The shock of being made redundant or the prospect of it can leave you feeling numb, upset and in some cases even angry, perhaps accompanied by the feeling that your hard work hasn’t really been valued. Then again, if you have already seen the signs on the wall and have proactively prepared for redundancy, you could come out on top. Other positive opportunities may even arise from the situation. So try to start thinking about it as a challenge!
The key to survival
Key to your survival is to remain in position. It might not be the end of your relationship with your existing employer and, if it is, it’s important to remember your being made redundant isn’t necessarily down to anything you have done personally. It’s not a punishment, but more likely due to a perceived financial necessity – perhaps because sales have been damaged by the recession, leading to a shortfall in demand for the products and services your company provides.
Times are tough at the moment for most businesses. They, like you, are fighting for survival. So the company directors have to take some tough decisions. Thus it is important to know your rights, though it may also be worth thinking about any ideas that you could present to your managers and the board, which could save your job or help make the company more profitable and competitive.
Your first step with this strategy, is to gain their consent and support by organising a meeting to discuss the current situation. Apart from proposing to think about and present some fresh ideas to the board of directors, you could also explore whether or not there are any other opportunities that you could grab hold of while you are doing your research.
If the company is restructuring, for example, new corporate divisions and positions might be created. What are they, and where will they be located? By asking yourself and your colleagues questions like this, you will begin to fully understand the bigger picture. From this will emerge the kind of opportunities that might just save you from being made redundant.
Consider a pay cut
Alternatively you could discuss remaining within your current role, but on the understanding that you will accept a pay cut or a reduction in benefits to help the company through the tough times. If you consider this option, you should put in writing a guarantee that you will gain a pay rise or compensatory benefits when the good times begin to roll again.
Fighting for your existing job should really be your first option. However, in doing so it is important to avoid presenting yourself as a victim. Justifying your position based on your achievements, by providing evidence of why the company should keep you on will achieve more than begrudging the possibility that you are or might be on the redundancy list. Try taking a step back and use a cost-benefit analysis of your performance and its impact on the firm’s costs, customers, sales and profitability to demonstrate your value to your bosses.
Work more or less hours
Other options to consider include working less hours, maybe part-time or as part of a job-sharing scheme. This type of arrangement will enable you to keep your job while allowing you to spend more time with your family, studying to fill any skill gaps you might have, or applying for other positions.
Arguably it is also in the interest of your employer to keep you on. Making people redundant leads to a loss of skills and knowledge that can be very hard to replace. Companies often use it as means of reducing their operating costs in the short-term, but in the long-term it can cost them more and even reduce their immediate performance.
It can also damage the good will of the staff that remain, particularly if they are required to complete their own tasks alongside those of the people who have left. In some instances you might have to be prepared to work more hours for less money. However, if you do agree to work less hours and you make the most of your time to develop your skills, you could emerge on top when the fortunes of the company change. You could even be offered a promotion for your loyalty and hard work!
Prepare your CV
Don’t forget to also prepare your CV while keeping abreast of the opportunities on the web and in the press. It just might be the case that you will have to leave your current employment, with no other options available to you but to accept redundancy. Surprisingly a recession can be the time to move on, and that’s simply because your existing employer’s competitors might need your skills and knowledge to get ahead. To make the right decision you should explore all the options.
Run your own business?
A recession is a tough time to start a business, but it is not impossible to do so. It’s not unusual for some people to be made redundant and use their redundancy package to set up a new business – perhaps even being re-hired by their former employer on a customer-supplier basis later on. Self-employment can be rewarding, as long as you don’t wait for things to happen. Still, it’s not the best option for everyone, and much depends on what motivates you.
Be a champion of your future
Whatever you decide to do, we would like to see you being the champion of your destiny – taking the right steps to gain yourself access to a bright, prosperous and happy future. You can read more about how to manage redundancy, about your rights and the many opportunities that are out there on Jobsite. Your future starts now and for every closing door a new one can open!
Read more tips and advice on Jobsite.
- Can you make your hobby a work opportunity? You certainly can, but most people aren’t so fortunate. Turning...
- Voluntary redundancy When career coach Ros Toynbee was asked to take voluntary...
- How to handle redundancy Losing your job can be devastating. Suddenly you are faced...
- Redundancy Advice: Money Matters Probably one of the biggest worries about losing your job...
- Office Politics: challenging redundancy Redundancy challenges are on the increase, but when can you...