Being made redundant at work is a very personal thing. Even if you are one of an entire public sector department that has been let go, the feeling of being surplus to requirements and not needed will inevitably surface at some point.
Picking yourself up and moving on, after being made redundant at work, is a very difficult process, but also an essential one – and the sooner you start the better. You need to identify the positives in your situation and utilise them in order to move on to the next step in your career, wherever and whatever that might be.
Here’s what you should do after made redundant at work:
– Treat it as a temporary blip in your career path rather than a derailment as this will help you get back into the right frame of mind to start looking for work
– During your redundancy notice period, try networking with new or existing contacts and colleagues
– List your skills, competencies and what you can offer a prospective employer. Don’t be modest
– This list of skills and attributes is a personal sales kit. Learn it and believe in it – you’ll need it.
Your options may seem limited now, but the time you take to re-evaluate your career may prove more important than you think. Don’t rush into the first job you are offered, unless you know a great deal about the organisation and the role.
Considering your long-term options really is the best way to make redundancy work for you. It offers you a great chance to take stock of your situation and consider your work/life balance.
Once you have decided what you want to do next, you will need to take the following steps to apply for jobs:
– Put together a list of organisations, research them and contact the relevant department with your CV and covering letter. Mention any gaps in the organisation you may have found during your research that you think you can fill
– Start your covering letter by saying why you are writing and, if you are responding to a vacancy, how you came across it
– Say why you are suitable for the position. Mention relevant experience, training and successes
– Refer to your CV and state when you are available for interview
– Always tailor your CV to the organisation and the job in question
– Decide whether you are going to compile a performance CV or a skills-based CV. The first is most common when applying for work in your current or most recent sector and focuses on positions, roles and responsibilities and runs in chronological order. The latter is for those who have a varied or broken up career. The focus should be in transferable skills
– Have your covering letter and CV checked for spelling and grammar by a trusted friend
– Your covering letter should be an invitation for someone to read your CV and should tell them instantly why you are the person for the job.
For some people who have been working within their current public sector role for a long time the prospect of interviewing for a job can seem very daunting. The best way to overcome these worries is to be prepared.
Research the organisation on the internet and ensure you understand what they do. On the day, dress appropriately, arrive early, check you look your best and calm your nerves.
Meet your interviewer with a firm handshake, a smile and, crucially, eye contact. Make sure you know your CV inside out, any glaring discrepancies will not look good. When invited, be sure to ask relevant questions of the interviewer. [Here are some more interview tips]