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Recovering from redundancy

There’s no doubt being made redundant can be a challenging time. However, if you can arm yourself with a plan, you’ll not only be well on your way to landing yourself a new role - but also using the experience to build your career.

Expect unexpected emotions

Going through a redundancy can bring with it an overwhelming range of emotions. Shock. Anger. Sadness. Fear. Shame. Either way, take heart in knowing you’re not alone; in fact, SEEK data shows 1 in 4 Australians have been made redundant. During this time, it’s important to remember a position was made redundant - not you.

That said, a redundancy can feel incredibly personal so allow yourself reasonable time to grieve. Share what you’re going through, and how you’re feeling with supportive friends and family. 

If you feel you have been treated unfairly contact the Fair Work Ombudsman who can discuss your situation and advise on your options.

man at beach, overlooking water

Dealing with the aftermath

From here, it’s important to try not to ruminate and get stuck in a negative loop of thinking. As SEEK HR Manager Emma Whalan says, “keep your focus looking forward, and invest your time and energy on moving on and into your next role”. 

Whalan suggests taking advantage of the career transition/outplacement support that your employer may be providing to help you understand what you might expect to go through. If this isn’t possible, “consider reaching out to someone who has been through a redundancy before or consider using a career counselor” to help you through the process, Whalan says.

Lastly, to make this period as financially stress-free as possible, create a plan to manage your expenses until you land your next role. Whilst it’s tempting to spend your redundancy pay, now might not be the right time if it means you’ll be worrying about money over the next few months.

Getting back into the workforce

The outlook is positive, with SEEK finding 60 per cent of those made redundant found another job within two months (with 17 per cent landing a role within two weeks, 20% within 3 – 4 weeks and 23% within 1 – 2 months). 

Devise a plan of attack for finding your next job. Create or update your resume so it’s ready to send out to potential employers. Be sure to set up a SEEK Profile if you haven’t already, and utilise your network to tap into potential opportunities.

Going through a redundancy can impact your confidence, so don’t forget to find ways to boost your self-esteem when embarking on your job search; from a new outfit to wear to job interviews, to a great new hairstyle. If you feel good about yourself, you’ll be able to more confidently sell yourself to potential employers.

Making the most of the situation

Use this time to reassess your career and where you would like to go in the future. What did you like or dislike in your previous role, and which elements would you like to keep in your next position?

Look at this experience as an opportunity to find a job you really love, that will challenge you, and get you closer to where to you want to be in your career. 

Lastly, if you’ve identified any significant gaps in your skill set, take this opportunity to explore further study to make yourself the strongest candidate possible. 

Remember that the next chapter of your career is a blank slate – it’s up to you to decide what you want to do with it. Good luck!

Source: Independent research conducted by Survey Sampling International (SSI) on behalf of SEEK. Interviewing 4800 Australians annually with data being weighted to be nationally representative of age, gender, location, employment status and income (based on ABS).