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Facing the challenge of redundancy

publication date: Aug 9, 2010
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author/source: Rasheed Ogunlaru
Rasheed OgunlaruLast year the economic slowdown hit the private sector hard – now it's beginning to bite the public sector.  Once redundancy was rare now it's commonplace – it may not just happen once but two to five times in your career.

It can be devastating but it can be the birthplace of you finding a life and career that you really fits you. In my own case it began a journey that led me to what I do today helping others "become who they are". When I run my workshops over 90 per cent say it proved to be a blessing. However it takes time. And if you or a loved one has,or may face redundancy then a few tips will help you to use this opportunity to create a profession from your passion.

  1. Give yourself time and space to be, breathe, reflect and even grieve. It is a major event and taking this time will help you move forward for more happily.
  2. Find out exactly what the redundancy will mean: and your options / entitlements. Now is not a time to be shy and retiring and you need to get what you're entitled to. Once you do this, list and identify your monthly budget and outgoings and set a "survival budget". If you get a redundancy sum, budget and use it wisely as it may take months to settle into your next role.
  3. Seek support and start to network: from friends and loved ones – and professionals in/beyond work who can help you. Above all share it with those you trust and love. You may also find that there are professionals in your circle who can help you move forward. Don't suffer in silence
  4. Take time to consider what you really want to do next in your life and career and follow your heart. Redundancy is your opportunity for you to really identify what you are passionate about and to make a profession out of it.
  5. Brush up your CV and your interview skills, identify all your strengths and skills. Ensure you stand out. Include a powerful personal statement at the top. Make sure that it highlights your accomplishments and keep it to two pages maximum.
  6. Get hold of my "Moving ahead in your career free guide" by visiting the resources page on my website www.rasaru.com. It will help you focus on what you want in a job.
  7. Write a list of all the people you know who can help you (include contacts, friends, former colleagues and who they know). Call or make appointments to meet and chat with anyone who may be able to help you. Less than 50 per cent of jobs are advertised, increasingly people find their new careers through networking. Explore how you can help them too, life is merely changing and exchanging energy.
  8. When applying for jobs: keep spoken/ written correspondence clear, crisp, concise and captivating. Be personal, professional, passionate and prompt. Always shine and smile. These elements will help you stand out from the crowd. Being you is key.
  9. Spread the net: include internet networking, agencies, contacts as well as newspapers for your job search... be creative.
  10. Tell people: you probably know 200 people or more –  tell them what you're looking for...together you may find it... It's a small world.

Finally take it in steady steps. Know when to work and when to rest. Learn from setbacks and disappointments and know that these will make you even sharper and stronger over time. You may find, like myself, that redundancy actually becomes the moment that you move from a job to the very reason that you are here – utilising all your skills and talents.