Be prepared. If you have any reason to believe that redundancy may be on the cards, start preparing for the worst now. Take steps to cut back your spending, increase your savings and build up as much of a “financial buffer” as you can. Get your CV updated, and start thinking seriously about what your next steps might be.
Know your rights. Employers have to follow stringent rules when making redundancies, so it pays to be fully aware of all your rights. Check out gov.uk/browse/working for more information, or contact your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau.
If the worst happens, be kind to yourself. Redundancy can be a traumatic experience so, if it happens to you, give yourself time to come to terms with it before making any big decisions about what to do next. Decisions fuelled by panic are rarely good ones.
Get careers advice. Redundancy – however unwelcome – presents you an opportunity to make different career choices, and expert advice can help with this. Ask if your employer will pay for – or at least contribute to – the cost of a couple of sessions with a careers counsellor or coach. Many employers will be prepared to do this.
Take the time to think through your options thoroughly. It’s tempting to try to jump straight back into the job market and take the first opportunity that presents itself, but that can be a mistake. Perhaps consider taking on some part-time or temporary work to buy yourself more time to plan your next move.
Use your network. Around 70% of jobs are never advertised, so think creatively about how you can use your existing network of contacts – personal and professional – to help you access the “hidden” job market.
Exit gracefully. However disgruntled you are feeling, handle yourself with dignity. As a minimum, you are likely to have to ask your employer for a reference, so make sure that your conduct remains professional throughout the whole process.