them or if you need to go back to school. Stay positive and do not take the redundancy personally as if it is a slight on your performance or character. This is a great time to revamp your CV and register with recruitment agencies, also try social networking sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and now Facebook are ever increasingly being used by head hunters, who rather than pay agencies are doing their own homework and finding good people themselves. A good rule of thumb when posting about your previous experience is to assume that everyone knows everyone so never bad mouth former employers, it’s childish and petty and makes you look as if you cannot be trusted.
You can use the internet in other ways to gain employment, there are many freelancing sites such as PeoplePerHour, monster.com, redgoldfish.com etc. And you can put Google to good use by researching companies by using a job specific and location search. If they have vacancies you can tell them how you found out about the jobs. If you go into your local Job Centre, you can peruse the job section, and while you are in there ask about government funded training or if there is any funding available.
Finally remember that you are not a loser because a company could not afford to keep you on. These are hard times economically and many companies are having to make difficult decisions to keep their heads above water. So brush your self down, pick yourself and think that in six months time when you have your dream career, this was probably the best thing that could have happened to you! Good luck!