An increased number of employees are facing a lack of job security, and even more are concerned their positions might become redundant thanks to economic uncertainty and changes in traditional workplace roles. This issue of redundancy has been evident in the United Kingdom, in particular, as a result of Brexit’s influence on the business sector. If you’re feeling the effects of Brexit in your job, here are five ways to survive the pressures of redundancy.
1. Understand Your Rights
If you suspect that your job will be made redundant in the near future, it’s important to know that you have certain legal protections. You cannot be selected for redundancy based on any prejudicial factors such as gender, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, age bracket and whether you are pregnant or disabled, according to GOV.UK. That would be considered workplace discrimination and can be grounds for an unfair dismissal action.
If you’re terminated for an objective reason, you’re entitled to certain rights, including a notice period. This means your employer is required to give you at least one week’s notice before the dismissal if you’ve worked for them between one month and two years. You get an additional one week’s notice for each year of employment between two and 12 years, and three month’s notice if employed for more than 12 years.
If you’ve worked at the company for at least two years, in most cases, you’re also eligible for financial compensation too:
- Half a week’s paycheck for each full year of employment under the age of 22
- One week’s paycheck for each year of employment between the ages of 22 and 41
- One-and-a-half week’s paycheck for each year of employment over the age of 41
There are some exceptions to this, so make sure you know what you’re asking for before speaking with a manager or boss.
2. Lean Into Your Network
As a professional, you’ve likely built a network of people who can help you find a new job. Now is the time to develop, strengthen and maintain those connections. “The right employee referral can increase your chances tenfold of landing a job,” explains TopResume. If your job is made redundant, you’ll turn to these supporters for help, whether you’re looking for someone to put in a good word or point you in the direction of good companies.
Maintaining these relationships doesn’t need to be another full-time job to be effective. You don’t need to go out to coffee with everyone in your network. Instead, reach out via email, make an effort to say hello at networking events and connect on social media by liking and commenting on posts.
3. Assess Your Skills
Your skills, knowledge and experience can be leveraged if the time comes to get a new job, so take inventory of which ones are transferable. These can be “hard” technical skills, “soft” interpersonal skills or a combination of each.
Hard skills are learnt through on-the-job education and experience. For example, hard skills might include software literacy, website design, social media management, content writing, market research and data analytics.
Soft skills, by contrast, are less quantifiable and describe how well you interact with others and manage your work. Your soft skills might include communication, flexibility, teamwork, leadership, conflict resolution, time management or creativity.
Don’t forget to consider how you can improve your skills to become a more valuable applicant. Look into certifications and educational opportunities that will look good on your resume. Putting your focus here, rather than on the impending job loss, will help you maintain composure.
4. Hold Onto Your Motivation
Despite the lack of permanence you’re feeling, stick with your usual consistent and productive routine, both in the workplace and in other areas of life. Consistency inspires motivation which, in turn, can help you maintain morale (and sanity) during this phase of transition.
Make a conscious effort to reframe the potential redundancy as a challenge to overcome, instead of a setback to derail your career path. “Rather than dwell on the past, I saw redundancy as an opportunity,” remarks Jonathan Burston, the founder of Interview Expert Academy, which he created after being terminated from a corporate job.
Instead of just staying the path, use this time to identify what motivates you. Burston says this mindset enabled him to keep his sanity in the midst of an unpredictable season whilst discovering his next move. “We don’t get many such chances in our lives — this was definitely one,” he says. “It was a chance to map out the career I wanted, so I could focus on achieving the right role.”
5. Prioritise Self-Care
The risk of unemployment can shake your mental and emotional health. To maintain your sanity, be gentle with yourself, honour the feelings that surface and develop a self-care regimen to help you cope with the stress.
“For some people [redundancy] can bring up feelings of rejection, low self-esteem and loss. Feeling less productive and a loss of social contact can also leave people feeling isolated. There are two areas that are really important for people to feel mentally well: contact with other people, and feeling a sense of purpose, both of which are affected when you lose your job,” say experts at Health in Mind.
Luckily, the best self-care is easy and inexpensive to access. Health in Mind suggests, “Talking to family and friends and having social contact is important. Exercise and keeping active can be very beneficial; you can go for a walk, go to the gym or try a new class like yoga.”
Staying Sane in the Face of Redundancy
If it feels like redundancy is looming, there’s a lot you can do to stay sane and prepare for the future. Remember your rights, focus on self-care and prepare for the future by tapping into your motivation and current skills. Use this as a time to discover where you want to go next whilst taking care of the stress that will inevitably come up.