Don’t take it personally – One in four employers is expecting to make people redundant, so you are not alone. Your situation does not reflect on your value or abilities as an employee. So, nip any negative talk in the bud and remind yourself it’s nothing personal.
Maintain good relationships – Personal networks are a great source of job opportunities, so maintaining good relationships with past colleagues and employers makes sense. Much as you might like to leave in a storm of swear words and slammed doors, don’t burn any bridges.
Take time to grieve – We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to move on, cheer up, get over it. But it is ok to mourn what you’ve lost and to feel angry about the situation. If you need to, give yourself time to grieve before you switch into job hunting mode.
Seek help and support – If you are struggling with the emotional impact of losing your job, ask for help. Mind has a helpful guide about protecting your mental health after redundancy. And don’t forget you can access talking therapies through your GP.
Explore any financial entitlements – If you’ve always worked, it can feel uncomfortable applying for financial support. But that’s what it’s there for – a safety net for people when they need it. You can start an application for Universal Credit on the Government website. Apply as soon as you can, as current demand may cause delays.
Plan your personal survival budget – It’s tempting to put your head in the sand when it comes to money. But knowing exactly how much you need to live on can make you feel more in control. Go through your bank statements and work out the minimum you need to live on. Review your direct debits for anything you can cancel. Talk to your mortgage provider or landlord about getting a payment holiday on your home.
Make time for training – If you can carve out some time for yourself, try to take some online training to brush up your skills. Sites like The Open University’s OpenLearn website offer bitesize professional training online, free of charge, at your convenience. Even if that’s just ten minutes locked in the loo before the kids notice you’ve gone!
Prioritise networking – LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and is a great resource for job hunters: from finding jobs, to connecting with employers, and building your personal brand online. If you’re not on LinkedIn, you could be missing out.
Brush up your CV – If your CV is looking shabby, now’s the time to update it. But be careful. Many recruiters use software to scan CVs for keywords before they reach a human. Match your CV to the keywords in the person specification, and keep your formatting simple, otherwise, you’ll baffle the bots!
Sign up to recruitment agencies – Recruitment agencies should definitely be part of your job-hunting strategy. They know the local market better than anyone and they’re as invested in finding you a job as you are. Let them do the searching on your behalf.
Apply wisely – It’s tempting to apply for everything you see. But that approach doesn’t work. And it makes you feel low when you think ‘I’ve applied for 80 jobs this week and heard nothing back’! Save your energy for jobs that you have a real chance of getting. Apply for jobs you’re well suited to and tailor your application to the person specification.
Start a business – It might sound crazy but if you can’t find a job, consider making one. If you’ve always had a pressing desire to start a business, this could be the push you need. Some businesses take very little money to start (especially service-based businesses like cleaning or gardening). And Start Up Loans are available from £500 to £25,000 if your idea needs cash to get off the ground.
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