In a tough climate, businesses are desperate to cut costs. Their first instinct is to let go of staff members. Such measures can cause employee morale to stoop. However, there are ways to bounce back from a redundancy and successfully regain employment. Below are 10 tips to help you re-enter the workforce.
1. Prepare if possible. If retrenchment is a real concern, prepare for the news and your future. Updating your resume, keeping an eye on the current job market and discussing opportunities with contacts in the industry can put you one step ahead of the news.
2. Understand the redundancy. In the meeting, it’s important to understand the rights you have under the contract, the redundancy package you’re entitled to and what services are on offer to help you get back on your feet.
3. Accept support. While you may feel anger, betrayal and resentment, you should grasp offers of advice given to you. If an outplacement service is being offered, access this service and the tools available. Drawing on expert advice and accessing career advice available can quickly place yourself in a positive position to go out and secure your next job.
4. Stay positive. It may seem an impossible task at the time, but when leaving the meeting the key is to stay motivated, maintain an open mind and take positive steps to get back onto the path of employment.
5. Use your personal network. This year’s Randstad Employment Trends Report highlights employee referral programs are a popular choice for organizations to recruit staff, after online job board ads. It is important to be well respected by your peers if you want to maximise your chances of being referred for a new role.
6. Use social networking. It comes as no surprise the use of social networking tools such as Facebook are popular for job seekers. By ensuring you are using as many tools at your disposal, you can communicate with as many potential employers, referrers or recruiters as possible.
7. Be honest in job interviews. Understand that retrenchment is no reflection on performance, but rather an economic reality right now. There’s no stigma attached to being retrenched, as most employers are aware of the current economic situation. In fact, the economy could prove beneficial. Some proactive employers view the current environment as an opportunity to hire strong candidates who may not otherwise be available.
8. Be realistic with the package you are after. This year’s Randstad Employment Trends Report highlights there is a mis-match between salary expectations and reality. In the IT industry, 76 percent expect a pay rise, while 57 percent expect a bonus. People need to understand, however, that it doesn’t make sense to demand significant packages when a potential employer is under obvious pressure to reduce costs. If job seekers have a more realistic package expectation, they will become more attractive to potential employers and be in a good position for a rise when business improves.
9. Demonstrate your value. Right now, employers are only looking for professionals who are close to a 100 percent match to the vacancy. You need to be very clear on what you bring to the table, and maximize your opportunity by targeting organisations that can utilise your skills and experience.
10. Be prepared to be permanent. This year’s Randstad report shows a divide opening up over the hiring intentions of permanent and temporary staff. Most organizations are expecting to hire permanent staff in 2009, more so than temporary staff, so it could be a good time to seek permanent roles while you wait for the demand for more flexible opportunities to pick up.
– Malcolm Dunford is the chief operating officer of Randstad’s Information Technology Division (www.randstad.com.au).