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Rebuilding Confidence After Redundancy

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Dear Daily Slog,

‘I have recently been made redundant and am finding it hard to get over the shock and embarrassment at the situation I find myself in. The atmosphere in the office in the months leading up to the redundancies was terrible and now having to tell people that I was one of the people to be let go has made it a pretty awful year.

My question to you is how should I frame the redundancy when meeting with new employers (and telling business contacts), and also how can I help myself to get over this feeling of despondency that I wasn’t valuable enough to my previous employer to be kept on?’

 

Dear Reader,

Thank you very much for your question.

The feelings and worries you describe are very common for people who have lost their jobs and are preparing to re-enter the jobs market. The last few months in a company during a redundancy process can be particularly difficult, particularly where there is no outplacement support for departing employees and a mix of circumstances in the office. It can be all too easy to internalise the negativity and struggle to move on.

 

In all cases, it is the role that is made redundant, not the individual.

 

Defining Redundancy

A redundancy situation arises where a job ceases to exist, for example, due to rationalisation, re-organisation, insufficient work available following a change in business circumstances, or due to business closure. Where a role ceases to exist and the role-holder cannot be redeployed into a suitable alternative role, a redundancy situation arises and their employment with the company comes to an end.

In all cases, it is the role that is made redundant, not the individual. This may seem like semantics, but it is an important distinction – it is not you that has been made redundant, it is your role. There is nothing for you to be embarrassed about, it is not personal to you.

You can find more information on redundancy here.

 

Redundancy in a buoyant employment market can bring unexpected opportunity for a fresh start.

 

The Employment Market

Over the last decade the Irish jobs market has seen huge shifts – from the heights of the celtic tiger, to major unemployment during the recession, to a near-full employment market, and an ever-changing business and employee landscape.

One of the positives of these changes is that how we view the nature of work and careers has changed considerably and we have a much more fluid view of jobs, careers and employment. Redundancy, role restructures and redeployment form a big part of this landscape and will continue to do so as the pace of change continues. Redundancy in a buoyant employment market can bring unexpected opportunity for a fresh start.

 

Hiring managers are primarily interested in whether or not you can successfully perform their role, and your mindset and attitude towards continuous learning

 

Employer View

It is incredibly common to have had a previous role cease due to redundancy. It is a legitimate reason for a change in role and most prospective employers are very aware of this. When asked about your reason for leaving your role I recommend you give a brief, honest answer – prepare this in advance to ensure you keep to the point.

Hiring managers are primarily interested in whether or not you can successfully perform their role, and your mindset and attitude towards continuous learning. If you can clearly articulate your skills and experience, and demonstrate a positive mental attitude through the recruitment process, you will be well positioned if there is a good match with what the hiring manager is looking for.

 

What opportunities does this unexpected change in role bring for you?

 

Your Story

A key part of this is how you feel about yourself – your skills, your experience and what you can bring to a new role. You mention that you feel that you weren’t valuable enough to be kept on. It is worth taking the time to explore why you feel this? What evidence do you have of this?

What evidence do you have to the contrary?

What skills and experience do you have that your next company could benefit from?

What compliment or acknowledgement do you hear most often about yourself?

What opportunities does this unexpected change in role bring for you?

Take the time to build your story for yourself and you will re-build your confidence in what you have to offer. Once you are clear on this, make sure your CV, LinkedIn profile and any job applications reflect this. This is not always easy, particularly if you are feeling down on yourself – a good coach will be able to help you with this.

 

Down the road you may look back on this time as the beginning of a new adventure

 

Job Search Strategies

When it comes to seeking your next role, I recommend taking a strategic approach to your job search. Consider all the different routes to employment. What companies and roles look like a good fit for you? Do you know anyone in those companies that you could chat with to learn more from? Do you know anyone who could refer you for the role? Are there any events in your industry that you could attend to meet other people working in the same area? What other ways could you build your network?

I hope this has helped steer you in what feels like the right direction for you, and that down the road you will look back on this time as the beginning of a new adventure.

I wish you the best of luck in your job search!

Claire

 

About Claire Flannery

Claire is a qualified Business Psychologist and Executive, Business & Personal Coach with over a decade of experience working in HR leadership in Financial and Professional Services. She has worked with business leaders and individuals through significant organisational and personal change, including periods of organisational growth, restructure and downsizing.

Through one-to-one coaching, group coaching and workshops, Claire works with individuals and business leaders to increase clarity of thought, focus, strength and ultimately, success.

www.linkedin.com/in/claireflannery/

https://twitter.com/claireflann

https://strengthwithin.ie/

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