If you're facing redundancy, it's natural to feel worried and panicky about your future. In these difficult economic times, it feels as if no job is safe. So if you hear talk of redundancy from your employers, it's worrying. You'll fret about how you're going to pay your bills without an income. And what if you can't find another job quickly? It may not be as bad as you fear, but it's wise to be prepared. Here are some of the steps you should take if you're facing redundancy …
1. Don't Panic
The first thing you should do if you're facing redundancy is avoid panicking. The talk of redundancy may be a rumor without any foundation. Unless your employer is drastically reducing the workforce, your job may not be at risk. Try to find out which departments are affected, and how likely it is that your job may be affected.
2. Plan for the Worst
While you shouldn't panic, it's wise to have some contingency plans in place in case yours is one of the jobs to be cut. Start looking for other jobs, and get networking. You may know people who could help; ask around to see if anyone is hiring. It may be worth considering a temporary job to tide you over.
3. Take Any Help Offered
Some firms will offer help and advice to employees when they are going to be made redundant. If you are definitely going to be made redundant and your firm offers any help, take it. The more you do, the greater your chances of finding a new job. They may even offer advice on retraining, so that you can do another job within the same organisation.
4. Plan Your Finances
Find out what you would receive if you are made redundant. Redundancy payments may not be very generous, but in some countries you would be entitled to a minimum payment by law. There is no such entitlement in the US, but you may be able to negotiate a settlement.
5. Your Legal Rights
You should also find out what your legal rights are. For example, you won't want to lose your health benefits if you live in the US; look at dol.gov for information. Don't delay in finding out what you're entitled to, and what you should do, so that you don't miss any important deadlines.
6. Look for the Positive
It may not seem so at first, but being made redundant could actually turn out to be positive. Look for the positive side; for many people redundancy turned out to be a blessing in disguise. This could be your chance to get out of a job you dislike, or create new opportunities for yourself. You could retrain for a career you'd enjoy more, or start your own business.
7. Don't Take It Personally
Losing your job is upsetting, but try not to take it personally. It's upsetting to find out that you could be made redundant, and to assume that it's a reflection on your performance or that someone doesn't like you. However, it's almost certainly just a question of numbers.
Your government will have plenty of advice and information for workers facing redundancy. Look at doleta.gov (US), gov.uk (UK), fcac-acfc.gc.ca (Canada) or fairwork.gov.au (Australia). Have you ever turned a job loss to your advantage?