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How to turn redundancy into a new career opportunity

By Emily Gee | 17 June 2019


There’s no way around it — being made redundant is one of the hardest situations to deal with, regardless of the circumstances behind the layoff. No matter how many rationalisations you make, you can’t shake the question; “why me?”

Technological advancements as well as off-shoring and economic downturns mean that redundancies are on the rise, and 1 in 4 Australians are at risk of losing their jobs in a redundancy. Last year alone, more than 250,000 Australians were made redundant from their roles.

But the good news is that the majority of Australians who are made redundant were able to find a new job within two months.

A redundancy can also be the perfect time to change direction and find a new career. If you’ve recently been made redundant, the following strategies might help you to minimise and even eliminate some of the negative effects of a redundancy by transforming it into an opportunity

What to do after being made redundant 

  1. Stay in a positive mindset.
  2. Explore your options.
  3. Create a plan of action.

1. Stay in a positive mindset.

positive mindset concept

It is hard not to take a redundancy personally, but it’s important to remind yourself that it is a position that becomes redundant, not a person. It is not a reflection of you or your skills.

Mindset is undoubtedly one of the most important factors when it comes to embracing change and making it out the other end of a tough situation. Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck popularised the idea of mindset in her 2007 book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. She identified two types of mindsets; the fixed mindset and the growth mindset.

A fixed mindset is characterised by the idea that our success is purely dependent upon factors of which we have no control. A fixed mindset assumes that our character, intelligence and creative ability are inherent, rather than something we can develop over time.

A growth mindset on the other hand, adopts a more optimistic view and does not see perceived failure or road blocks as evidence of lack of skill, but as a chance to build upon our existing abilities and develop our potential.

Vincent Van Gogh is the perfect example of someone with a growth mindset. Before he became one of the world’s most famous artists, Van Gogh had written in a letter to his brother that becoming a painter “would be very impractical” and that “drawing with the right perspective was witchcraft or pure chance”. However, after taking the time to learn the correct techniques, which he credited to the book Guide to the ABC of Drawing, he was able to improve on his craft through this new found knowledge (and of course, plenty of practice).

While a redundancy is not a failure on your part, it can still feel like a blow to your confidence. Keeping your mindset positive will encourage you—even in times of doubt—to seek better opportunities and know that with hard work you will be able to reach your goals sooner than you think.

2. Explore your options.

Every job is different, as is every company. Perhaps you want to work in a more laid-back office or in a creative role that allows you to work independently. This is your chance to explore the many different options out there and consider what type of role will be most fulfilling to you.

A redundancy can be a great time to do some soul-searching and work out what you really want, beyond your previous role. If you have some idea of the type of role you want, do some research on the labour market, job outlook, salary and industry training recommendations. You now have the chance to upgrade your skills and demand a higher salary or flexible working arrangements in your next job application.

If you’re unsure, it may be worth finding a career guidance counsellor, mentor or career coach who can help you figure out your strengths, passions and goals, and assist you in drafting a plan of action. Whether you want to change careers or go back to study full or part-time, there are more options today than there ever have been for people in your position, so don’t limit yourself – cast your net wide.

3. Create a plan of action.

action plan concept

Once you’ve worked out what direction you want to head in, create a plan of action that outlines the steps you will take, your expectations and timeframes you need to ensure you stay on track. You can look at this plan as a road map to success that will keep you focused on your goals. Your plan of action may include things like a list of goals you want to achieve (both short and long term), how long it will take to achieve them, what formal training you may need and any other relevant objectives.

Creating a plan like this will make explaining your employment status to future employers much easier and give you the direction you need to pursue a new career.

Are you ready to turn your redundancy into a new career?

Being made redundant unexpectedly can feel like a derailment in your career, but it can also open new doors for you to explore something you’ve always wanted to but never had the opportunity. Changing to a more proactive mindset, exploring your options and creating a career plan can help you make positive changes in your career and in your life.

It’s never too late to switch careers and start learning again. At Upskilled, we have a range of online courses designed to prepare students for the real world. Browse our courses or chat to one of our experienced education consultants today to secure your future.
 
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