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25 Apr 6 Tips for Surviving Redundancy

In this period of businesses standing down employees, Job Redundancy in Australia is becoming one of the countries biggest concerns in light of COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, I have been taking calls from lots of clients from all industries (mining, aviation, tourism, retail, trades and professionals) who want to talk about their challenges, concerns and share their stories of redundancy.  I have been in the career industry for so many years and have been made redundant twice myself so I know first-hand the emotional roller coaster that can sometimes kick in throughout the weeks and sometimes months of the redundancy process.

Redundancy – Don’t go it alone!

Know that you are not alone and there are lots of services and information out there that you can access to help! Today I am sharing my 6 tips for surviving redundancy.

1. Keep a Positive Attitude

I know ‘staying positive’ is probably the last thing piece of advice you want to hear right now but trust me when I say it can make all the difference between you letting this big life event pull you under or seeing it as an opportunity. Keeping a ‘can-do’ attitude is essential.

Some effective strategies for remaining positive in challenging times include;

  • Make a list of your strengths or personal attributes to help you remember how awesome you are
  • Avoid ‘absolutes’ and exaggerations – focus on what we are in control of, stay in reality and try not to hypothesize about what could happen.  If things seem scary and uncertain, remember, ‘this too shall pass!’
  • Catch your internal monologue when it turns negative and reframe your thinking – turn ‘I’ll never find another job that pays as well’ to ‘I wonder what new opportunities are out there for me?’
  • Remind yourself of what you have to be grateful for, keep a gratitude journal and list 3 things you are grateful for each night before bed

 2. Take Time for your Mental Health

Losing a job can have a significant impact on your mental health and emotional wellbeing. If you or a loved one are currently experiencing emotional distress, you can call Lifeline, (13 11 14) or Beyond Blue, (1300 224 636).

Psychologists note that losing a job often equates to the grief of losing a loved one. Especially if you have been with that employer for a long period of time.

It’s ok to grieve.  Give yourself time to adjust to the new situation. It is completely normal to go through the same stages of grief that you would face during a significant loss, including shock, denial, anger, bargaining, and feeling guilty.

Use this time to hit ‘pause’, check in with your needs, plan for the future, eat healthy, exercise for at least 30 mins a day, get enough sleep, get back to your hobbies and de-stress as much as possible.

If you feel overwhelmed, don’t stress yourself further about ‘getting out there’ and putting pressure on yourself to find a new job. I understand this can be hard to do, especially if you have a family to support who depend on you. However, your health, mental or physical, need to be a priority during this time.

3. Review your Finances & Make a Budget

If you don’t already have one, make a budget. Visit the moneysmart website for some practical information on budgeting, saving, and how to manage your finances.

Cut back on frivolous spending on ‘wants’ and ‘nice-to-haves’. Cancel any payments, subscriptions and purchases that you can do without. Put those items on your wish list and review it a few months’ time.  Find out what you might be entitled to in financial support.

Talk to your bank – many lenders will offer help if you are in financial hardship and may even be able to reduce your mortgage payments.

Talk to your landlord or rental authority about periodically reducing your rental payment or getting extensions.

Contact your utility providers about payment extensions or payment plans to help you get on top of your bills.

Get on top of finances!

4. Update your resume

Turn a negative into a positive: your redundancy could be the perfect time to move forward in your career or change your career direction entirely. It can be tempting to scroll through Seek, Indeed or Jora for hours each day, but doing so will only add more pressure on yourself and can be quite depressing and detrimental to your mental health.

The most crucial task for your career is to update your CV.  Resume trends and industry requirements change frequently.  If it has been 3+ years since you had your resume professionally written, its time for an update.  Seek out an expert in the field (not a typist) who knows how the job market works, has written resumes for all industries, and has career development qualifications. I have seen many ‘professional resumes’ from clients which, whilst they look attractive, won’t cut the mustard when it comes to practical use.  In the last 10 years I have witnessed the job application process becoming more of a science.  Computer ‘bots that screen your resume to name one. 

5. Do a transferrable skills audit

No matter how long you have been in your previous role, you will have transferable skills and experience which you can take into a new job role or industry.  Can you identify the skillsets you have that might be attractive in other roles? 

Think about what you have done in the past and list down as many skills as you can.  Reminder: the skills I’m talking about here are technical, learned and practical skills, not to be confused with ‘soft skills’ which are more personality traits and interpersonal skills.  But make a list of these too!  Ask your friends, ex colleagues, partner, mother etc what THEY think your personal attributes are. At a very minimum, it will give you a boost to know all the things you DO have to offer a new employer.

6. Polish up your networking skills

Did you know that up to 80% of people find their jobs through word of mouth?  That means that there are many jobs that are available but which do not hit the online job boards.  Don’t believe me?  Think about how many jobs you have gained through seek or the newspaper (if years ago!) and how many you have obtained because you knew someone who knew someone, or you happened to be in the right place at the right time.

What if your social network is small?  Start networking!  LinkedIn is a great start. 

Reach out to your networks!

My Job Mentor services range from career coaching, job search coaching, interview preparation and key selection criteria for government jobs (which are still hiring now more than ever!). As well as basic resume edits, to a major overall of your resume complete with specifically tailored cover letters to get your next job…sooner.

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There are two major advantages for jobseekers who know how to access this market:

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Any interview questions that will reveal the applicant’s marital status, age, religion, gender, race or sexual orientation are illegal.

Here are some suggestions as to questions not to ask, but check your local statutory authority to be sure you are within the legal guidelines.

1. How old are you? That’s an obvious one, but what about anything else that dates them i.e. when did you graduate, how old are your children, what year did you finish school etc. – best to stay away from all dated related questions.

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Key Selection Criteria

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