The numbers are growing. We all know someone who has been laid off and become yet another statistic in today’s economic climate.
You are not alone and taking appropriate steps now will better position you to cope with your own redundancy, and possibly even turn it to your advantage.
However unlikely the prospect may seem, being prepared is the first step towards surviving redundancy.
Here are a few tactics to help you:
Stay calm, the world still turns
It is all too easy to let negative thoughts take over when you are faced with something as seemingly devastating as redundancy.
As with facing any bad news, it’s crucial that you remain balanced and objective about the situation, as emotional outbursts won’t help and can often be regretted later on.
Try and think of another time in your life where you have absorbed and dealt with negative pressure and realise that you will survive this one too.
Know your rights
However shocked you may be feeling, it’s a good idea to seek advice on all areas of the redundancy itself and the immediate options open to you.
Unions, industry bodies or your current HR department may be able to supply you with helpful information, although if you feel that you are being unfairly treated it may be worth speaking to a specialist employment lawyer.
Keep your focus, and be positive about the future
True redundancies are never personal, they represent a company’s inability to sustain such a large workforce relative to its earnings.
This means that you shouldn’t let redundancy deliver a fatal blow to your confidence and aspirations by allowing it to drain your self-belief.
Stay focused on who you are, and where you are going professionally, and the opportunities will arise.
Dream a little dream
There are many professionals, for whom redundancy was a blessing in disguise.
If viewed in a positive way, a redundancy can offer you an opportunity to revaluate your life and commercial skills in a way that could lead to greater professional and personal happiness later on.
A perfect time for a life change, redundancy can force you to make some truly positive choices about your career, choices you might otherwise have never made.
Once you have given yourself the opportunity to assess where you might want to go with your career, it’s time to inject a little bit of realism into proceedings.
If you want to change career, for example, ask yourself whether you have all the necessary skills and experience to be able to pursue that option.
If not, and if you can afford it, you might want to think about retraining or taking a course that might help you on your new path.
If you have been given a sum of money as part of the redundancy package, be realistic about how long it will last you if you intend to take some time off.
Straight back on the horse
Another tendency amongst people who have been made redundant is to become fearful of the job market and the value of the skills they bring to it.
It is very important to remember that it was your skill and experience that got you the job in the first place, and you can do just as well, if not better, when you take your next step.
There’s no time like the present, so get some momentum and launch yourself back out into the world.
You only have one life, but potentially many careers, so view redundancy as merely a stage to be moved through.
Make a network and keep up with the times
During your career to date, you will have undoubtedly made at least a few contacts that might be of use in a situation like this.
Don’t be afraid to speak to them, and any friends and family who might be able to offer something constructive to your future plans.
While the kids are still playing with Instagram and Facebook, make sure you get involved with social networking for grown-ups.
Sites like Linkedin.com and Twitter help you stay in touch with other professionals of all ages and illustrate that you’re no technophobe.
Linkedin also has specific sections for getting work and finding job opportunities. Your connections can recommend you for posts and let you know about jobs coming up.
What's the best way to tackle a redundancy or demotion on a CV? There is no need to state 'reason for leaving' or 'demotion' on your CV.
The CV is your sales tool for getting interviews, and this information is irrelevant to your key objective.
Be prepared to answer questions surrounding any issues positively.
Remember: it's the job, not you, that was made redundant. Use a 'functional' CV, which highlights your skills and achievements.
Having a clear idea about what you want to do with your life will make your job hunt that much easier.
Once you understand where you are and where you want to go, create an action plan that will help you bridge the gap.
You could consider using recruitment consultant, who would be able to help you take stock, re-evaluate your options and get motivated to create the change you want in your life.
Finally, redundancy can be a real opportunity to spread your wings and flourish.