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Factsheet – How to survive redundancy

Peter Tatham’s top ten tips to survive redundancy. Peter Tatham is the Executive Director of the Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA).

1. Develop a pitch that highlights that you are going forward looking for new challenges. Playing the victim is ultimately draining on everyone and can sap your confidence. 

2. Develop a support network. Often colleagues don’t know how to deal with a colleague leaving under these circumstances. Establish a group of five people to meet with you regularly and to act as support and provide a reality check. 

3. Build in some time-out to establish some actions to explore your future. Review your values, skills and interests. Seek out tools to give you glimpses of who you are and write it down. Try writing a letter to yourself. 

4. Think of yourself as CEO of your own future, your own brand, and your own business.  Identify a few possible future clients for what you have to offer. You may want to include an option involving community service. You can go further and get a card printed and establish a simple website. Update your CV and rework it to the future you, not the past you. Know your skills strengths (and weaknesses). Ensure that your CV highlights these skills strengths and identify how you can improve your weak areas.  Don’t censor yourself from applying for any opportunity that may be of interest. Work out whether you want it when there is an actual offer on the table. 

5. Ensure you have a record of contact emails and addresses for your existing network and begin contacting them to get a sense of the lay of the land and possible opportunities. Don’t, whatever you do, cut yourself off from others and check that your language is cup half full not empty.  Utilise networking social media websites like LinkedIn.

6. Manage your well-being. Eat well and drink less. Establish an exercise program and stick to it for the duration of the transition. Include some yoga exercises to get rid of some of those hidden stress points and try meditation. See a doctor, counsellor, careers adviser, accountant and anyone else that could have input into your future. Negotiate for your organisation to pay for this advice, if possible. 

7. Be kind and generous with your family and friends. They are your greatest support. Try and increase the level of social contact and make it fun. Don’t forget your partner – support each other. 

8. Establish some specific goals for when you leave. Also consider establishing a list of leisure activities and interests to pursue when you have time. 

9. Make it interesting and it will give you a story to tell others about how you are managing yourself. And it will assist you to engage with the people around you and stop them feeling sorry for you. 

10. Get advice to negotiate your redundancy package. Try to maximise your entitlements. If you are negotiating be polite and respectful. If people help you, let them know and thank them.

Reinvent Your Career would like to thank the Career Industry Council of Australia where this article first appeared.

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