How to stay positive and connected after redundancy


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Two of the best things you can do for yourself when you've been made redundant are to stay connected with personal networks and industry colleagues and become visible on LinkedIn.

"It can be challenging to stay motivated and engaged but having a conversation with industry colleagues can make a difference - if colleagues know you are in the market and looking opportunities can come your way from areas you didn't expect," says First State Super talent acquisition consultant Russell Stoneley.

"It's particularly important to stay connected to former colleagues as some industries can be quite niche so you're potentially going to be crossing paths with those colleagues in the future.

"By keeping connected you're maintaining those relationships that can help you in the future when you least expect it."

Stoneley used his own redundancy, in 2015, as an opportunity to relocate to Melbourne from Queensland.

"For me it was more about making the connections in a new city, reaching out to industry-specific recruiters in Victoria," he says.

"I stayed motivated because I was keen to move and try something different. I focused on the positives not the negatives - it's just about being clear about the direction you want to go.

"Once you have that clear idea, do proactive searches for a particular employer or brand you are connected with, for example if you want to be in superannuation and know the super fund you are interested in  it's about targeting that employer or brand."

Engage through LinkedIn

Experts are united that LinkedIn is very important.

For connections you haven't met it's about giving enough detail that's important to you; if it's already a connection then it's good to maintain and foster that relationship once it's been established, says Stoneley.

Fastlane chief executive and career coach Deanna Lane says "LinkedIn is where everybody goes to find you and see what you're interested in and talking about."

"Review your LinkedIn profile, follow companies you admire and comment on posts that you like," she says.

"Even if you are not going to put out your own post, it's a good thing to engage with others."

Lane suggests people looking for work should make sure their CVs are up to date, look at their strengths and create a desired job description to match with jobs they see advertised.

Consider taking time off

You don't have to focus full time on looking for a job, according to Simone Mears, chief executive at recruitment specialist Profusion.

"You need to find meaningful and purposeful work - and until you find it, you can do volunteer and charity work, whatever you are passionate about but you need to have something other than looking for a job," she says. "This takes the pressure off."

Some people will need a transition period before looking for their next role, says Mears.

"Taking time off now is normal, it's a clear decision to not look for a job until you've decided - this means not thinking about work or seeing people about jobs or sending your CV out, " she says.

"If you have decided to take time out you should do it.

"If you've decided to look for a job, don't look for work five days a week, it's soul destroying, maybe look three days a week and then have a four day weekend."

Mears suggests seeking support through a coach, partner, spiritual counsellor, or psychologist.

Talking to professionals

When you're talking to people about a job, a mate, a headhunter or talent team, be clear about what you want, and this means knowing the job you want to do.

"Often people tell me they want to go somewhere there's a good culture or team - but I need to know the job you want," she says.

Think about the person in the market who has the job you want. Then consider your skills and what you need to do to get that job, including retraining.

Being rejected and not making a shortlist can be upsetting, but Mears says it's important to keep this knockback  in perspective.

"For you it's life but for them it's just business," she says.

Eight tips to staying positive:

  1. Get help from a coach - someone outside your circle of friends.
  2. Exercise - there is nothing more valuable.
  3. Review your behavioural profile if you have one. If not, then do one - there is something powerful about knowing your strengths.
  4. Talk to friends/colleagues and don't ask for help; tell them you have an idea and ask for their opinion - when you ask for money you get advice, when you ask for advice you get money.  It's the same with referrals.
  5. Eat well.
  6. Get out amongst people - read the newspaper at a cafe to stay in touch. 
  7. Watch webinars that not only are informative/educational but also you will see panellists - and start learning who the industry's major players are.
  8. Volunteer your time to help others - the biggest boost to self-esteem and confidence is helping others.

Source: Deanna Lane

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Julia Newbould was editor-at-large and later managing editor of Money from November 2019 to February 2022. She was previously editor of Financial Planning and Super Review magazines; managing editor at InvestorInfo and at Morningstar Australia. Julia co-authored The Joy of Money, a book on women and personal finance. She holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney where she serves on the alumni council.