Being made redundant can be a very hurtful and overwhelming experience, particularly if the news comes as a shock and you are not prepared. Here are my top tips for preparing to find a new role:
1. Use the opportunity to take stock of what you want
Facing redundancy after a long time in one industry or organisation can often be a good opportunity to take stock of what you really want out of your life and your career. The first step I recommend is undertaking some self-assessment to get a sense of what you want out of your next role – what content do you want to cover in your role, what sort of control do you need in terms of hours / travel / commute time etc, what culture do you wish to work in, what compensation do you wish to be paid and most importantly what out of these will you compromise on.
2. Skills and Strengths Assessments
Before you go out to market you need to be able to identify, understand and articulate your key transferable skills and how you can apply them to your ideal role or industry. Likewise, you need to be able to articulate your strengths bearing in mind that these are two separate things. Skills are things that you have learnt whilst strengths are things that you are naturally good at. This is a really important exercise to complete before you start talking to people in your new industry and most definitely before you attend any formal interviews.
Brainstorm with a career coach or friend to get a list of your transferable skills as well as a list of what skills you may need to develop further before you start applying for a different role. Also get really clear on what comes naturally to you. What do you get feedback about and when do you feel that you are doing work that comes easily.
3. Complete a Values Assessment
Another crucial step is to get clear on what is most important to you at this particular time. Our values often change as we get older and particularly after we have a family. What was so important in your 20’s may be vastly different from what is important in your 40’s. By completing a values assessment you can then map out what factors are critical to your next role whether that be a high income, meaningful work, status, work/life balance, creativity, flexibility or managing people to name a few.
4. Map our the key criteria for your ideal role
Prior to commencing your job search I believe that it is really beneficial to map out what you want from your next role including all of the following:
- Skills that you want to use
- Strengths that you want to use
- Values that are most important to you
- Ideal location and/or travel time
- Culture of the organisation
- What type of people you will be working with
- Salary range
- Preferred industries or interest areas
- Indoor or outdoor job
- How much work travel or out-of-office commitments
- What will you be wearing – formal or casual clothes?
If you map out these criteria before you start job searching then you will know what you might be compromising on if you do get a job offer. Try doing this as a mind map or even writing yourself your ideal position description or job advertisement. What tasks will you be responsible for? What will be the values of the organisation? What type of people will you be working with? What will you be wearing? Will you be inside or outside? Will you have to travel?
Too many people accept a job purely for the money, the location or the flexibility without really thinking through whether the other criteria meets their needs. The danger of this is that six months down the track you may be back to square one.
5. Prepare a compelling resume
Recruiters spend an average of 8 seconds reviewing each resume when shortlisting. Your resume needs to be formatted in a current style and highlight your key transferable skills, strengths, experience and most importantly your achievements. It should be tailored for each role and should include keywords that would match the selection criteria in case the first screening is completed by an automated Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
6. Create a complete Keyword Optimised LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is one of the most powerful professional online networks and is used by 90% of recruiters and employers to identify suitable talent. In my opinion, LinkedIn is an absolute must-have if you are planning on relaunching or changing career. Most importantly LinkedIn provides a powerful platform to identify people doing work of interest to you and allowing you to reach out to people to find out more about what they do.
Not only is LinkedIn a fabulous research tool but it is also a great way to re-connecting with ex-colleagues, old friends and anyone else who may be a likely advocate should you need some assistance.
7. Master your Interview Skills
Interviews these days are typically a competitive process and there is no room for “just winging it”. You need to master your interview skills by understanding the key competencies of the role and being able to provide examples of how you have demonstrated those competencies and how effective you have been.
You need to research the company thoroughly, understand the position descriptions and key competencies required, know how to answer general and behavioural interview questions, anticipate likely questions, prepare detailed responses and practice, practice, practice!
If you need assistance and support following a redundancy, then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we may be able to assist you.