- Be prepared. If it happens again don’t let it take you by surprise – redundancy is rarely a complete surprise to those affected. Keep abreast of company and industry developments. Look for indicators such as a downturn in company profits, loss of a major customer, wider political and economic issues, etc. Put together an action plan now before the situation becomes pressurised and emotional. Cultivate your personal contacts network; it will become very important in any future job search. Keep your basic CV up-to-date.
- Keep your skills relevant to the job and keep developing them. Be aware of the wider market and trends within your business/profession. If your role is in an area that is likely to be outmoded, for example, by new technology, a cheaper workforce, etc., look around for different roles in which to apply your skills.
- Ensure your performance meets, and preferably exceeds, those standards set in your appraisal/performance objectives. Think with your employer’s “hat” on – if redundancy were looming what would seriously make them want to keep you? (Try to be objective – people commonly believe that the company could not do without them, usually that is not true). Maintain a good record of punctuality, reliability, low sickness rates (where possible), and so on. Be seen as a good, personable employee.
- Keep aware of developments within your industry and stay abreast of current vacancies, salary rates and so on. If you consider that redundancy is on the horizon you may then be better prepared to find a new job before it happens.
- Maintain control and ‘ownership’ over your career, throughout your career. Do not allow that focus, or dependency, to shift to your employer. No one will ever care more about your career than you do.
If you have been affected by redundancy, and particularly if you are now settled into a new job, it is likely that you are keen to put the experience out of your mind and move on. Unfortunately it is not possible to guarantee that redundancy never happens to you again; indeed in modern careers, the experience of redundancy is increasingly expected. However, there are a number of considerations to think through in your next role that may reduce the risk. Here are 5 key steps you can take: