The honest truth about redundancy

The honest truth about redundancy
SEEK content teamupdated on 16 September, 2020

Redundancy is normal. It happens. But it’s hard to stomach. More than one in four Australians (26%) have had their role made redundant at some point in their working lives. More than half the population (58%) either know someone who has been through redundancy, or have been themselves.

The reality is, even if you’re made redundant you’ll be back on your feet faster than you think. SEEK found that 60% of Australians made redundant found another job within two months. That’s 17% in less than two weeks, 20% within three to four weeks and 23% within one to two months.

SEEK found that 60% of Australians made redundant found another job within two months. That’s 17% in less than two weeks, 20% within three to four weeks and 23% within one to two months.

Although most people find new jobs quickly, 74% of those made redundant do feel negative about the experience. The reasons for this are often that they enjoyed their job, were stressed about losing it and their income, finding a new job was stressful, or the broader emotional impact of redundancy on them.

Around 16% of Australians surveyed for this research were happy about being made redundant. Their reasons included they didn’t actually like their organisation, thought it was time to leave anyway, and/or the payout was good.

We asked Andrew Morris of Robert Half for some career advice for Australians who may face redundancy or are going through the process now. This is what he said:

  • Don’t live with your bags packed and one foot out the door. If you’re constantly worrying about redundancy you’re not going to enjoy your current role and give your best. Instead make sure you’re one of the 20% who almost always survive the redundancy round. “Be the athlete of your business. If you are in the top 20% you will be the last to go,” says Morris. Be the best salesperson or ensure that your skills are integral to the organisation.
  • Be aware of what’s happening in your organisation. Two in five (41%) Australians made redundant said it came as a complete surprise, whereas the others either had an inkling, or were expecting it to happen. If there’s change in the air, then raise your redundancy awareness. Is your organisation merging with another, being sold, downsizing, or is profit going down? Look at how you can up your usefulness to the organisation and how to add to your skills. Stay open to opportunity and get your CV and SEEK Profile updated and move your networking into overdrive so you’re ready to move on and up.
  • Take control of negative feelings. Turn that sentiment around and find ways to feel positive: even if that’s channelling your energies into upskilling to make yourself more marketable internally or externally. If the axe has fallen already, accept that you’re going to go through a grieving process, says Morris. It’s perhaps best to look for a new job first rather than take a holiday with your redundancy money, says Morris. That way you’ll have more certainty.
  • Seek help. You’re the best person to rely upon when redundancy looms, says Morris. But get out and seek advice and support from friends, family and consultants even if your employer is offering outplacement.

Finally, be proactive. Whether redundancy is in the wind or it has happened already, write yourself a written job search plan and start ticking off the steps towards your future. 

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