Being made redundant is often a tough thing to overcome. Yet, an amazing two per cent of Australian workers experience it every year!
We spoke to Australian career advice expert Russell Johnson, a career planning veteran with CEO-level experience in Australia and the US, to get a fresh perspective on being made redundant. Russell also shared some insightful redundancy career tips. Here’s what he had to say.
Okay, so your job was made redundant…
Redundancy means one of 3 things:
- You accepted a ‘redundancy package’ – a voluntary departure.
- Your job genuinely became redundant.
- A team or organisational restructure resulted in the elimination of your job.
Here are 3 important things to remember when you’re made redundant:
- It’s not your fault: It’s likely that your skills were underutilised, unecessary or unappreciated in the position you were in. Perhaps this caused a loss of confidence, low self-esteem or constant feelings of frustration. So right now, it’s understandable that you’re probably not feeling particularly awesome. But the truth is, none of this is your fault and there was nothing you could have done to change things. So don’t take it to heart.
- Let go and move on: Don’t waste energy seething over what has happened. This will only serve to keep you in the same spot and hinder your progress. Even if you feel the decision was unjust or even cruel, get to grips with letting your negative feelings go. Look forward to better things, rather than back at something you have no way of changing.
- Your payout is your ticket: If you use it wisely, your redundancy payout can finance a few important things you need right now:
- A bit of time to re-group, research and re-evaluate,
- the finances to keep food on the table and a roof over your head for a few months
- and perhaps the funds to up-skill in a couple of areas if you feel that it might help with your job hunting
Made redundant – What now?
Once you’ve dusted yourself down and put your big pants on. It’s time to get out there again. 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 is more intense these days. The hiring process is often a long, drawn out process. Increased age and seniority can also lengthen a transition, because employers go more carefully filling “non-junior” roles.
What are your first steps?
Russell Johnson’s advice is:
A successful career transition rarely happens overnight and it takes some work. Plus, an unplanned, hit-and-miss approach 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.)