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Grab New Opportunities After Redundancy

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 1 Sep 2011 | comments*Discuss
Redundancy Opportunities Work Career

It can be hard to push yourself forward to new career opportunities after you’ve been made redundant, but the truth is unless you do you may never get back into the swing of things.

No one is saying that it is easy to pick yourself back up after redundancy, let alone feel positive about applying for new jobs, but the longer you are out of work, the harder it is to explain breaks on your CV and the less appealing your attitude will be to potential employers.

Learn to Pick up Signals

So how can you grab the opportunities that present themselves after you’ve been made redundant? Well, the first step is to put yourself in the position of recognising an opportunity. Lots of people can find themselves chatting to someone and not turn the situation to their advantage, or see details of an interesting company in an article or online and not think to send in their details.

Tuning your ‘career change radar’ to pick up the signals that could possibly be an interesting professional opportunity is the first step. Be ready to talk about yourself in a way which is appealing – think of your brief facts such as experience, job title, number of years’ experience – and, if appropriate, tell people that you’re looking for work.

Understand Redundancy

The second step is to understand why you were made redundant in the first place. This may sound harsh or unnecessary, but knowing just how upsetting and frustrating it can be to be made redundant, surely you’d want to do anything you can to stop it happening again? Even though lots of people have been made redundant during the recession, there may be reasons such as your attendance, commitment to the role, lack of fresh ideas or positive attitude, that could have contributed to it being you rather than a colleague that was let go. Think about it honestly and vow to change.

Keep Open-Minded

You need to be open-minded about the job you seek and where you’ll find it. People don’t go for one interview now and get a job for life. We can have a few different careers, or choose to work for ourselves, or work part-time for a better life-work balance. So rather than assuming that you need to quickly find a new job just like the one you’ve left, think outside the box about how you can live and pay your bills.

Keep Your CV Updated

You’ll never know when you’ll see a job online or company that appeals to you, so you have to be able to strike while the iron is hot. Have your CV ready to be emailed off (both as an attachment or to be cut-and-pasted within the body of the email – some companies won’t open attached files) instead of having to faff about with it.

You should also keep your skills up to date in order to keep your CV fresh – no one is going to be impressed with a CV that looks like it hasn’t been changed since your last employment if you’ve been out of work for a while. Go on a free course at the library or take an online course in something relevant and add it to your CV.

Network, Network, Network

Don’t rely on recruitment agencies or looking in the paper to find a new job. After redundancy even more than any other time, you need to create your own professional luck. Go to relevant trade shows or exhibitions that are connected to your chosen industry and certainly read trade press, not just to read the job adverts but to see who is moving to a different company or what potential employers have won a new project, and then apply speculatively mentioning the project and how you’d love to be a part of it.

Create Your Own Job

Why continue to be disheartened if you can’t find a job when you can create your own!? It may be that there are few jobs in your chosen profession and you can’t swap, or you can’t move to a new city to see find new opportunities. Why not consider creating your own job instead? Maybe now is the time to start your own small business from the spare room, or maybe you can freelance or work on a consultancy basis? You don’t just have to do what you’ve always done – redundancy is the perfect time to do things differently. Take this opportunity to do something you’ve always wanted to do instead of getting more depressed looking for a job that may not even exist.

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