Keep calm and keep going - Your Careers Wales quick guide to handling redundancy

“I’m sorry, but your job won’t exist after the end of March. We’re making you redundant.”

You might have heard the rumours. When the news comes through, it still feels like a huge blow. Redundancy is something most of us dread. It’s also a challenge an increasing number of workers in Wales face in modern times. We can help you if you've been made redundant, so call 0800 028 4844 to find out how.

Here we set out just some of the issues raised by redundancy and ideas for how you can handle them.

  • Your emotions

    If you’ve been made redundant, you’ve probably gone through a range of emotions, from anger, hopelessness, to stress.  It’s the job that's been made redundant not you. But, it’s still hard not to take it personally and to go spiralling into panic.

    On the flip side, you might also have felt a sense of relief if you’ve been considering a change of career for a while. You might have wanted to try self-employment. Either way, it’s more than likely that a new source of income was one of your top priorities.  

    It can help to talk through how you’re feeling with someone you trust, especially if how you feel is stopping you from moving forward.  It is definitely worth talking through your career plans, definite or not, with a Careers Advisor at Careers Wales.  They can help you feel confident in your future steps.  They can also work with you on a back-up plan just in case.  

  • Your rights

    If you’re made redundant, make sure you’ve got all you’re entitled to from your employer. This includes a notice period and redundancy pay. You’re normally entitled to statutory redundancy pay if you’ve been working for your current employer for more than two years. The Welsh Government runs a scheme called ReAct which offers help to people who’ve been made redundant. ReAct also gives financial incentives for potential new employers to take you on. Contact us at Careers Wales to access this support.

  • Your skills

    Depending on the kind of work you’ve been made redundant from, you may need to think about new career opportunities. The demand for jobs in manufacturing and construction has dropped. This means that finding these jobs is a lot harder. If there’s no longer a demand for the role you’ve been doing since you left school, you may need to begin casting your job net a bit wider. Talking to Careers Wales will help you come up with a list of your transferable skills. Your Careers Adviser will also help you plan how to best use the ReAct funding to access courses to improve your employability. Take a look at our article on things to look for when choosing a course.

    Don't just start churning out your old CV to all employers within a ten-mile radius. If you haven't applied for a new job for a few years, be aware that CV-writing standards have changed. Talk to Careers Wales about your CV as this is something we can help you with. Alternatively try our CV Builder

  • Your finances

    Get yourself financially organised as soon as you find out about your redundancy. Unless you’re one of the lucky few who walk straight into a new job, the missing monthly pay packet could soon become your main focus. When this happens, it’s harder to make good career decisions as your driving force becomes money, rather than a career best suited to you. Draw up a budget and see if there are any extra expenses you can get rid of while you’re job hunting. Check which benefits you're entitled to by contacting the Citizens Advice Bureau or Jobcentre Plus. Payments are often delayed, so get that ball rolling. 

  • Your plan

    It’s your plan so you need to get it clear in your head what it is going to be. Think about how it will all work. Write down all you know. Then read up and talk to people to fully research your plan. This gives you the best chance of making your plan work. If you’re not already doing so, start networking. Lots of positions are filled through word of mouth before they need to be advertised. So, if there’s a company you’d like to work for, get a foot in the door and your face known as soon as you can.

    You might have already decided what your new career will be. But what if you look in to it and find it’s more complicated to get started than you thought? Have a back-up plan in case your main one doesn’t work out.

  • Your health

    The time off may feel like a holiday to begin with. But, when the novelty wears off, it’s vital to get yourself into a routine. Treat job hunting and putting your plan into practice as a job. Get up at the same time. Leave the house each day. it might take longer than you'd first hoped to get back into work. Talk to your family and friends about how you’re feeling. If the stress and upset of redundancy aren’t lessening, talk to your GP. 

  • Your future

    Redundancy can often come as a horrible shock, affecting you and your family, disrupting your sense of motivation and purpose.

    The key lies in talking to people, networking with potential employers, accessing all the schemes and help you’re now eligible for, and making sure you have a back-up plan.  

  • Your next steps

    1. Talk to Careers Wales

    2. Find out about ReAct funding and how it could help you

    3. Draw up a budget and a financial plan

    4. Job hunt and network

    5. Come up with a plan

    6. Look after yourself

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