How to deal with redundancy

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The redundancy procedure can affect employee morale and the atmosphere of an office like no other. But try not to let it affect you, argues Caroline Smith, and make it into a positive instead

Register for AAT’s free Dealing with Redundancy webinar

Redundancy. It’s a word that strikes fear into most of us.

From the moment redundancies are announced at a company, the atmosphere of the workplace can change.  A nervous energy permeates almost every department and few are concentrating fully on their work.  Ever present in every mind is the question ‘am I on the list?’

Try not to let the redundancy procedure affect you

Right up until that moment that you receive that letter that tells you that you are ‘at risk’ or that your job will ‘fall away’, there is still the hope that you won’t be affected.  Even when you are expecting it, it still comes as a shock and at this stage the already low morale plummets to new depths, but try not to let it affect you.

It’s easier said than done, of course. Even those who are reprieved and breathe a huge sigh of relief can still be affected by the mood of those less fortunate.

Next is the consultation process.  This gives you the opportunity to be re-deployed, to apply for another post or apply for your own job.  When there is a good possibility that another, similar role can be found for you some of the pressure lifts.

Whilst it is true that different people react in different ways, only a few will be genuinely untroubled by the threat of redundancy.  Even though there is nothing that an individual employee can do to change what is happening, it still leaves a mixture of emotions brewing. But, again, try not to let it affect you.

Most prevalent tend to be anger, shock, dismay, disbelief and a general fear of what the future may, or may not, hold.   Most people work to live, rather than the other way round, but even  so, your job is part of you and to have that and the lifestyle you have created threatened by factors outside your control can be terrifying.

Redundancy isn’t easy for managers either

You should always remember that the managers that are making the redundancies probably aren’t enjoying it either.  It isn’t fun to have to put your colleagues out of work.  If you are a business owner, you may think making redundancies looks like a signal of failure and, if the business that you have put your whole life into has to close completely, it can be devastating.

Although it is hard not to hold a small grudge against those who have made the decisions, it is a good idea not to.  Admittedly the CEO rarely makes him/herself redundant, but don’t waste time thinking about it.  Instead make it a positive and see it as an opportunity to move on or do something different.

Myra Geater, who turned redundancy into success

Myra Geater, who turned redundancy into success

Myra Geater MAAT: the woman who turned redundancy into success

When Myra Geater MAAT was made redundant from her job, the future looked bleak. A mother of two, she had to get back on the career ladder quickly to support her family.

After completing an HNC in business and finance, she decided to take the plunge with an AAT qualification. Despite the challenges of being a working mum  Myra finished her qualification.

But Myra had further ambitions. She applied for an assistant accountant role at Vodafone. ‘It was tough as I was up against part-CIMA-qualified people, but my AAT qualification proved to be very positive. The recruiter said it gave him assurance that I was a good accountant,’ she says.

Myra took on a variety of roles at Vodafone, before becoming the company’s Europe MI business partner where she looks after the MI needs for Vodafone Europe, as well for the company’s global marketing and technical divisions.

Free AAT Dealing with Redundancy webinar – 17 October 2012

Hosted by Angus Farr of Training Counts, the aim of this free AAT webinar on 17 October is to give delegates the skills, knowledge and  confidence to support them in their search for a job, especially if it has been some time since they have last been  ‘in the market’.

The webinar will cover the following areas

  • What employers are looking for
  • How employers select
  • Why candidates commonly fail
  • Dealing with a ‘gap’ on your CV and at interview
  • Tips on CV style and substance

Register for the free webinar now

Caroline Smith is a MAAT.

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