Nov 23, 2022

5 Steps for Moving Forward after Being Made Redundant

Written by Caroline Hollick-Ward

Redundancy can be unpleasant, upsetting, and can leave you feeling anxious and stressed. It’s also a process that can be handled badly in the wrong hands - just think about Elon Musk and Twitter’s recent fiasco. 

Whatever the circumstances that led up to it, or where you might consider going next, we've put together five key steps to help steer your way through the initial days and weeks after losing your job.

Please note: The below information may not address or offer relevance to ALL situations. It is intended as a general guide. To join in the conversation, check out the thread on our member community forum.

Step 1 - Focus and reflect

The first step is to take one big long deep breath and focus on the reality of the situation - which is that your professional career isn't over, and whilst difficult this is a learning curve that can give you skills (such as resilience and the ability to identify your strengths and weaknesses) which can be huge assets as you move forward.

The first important step is to understand why you have been made redundant. Sometimes it's obvious (cross-company redundancies, ongoing performance-related issues, or documented misconduct) and sometimes you might not agree with the basis for the termination.

Regardless of the why you need to put yourself in neutral and take the opportunity to receive valuable feedback.

This feedback can either provide you with new insights - so that you can avoid the issue in a new role or provide you with some context that can prove to be beneficial and that you can apply to your next job search.

Tip: Download ‘Your Ultimate Job Search Tracker’ to make that job search easier and more efficient. 

Step 2 - Lists, lists, lists

Nothing beats a good list (or a number of lists) to focus your mind and ignite your motivation.

  • List 1 - It's time to focus on your strengths. Both your professional skills and your personal skills. List your educational achievements, your areas of professional expertise, and your personal or soft skills e.g. dependability, communication, organization, self-motivation and initiative.
  • List 2 - Identify what you like in a job. Reflect on and assess your career to date. What did you really enjoy and what would you like to do again?
  • List 3 - Identify your Career Wish List. This means setting out what type of job, industries, working culture, hours, etc...

Step 3 - Polish your Credentials

Devote this whole step to your resume/Curriculum Vitae. It's time to give it a revamp. 

I'd recommend that you create a standardized CV. This should be your go-to template that showcases your skills, training, and experience. However, no two jobs are identical. So you should structure this template so that you can quickly and easily adapt and tailor it to each job application. For example, the perfect digital marketing CV will be different from one for a SEO role.  

Review each job opportunity you find, make sure that the CV you submit showcases your relevant skills, and cut out the irrelevant (this does not mean removing entire professional roles/experiences).

Tip: Check out this ‘CV and Resume Clinic’ presentation for some guidance and tips. 

Step 4 - Be Productive

It can be hard to be motivated, but this is an ideal time to improve your skills. If you received feedback during your redundancy - make the most of the time you have during your job search to become educated and informed by enrolling in a course or earning a certification to gain the tools so that the issue doesn't arise again.

For example - if you were made redundant because your skills in a particular area were not up to par, but is a skill that is important for you to gain your next job opportunity then take training, career coaching, and do learning activities like continuous professional development or CPD that can assist you effectively accomplishing job requirements in the future.

Step 5 - Prepare Prepare Prepare for Your Interview.

Just because you don't have an interview lined up doesn't mean that you shouldn't put in the preparation for it to help result in success, because when the next opportunity comes up - you want to be ready. 

Interviews are a unique way of talking about ourselves - you have to showcase your experiences and skills to show how they best match an opportunity. In no other situation, do we do this - we aren't used to communicating this way. To be successful in an interview situation preparation is crucial, and you need to take online interviews into account now too.

You also need to prepare how you are going to address your redundancy. All interviews include questions such as why did you leave your last job? Or why are you looking for a new job? So, you need to find a response that accurately reflects your situation, but that you are comfortable with saying and that focuses on the positive.

You need to be able to demonstrate that you have the skills and experience that this employer is seeking, You also need to demonstrate that in any situations or issues that arose in the past you have not only overcome but moved on. If you received a reference letter as part of your redundancy, you can perhaps look at aligning your comments to this.

But if we look at the previous example of skills not up to par, a potential response could be - "unfortunately, myself and my manager discovered that their needs were more complicated than we initially perceived when I entered into the role. My skillset just didn't match what was needed to meet the requirements of the job, so we agreed it was best to part ways. However, I did believe that upskilling in that area would be beneficial to future employers so have taken the opportunity to undertake training / gain a qualification in X, Y, Z."

Check out the super useful DMI Job Search Tracker and there’s also a great ‘Digital Marketing Interview Preparation Toolkit’ to help you get ready for that interview.

The Final Step

Have a little faith and believe in yourself! The DMI library offers a variety of career advice and information, including guidance on developing your ‘soft skills’. We also cover job and skill trends, so take a look to see what’s hot in digital!

You can also head over to the DMI Member Community - Do you have any advice or guidance to share?

(Updated Nov 2022)

Caroline Hollick-Ward
Caroline Hollick-Ward

Caroline was the Membership Manager with the Digital Marketing Institute until 2023. Caroline has worked in membership and event management for over a decade, and is dedicated to growing and developing the features, benefits and service offerings through a global membership community. Prior to this, Caroline has worked in both education and recruitment sectors.

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