1. Don’t panic. Whatever you do, try not to panic.
Redundancy or stand-downs can be a shock but try not to rush into any hasty decisions. What’s important is how you react to the situation. Keep calm, don’t panic and don’t rush any decisions. Although you may have concerns about money, a quick fix may not be the best way forward in the long term.
2. Be sure to take practical steps before leaving.
Before you leave your employer, ensure that you have collected any paperwork you might need for Centrelink and have written details of your redundancy package if applicable. Ask for clarification on any points you are unsure of, and make sure that you have important contact details for your line manager, human resources department and superannuation fund.
3. Counselling can really help.
Remember that you can speak to an EAP counsellor, who will help you make sense of what you’re feeling, put things in perspective and help you move on during this very stressful time. Check with your employer, they may offer you increased sessions at the moment.
4. Remember that your reaction is normal.
Redundancy can be difficult for most people. Even those who say they wanted it to happen often find themselves going through a whole range of emotions. It’s completely normal to feel anger, grief, sadness and a lack of confidence when it happens. Where possible, give yourself time to adjust before looking for other work.
5. You did nothing wrong – it’s not personal.
While it may feel personal, redundancies stand-downs are rarely anything to do with you, so try to avoid negative thoughts that you weren’t good enough or that your employers are horrible. It’s natural to feel some of this, but if it goes on for too long it will end up as an entrenched, destructive thinking pattern that will affect you moving forward with your life.
6. Know your rights – and claim them.
Always double-check your entitlements, particularly in terms of redundancy. Consider whether there are resources you would consider asking for or negotiating with your employer. This could include an enhanced lump sum, money for training, a computer or a favourable deal on purchasing a company car.
7. Ask for support in finding a new role.
Outplacement companies specialise in helping individuals who have been made redundant find a new role. Companies will often put money towards this to help members of staff who are being made redundant. It can significantly reduce the amount of time taken to find your next role so it is well worth asking for.
8. It’s essential to make a financial plan.
Work out your financial situation so that you have a realistic picture of your finances and cash flow in the months ahead, and the salary you need to earn in your next job. Contact Centrelink to ensure that you receive your financial entitlements. Even if you are not entitled to payments you might be entitled to a health care card.
9. Above all things, take care of yourself.
Coping with any major life changes like stand-downs at work and looking for your next job can be emotionally demanding so it becomes especially important to look after yourself. Burn off some of the stress with physical exercise, and make sure you eat and drink healthily. Remember to go out and have fun with family and friends as well.
10. Be positive.
While few people wish for a stand-down or for redundancy, many will up end thinking of it as the catalyst they needed to make positive changes in their career. This is because it enabled them to reflect on what they really wanted career-wise to create a working life more in line with their needs and aspirations. Remember that this is your opportunity to reinvigorate and perhaps even reinvent your career.
We are here to support you.