We spoke to Australian career advising expert Russell Johnson to get a fresh perspective on being made redundant, along with some redundancy career tips. Here’s what he had to say:
Okay, so you have a big change happening in your career:
- You ‘took a package’ (a voluntary departure),
- Your job genuinely became redundant (remember, it’s the job that is redundant – not you!), or
- Team or organisational restructure resulted in the elimination of your job (a separation dressed up as redundancy).
First of all, congratulations!
Why is redundancy a cause for congratulations? Because almost everyone who faces a redundancy ends up in a better, happier, more productive and profitable place later on.
A redundancy can re-ignite your career, because:
- Since you were no longer considered vital to your organisation’s future, there’s probably a better future available to you somewhere else, where you can make a bigger difference.
- And your payout can help you create a more satisfying future – and even a better-paid one – if you take a strategic approach to your next steps.
Redundancy is a common occurrence: Within just one year, about two per cent of Australian workers are made redundant and get a redundancy payment.
Getting started: What to do next after being made redundant
If you haven’t changed employers in recent years, you might find that job-hunting takes longer than in the past.
Competition for good jobs has grown more intense. Hiring processes at some companies have become longer and more complicated. Increased age and seniority can also lengthen a transition, because employers go more carefully filling “non-junior” roles.
Your next steps: What and When?
A successful career transition can take many months and it takes some work. But an unplanned, hit-and-miss approach to career transition can do long term harm – and that could be harder to bounce back from.
After you are made redundant, manage your time and resources wisely, from day-one. Get to work on your career plan right away.
If your experience and skills are clear-cut and you see lots of opportunities waiting, get stuck into it – starting today, no delay. This way, if you encounter any surprises or setbacks, you’ll have the time and resources to react and still make a comfortable transition. (If you wait until your resources are depleted and your career skills are a bit “fuzzy”, then you’ve made things harder for yourself and you may end up settling for a new position you’re not 100% happy with.)
If your next steps are not entirely clear or you want to make some changes, do not just float around testing the waters or making half-hearted moves. That’s where a downward spiral can start. Instead, get experienced guidance to help manage the risks, help create a strategic, practical plan of attack and make the most of your potential.
Are you thinking about consulting or being an entrepreneur?
If you’re considering self-employment, remember it’s easy to under-estimate the time it will take to replace or exceed your previous job’s salary. If you want to start a new venture, get out there and get some real experts’ advice. You’ll be surprised how helpful people will be, if you just reach out and tell people what you’re doing.
No matter what, the early stages in a new startup or consulting career can be slow and worrisome. Good planning and advice will help you get through that transition period.
In your career, good luck helps, of course.
But, in your career, good luck happens when opportunities bump into your own good preparation.
Remember, it’s the job that is redundant – not you!
At Etax.com.au you can get help claiming your redundancy payment on your tax return; just send your termination payment documents and we’ll handle it at no extra cost when we do your tax return.
(Thanks to Russell Johnson of Empowered Careers for sharing his advice for this article. Our team agrees with Russell – career planning and advice are so important. Just like most people get expert help with finances, taxes, renovations etc. we think that expert help with planning your career is a sensible investment. Etax.com.au is not affiliated with Empowered Careers.)