You may have heard the rumours circulating at work that redundancies are about to be announced. You have heard and wondered, but you really don’t expect that your job will be affected. After all you know how hard you’ve worked and you believe that your work is valuable and valued. How could they just suddenly announce that the job no longer exists!
But the rumours persist and an unsettling feeling starts to creep in. What if you are about to lose your job! What will you do? How will you react? You imagine the worst…. when you are called into the office and the bad news is given to you. In your mind, especially at 3am in the morning, it is not a pretty sight!
How can you prepare so that you will be able to cope well if your job is made redundant? Here are 8 things you can do immediately to ensure that you are ready “just in case”, so that you can make this into an unexpected speed bump in life, not an incident that will define who you are.
- It is natural that emotions will arise, that you will feel vulnerable and perhaps angry that your working life may be affected like this. Accept that it is normal to feel emotional, but don’t lash out. Try your best to be dignified and to continue to work as usual, maintaining your usual high standards as if the rumours did not exist. You don’t want to tarnish your reputation with the people around you. Your boss or colleagues may need to be your referee for your next job.
- At the first hint that redundancies could be coming remove all personal files from your office computer and take home any of your own belongings or files that you have at work which you aren’t using regularly.
- It is likely that there will be increased tensions in the workplace. As people consider the possibility that they might lose their job they often become hyper-critical of the people around them. Don’t become the difficult person yourself, and don’t fall into the trap of other people’s nastiness. This is a time to support one another, not cause additional stresses. If the atmosphere becomes toxic do your best to rise above it and escape whenever you can.
- Read any information you can access about your rights so you know what to expect. That way you can discuss the situation knowledgeably, which will help you to feel more rational and composed.
- Remember that it is the JOB that is possibly being made redundant, not you as a person. This is a road-bump in life but it is not a crisis if you manage it appropriately. We all know that it can be more difficult for an older worker to regain employment than for a younger person. However don't discount your invaluable experience that you can market to another company, or other alternatives involving self-employment. Don't buy into the trap of thinking negative thoughts about your future. This is the time to be positive and start to get yourself ready for your next challenge, so that if the redundancy occurs you are ready to act quickly and decisively to get yourself employed again as quickly as possible.
- Consider being proactive and organize to see a professional career counsellor who will be able to help you to re-envision your working life and plan your strategies for the next stage of your career. This way you will know that you are prepared for whatever happens at work, giving you a sense of empowerment. It is possible that the redundancies won’t eventuate or won’t affect you, but the opportunity to reflect on your own future may inspire you to make a career change anyway.
- Get your resume up to date. Be aware that if your resume is more than about 5 years old it is likely to need a complete refresh to give your resume a contemporary feel and to reflect the skills, experiences and achievements you want emphasised.
- If you are finishing with the company you will have to hand over company belongings such as your phone and car, although usually you will have a period of time to do this. However be prepared for this so that you know you have a backup plan for transport and telephone.
By Jenni Proctor