I was lucky enough to be interviewed on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire this morning (you can catch the interview by CLICKING HERE then scrolling around 2 hours into the Breakfast Show), following several job losses in the Peterborough area, which inevitably brought up the subject of Redundancy and how it can affect people.
Being made redundant can come as a massive shock to the system. Even if you’re expecting the worst to happen, it can still pack a punch.
As well as the shock, you’re faced with feelings of panic and desperation as well as rejection and fear. You have a family to support, you have bills to pay, you don’t WANT to leave your job, you’re happy there!
The whole ‘loss of control’ sends you into a spin.
Once the initial shock has subsided, you go into ACTION mode.
You dig out the old version of your CV, dust it off and hit ‘apply now’ to every job you find online.
Feeling temporarily relieved, due to the action you’ve taken, you sit back and wait for the replies to your applications to come through.
HOWEVER. They don’t come.
Because you’ve rushed into this, because what you thought was Action was actually Panic – you’ve applied for jobs that perhaps your experience isn’t relevant for. You might have overlooked a typo on your CV. You might have sent out a CV in an out of date format that just didn’t quite manage to grab the attention of the reader – who will be, don’t forget, skim-reading many many CVs just looking for the information to jump out at them.
Hey there, Rejection! You again!
If you’re not careful, this can turn into a vicious circle of Rejection/Fake Action (Panic)/Rejection, etc. etc.
The good news is that you CAN break the cycle and you CAN turn this around. Believe it or not, good things can (and do) come from bad experiences. Yes, this is a decision that was taken out of your hands, however – what if the purpose of it was to push you into something even better?
This is not going to be handed to you on a plate though so let’s think about the right type of action to take. Here are the three areas to focus on if you’re in this position.
1. Stop and take stock of the situation
Instead of spending the day sending your CV out here, there and everywhere; spend some time to assess and take stock of the situation.
Go back over all the experience you have, of everything that you’ve learnt and the skills you’ve developed within your current role.
Think of all the positive things you’ve encountered and try your best to make peace with what has happened.
Make a list of things to be grateful for, connected to this job. These things can be anything from a friendship you’ve made, to an experience you wouldn’t have had the opportunity for otherwise – anything you can think of that puts a smile on your face, feel grateful for. Gratitude is the best way to replace feelings of anger, frustration and fear.
Do all you can to turn a bad situation into something positive; maybe this is a chance to explore a new direction that you wouldn’t have taken a leap of faith into of your own accord… This is all part of your journey.
2. Get your CV in order
Once you’re feeling slightly more on track (and this isn’t something you can rush, you must be kind to yourself), it’s time to start thinking about your CV.
As tempting as it is to dig out your old CV and just add to it with a few hurried pieces of information without giving too much thought to it – The best thing you can do is to write a brand new version.
By doing this, you’re really having to think of the situation in a different light and it really helps to close off the redundancy chapter ready to start thinking about your next phase.
Don’t over-complicate writing your CV.
If you’re writing it before you have an actual job to apply for you and just want to have one ready to go, then you need to just focus on the solid facts that you have and that is your experience to date. (I’ve put together some notes on how to do this here: Your CV: How to Write a Generic / ‘Bare Bones’ Personal Profile)
Just remember that trying to write the full version of your CV before you’ve actually got a job in mind to apply for is like trying to solve a problem without knowing what the problem is, so be prepared to do this in two stages (first getting the CV ready, second tailoring it to the job in question).
Once you’ve got the CV ready, you can then start to apply for relevant positions and/or approach recruitment consultants to help you with your search.
Don’t forget, if you’re struggling with your CV then help is out there! I’ll include some links at the bottom for you to check out when you’ve finished reading.
3. Get Interview-Ready
As important as your CV is, it’s not the CV that gets you the job. It’s you.
Everyone knows the usual interview advice; shine your shoes, brush your hair, don’t be late, remember the interviewers name etc. but the main point to remember is to research the right information.
The better prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel.
Just be sure that you’re focusing your time and efforts in the right direction; gather the information you have to work with (job description, advert, company website) and spend time really getting to grips with what the company are looking for in someone.
Think of the job they’re recruiting for as a problem you’re offering a solution for. That, right there, is your research.
Some handy interview tips right here for you: How to ACE your next Job Interview: 3 Tips that you might not have thought about before…
So, in summary: Hit Pause, take a breather, be kind to yourself, be grateful for the opportunity and then crack on with Phase 2.
You got this.
PS: If you need more advice/support on your Redundancy experience then you can find me over in my Killer CV Hangout Group on Facebook where I’m on hand for any questions you might have.
PPS: Almost forgot the links! Here they are: