Losing your job is never easy, but it’s important to keep your head up
Breathe, don’t panic. The most important thing about finding yourself out of work is what you do next.
You might be back on the job market unexpectedly but just as quickly as you can lose a job, you can find yourself back on your feet and maybe even enjoying your work more than ever before.
You might feel disheartened, unmotivated or even rejected, but there’s a competitive job market out there and you need to enter the fray as quickly as possible.
Dust off that CV and make sure it’s up to date, add relevant information, seek out an opportunity that excites and motivates you and start applying to positions where you’d be a good fit.
Bethan Robbins, commercial director at Hays recruitment agency, says: “It is important for everyone to keep their CV up to date whether you are under threat of redundancy or if you are in a secure job.
“If it’s up to date you don’t need to spend possibly hours wracking your mind on what you’ve done over the years. It’s surprising how easy it can be to forget what you have achieved especially if you have amounted years of experience.”
Accepting the situation
If you’ve lost your job, then the first thing you need to do is come to terms with it.
“If you need to take some time after being made redundant to emotionally feel ready for the next role, that’s absolutely fine – diving head first into a new job without considering how it meets your career aspirations is not advised,” says Bethan.
“However, it is also important that any lapse between jobs does not become wasted time as this will make it more challenging for you to get back into the competitive job market.”
Understanding that it can happen to anyone regardless of position, sector or experience will help you move on.
“Redundancy is not personal,” adds Bethan.
“For anyone who has been through the process it can feel very personal, but it is usually a company’s response to market or trading conditions.
“You should keep in mind the skills and experience you have and be optimistic that a new job may be more rewarding than the one you are leaving.”
Deciding on a path
Not sure what to do next? Thinking of taking a new direction with your career?
It’s not uncommon for people to pursue something different or even take some time out after redundancy.
“If you do want to take a career break and do something different, for example help build a school in a less developed country, volunteer with a charity or go travelling, try to make it worthwhile,” Bethan explains.
“This can sometimes enrich your experience and what you can offer to employers but it is a personal choice and it may not be for everyone.
“If you are prepared to secure your next role, you should be encouraged to go for it. There will be a great job out there for you, you just need to be persistent, driven and apply yourself to the search.
“Searching will be your job until you find the job that’s right for you.”
So now you’re ready to start applying to jobs and all you need is a little information so you know what to expect next. Getting expert advice will help steer you in the right direction and this can take many forms.
“Talking to a recruiter will give you insight into the job market and advice around salary expectations in your field of expertise,” Bethan explains.
“You can also talk to a professional careers coach who will help identify your core skills and look in depth at your transferable abilities if you are looking to change career direction.
“Signing up to local job boards can be helpful by allowing candidates to see what organisations are hiring, as well as the types of salary on offer.”
It also helps to make yourself known to companies and organisations that you feel could benefit from your skills, and don’t be afraid to make phone calls, meet face-to-face or stop by the office to put a face to a name.
If you find yourself with a lot of extra time on your hands, then why not spend it wisely, get out there and press the flesh. After all, what have you got to lose?
WORDS Colin Armstrong