Re-Launching Your Career After Redundancy A Step by Step Guide to Getting Back into the Game
Copyright 2013 © Position Ignition – Re-launching Your Career After Redundancy www.positionignition.com Follow us @PosIgnition www.careerignitionclub.com
Thank you for downloading this Position Ignition eBook. We work with many different people on their various career challenges and through their career transitions. Redundancy is one of the areas where we can provide specific and helpful career support. Being laid off can be a very challenging time and, similarly to other major transitions, requires careful planning and thought. Only a generation or so ago, redundancy was a rare event. After the war economies started growing, so anytime before the 1970s it was almost as if you had something wrong with you if you’d been laid off. There was the sense of being a pariah. In contrast, today redundancy is much more common. There’s no stigma attached to it like there used to be. Redundancy is a result of a genuine change in circumstances in the organization. Change in business models leads to downsizing for commercial reasons. No one will think ill of you if you happen to be caught in the crossfire of restructuring. An organization’s reasons for making redundancies could be for a number of reasons: the business going bust, being wound down, relocating or just needing to reduce expenses. After all, people are usually the main expense in an organization. It may be that this company is being taken over by someone else or being merged with another enterprise. Perhaps the business is moving into new lines of activity or introducing new systems, new processes and new technology. This sort of thing not only costs money; it can replace a human’s function making them surplus to requirements. Another reason could be the owner’s death and the realization that the business isn’t going to be passed onto to anyone. All and any of these things can lead us to be caught up in our employer’s change. Nowadays you have no reason to believe you’re going to be adversely affected or discriminated against if you just happen to be one of the many people who’ve been made redundant in their lives. Future employers may want to know why you were laid off but it depends quite a bit on the timing—i.e. how long ago it happened. Their curiosity may also be related to how similar the job or organization is to one you’ve left, because there’ll be an opportunity to update one another on market information and so on. It’s still nothing to worry about. They are not judging you as a person or a professional.
Copyright 2013 © Position Ignition – Re-launching Your Career After Redundancy www.positionignition.com Follow us @PosIgnition www.careerignitionclub.com
Having said that, everyone is unique and how we deal with redundancy can be quite complicated both on a personal and professional level. Trying to get back into the game by looking for work can be a challenge if you haven’t done this in a long time. Even for those who’ve found several jobs before it is a tough challenge. If you’re spun out of a job nowadays, it’s not easy to find your way back in. This is not least because of just how devastated you feel upon being made redundant. It’s as if there’s a vacuum, so deep is the psychological loss. You may also feel as if you’ve lost your identity—it’s natural for us to feel that our career defines our identity, as we spend so much time at work and thinking about it even when we’re not there. So it’s no wonder that when we suddenly have our daily routine taken away from us it can be as if our identity has gone too. How do you deal with redundancy when you feel this low? It takes time and effort but soon you realize that the date you’re made redundant is in effect the date your exciting new life starts. This is an eBook about what you need to do next in order to embark on this new chapter. In this Position Ignition eBook we will be taking a look at: • • • • • • • •
Creating a New Beginning Getting Started by Getting Clear Networking Your Way Forwards Researching the Market and Making Yourself the Perfect Fit Branding Yourself and Personal Presentation Taking Charge of Your Career Re-launching Yourself into the Market Using Your Experiences to Your Advantage
Copyright 2013 © Position Ignition – Re-launching Your Career After Redundancy www.positionignition.com Follow us @PosIgnition www.careerignitionclub.com
Creating a New Beginning The book Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes by American writer William Bridges focuses on a very simple model and key concept—you have to have a clean ending before a new beginning, with a neutral zone/transition period between the two. A defined ending enables you to prepare yourself in your neutral zone before you go on to do something new. There is something very clean about having endings defined as we go through our work life. You at least know where you are when something comes to a clean end. A defined ending like a redundancy means you know when you’re leaving. You have a schedule to work to. This gives you time to prepare for moving on and to decide what it is you want to move on to. Yes, you may feel angry or frustrated. You might believe that it is unfair and be overwhelmed by a sense of betrayal. These are classic, common understandable emotions. But knowing you do have a defined point of closure allows you to know you’re going to move on and to therefore deal with redundancy in an emotionally mature fashion. Can you see a redundancy coming? To what extent do you have your radar switched on, ready to detect the likelihood of being made redundant? The point here is not to get you to analyse what might have happened if you’ve been laid off recently but to highlight that, if you haven’t had a redundancy recently, you may well see it coming in future. Having your radar on is, therefore, really rather important.
There are a few signs that signify that people might be about to be laid off: • • • •
Orders dropping Communication not happening as it should Management constantly in panic meetings More people with less to do.
At this point you know what is coming but this may not be a bad thing. You not only get your clean ending but also a compensation package. If you can see what’s coming, start thinking of the advantages you’ll have in managing the gap redundancy leaves. Keep your radar turned on and your head above the parapet. Even if they did see it coming, most people find it really difficult to manage their point of closure. This issue of having a clear ending and effectively managing yourself into a new beginning is quite fundamental. So when the clean ending comes, what’s the best way to deal with redundancy and prepare to move on?
Take a break if you like. Enter a different environment and this can be a trigger for moving you into a more positive mental space.
Don’t hang about. As important as details such as your compensation package are, time is the most valuable thing here. You want to inject pace into the transition and accelerate into the neutral zone. Once you’re back from your break, get back into the game as soon as possible.
Tap into the emotional support of others. Spend time with your family, close friends and other loved ones. Create a strong support network.
Use time effectively. Be clear about what it is you’re going to do and how you’re going to spend your time. Copyright 2013 © Position Ignition – Re-launching Your Career After Redundancy www.positionignition.com Follow us @PosIgnition www.careerignitionclub.com
Use this experience positively. Take time out to deal with your negativism if you need to. You have to move yourself into a positive space and see that this is about opportunities opening up for you. You can’t afford to crumble. It is easier said than done in the reality of every day life but it must be done. If you carry on with a negative attitude you can’t move on to thinking about your next step and where you want to be going. • Get your story straight about what’s happened to you and why so you can tell it at job interviews, networking events etc. without breaking down or appearing bitter. o Be honest but also quite economical. You don’t want to be going into a lot of detail that’s irrelevant or giving too much away. o Build an accurate story by looking at it from the organization’s point view. Identify the reasons why the company had to let people go. o Remember you’re not the only person who’s ever had to discuss their redundancy. o Show really good intent in the conversation. Play up your credentials and qualifications. •
Never ever bad mouth the company that you’ve left. This is pertinent advice for any time in your career but particularly around the time of redundancy. Anyone looking at you as a potential employee won’t be impressed. You’ll come over in a bad light, as exactly the type of individual they don’t want to hire.
Open your mind to possibilities. You’ll find opportunities staring you in the face once you start asking what’s possible, what you can do and what you need to spring forward. Engage with a fresh mind to bounce ideas off the wall with by talking to a professional career guide with real work experience.
Getting Started by Getting Clear To get started, prioritize getting clear on what you want to do and accelerate into it. There is a direct correlation of +1.0 or more between people who are speedy in working out what they’re doing and their chances of success in whatever route they choose to go down. When you get in a position to ask someone for help, be able to articulate in 5, 10 seconds what it is you want from them? You’ll get this ability by working out your future path so you have clarity around what needs doing. In terms of your first steps in getting clear, there are a few things you want to be doing: • Dig out your CV and look at it to help you reflect on who you are and where you’re going. • If you decide to take a break away from your environment, try doing something with that time you enjoy such as a golfing holiday or DIY project. This will help you blow the cobwebs away from your mind and get you ready for refocusing. • Once you’re back, take stock of how much time you need to be investing in getting back into the game relative to your health and your other commitments.
• This is a time where you have a lot of choice about what you’re going to do next. Take the time to think about your career direction and whether where you’re going currently is the same path you want to be sticking to. o Explore what your ideal career looks like o Explore what kind of lifestyle you would like for yourself and your family (if you have one) o Explore what your short term and long term goals are o Explore what you want from your career o Evaluate the career path you’ve had so far – what has worked well, what might you want to change (if anything) o Rediscover what you are passionate about – both at work and outside of work o Identify what style of working is best for you (e.g. large corporation, small business, working from home, travelling with work, working outdoors, working with clients and so on) o Explore and be open to new possibilities • Review where you are financially: o How long can you go on without working? o How much time do you have to evaluate where you are and to get yourself back on track? o Can you afford to take a break? o Who can help you out financially if need be? • If you want to explore something new or something different, and you have the time and the money to so, by all means experiment. Take a year out to go and do a Masters, or do a short evening course if that’s what you have the resources for. Explore areas that interest and stimulate you in order to find inspiration and reinvigorate yourself. • If you aren’t sure where to go next, be patient and slowly take your time in working out what your options are.
o Talk to friends and colleagues to learn more about different industries, roles, routes in and their experiences with redundancy
Write lists and jot down your thoughts. Keep track of your options and ideas. By putting pen to paper you may find that you start to see patterns in your thoughts and activities and it should help you to see more clearly where you are going.
Networking Your Way Forwards Although networking is becoming more and more important by the day, it has always been fundamentally important. Sometimes it’s gone through some funny phrases such as when the belief in the old boys’ network was king, but that’s all old hat now. 21st century networking is the blood and oxygen of staying fully engaged throughout your working life. Even if you’ve been neglecting your network and are lacking confidence in starting to network again don’t ignore the need to network, however tempting it is to turn our back on it all and hide away when we’ve just been made redundant. Your current situation, or rather the one you’re leaving, is absolutely vital to your future. In that situation you’ve been in you will have at least one person who can help you unlock doors to your future. You’re in a great place to judge just how important they can be to you. These are the people with a
present view of who you are and what you do. Come 6, 12 or 18 months down the line, they’ll still know you but they won’t know you like they do now. Don’t walk away from your current situation without thinking very hard about who can help you. The vast majority of people network every single day without realising it. It’s just that their ecosystem is quite tight. Every day you walk into same reception, go to the same office and do the same stuff with the same people. These are the very people who are in your network and have networks beyond you, ready to be tapped into. Think of these networks, and a network in general, as a molecular structure with covalent bonds. Different atoms share pairs of electrons. Likewise two different networks may share the same person. For example, an accounts manager may be in the same organization and therefore in the same network as you but because they have a different function to you they’re also part of networks other than the one you’re both in. Look beyond your own tribe or community to others that you may just be one person removed from. Think of those who know you but inhabit a different world to you, at least part of the time. By involving these people in your moves leading up to redundancy, you can glean a lot from what’s going on around you. In this process you develop a wider conversation with your ecosystem where you can talk about moving on and where to go in order to do so. These actions can expand into a different space that you can control throughout this period of uncertainty. Here are the type of people you could be having conversations with about your next steps: • Customers: Any customer who has been a good customer to you could be in a position to help you. There might be overlaps between your customers and other companies within your market.
• Suppliers: They not only supply your organization but other ones similar to it. Therefore they’re aligned to what you do and have some understanding of the industry or business you’re working in but are also working in different markets that could present new opportunities to you. • Colleagues: Not your best friends in the team, but co-workers who may be in other offices or departments but know of you, and see the job market from a perspective different to yours. • Non-executive directors: If you have non-executive directors on your board, find out which other boards they’re on and who they know in other organizations. By definition they are out there as independent-minded, experienced businesspeople who constantly come into contact with a number of different networks and ecosystems. • Consultants: If you’ve worked on a project or in a team with an external consultant or advisor, they’ll know you and will also know a lot of other people that they’ve worked with but you haven’t. Pick their brains. The number of these who are in your ecosystem will depend on what line of work you’re in, but you’ll have at least some of them in your life. Whoever you decide to approach, it’s easy to know what to say to them. Simply pick up the phone and say: “You may know that I’m leaving. Do you know anyone or anywhere that can help me move on to a new role?” Networking is a bit like driving in that you have one-way streets, cul-de-sacs and two-way streets. You may want to cut out the one-ways and cul-de-sacs and keep the two-way streets, i.e. the relationships that are reciprocal. Sharpen your network like a camera lens; cut out those who are a bit blurry and out of focus. It’s not about the sheer size of your network but about
the people who are really important to you because they know you. Get rid of the deadwood as if you’re clearing out the attic. Once you’re left with the contacts you want to keep, you may find you haven’t been in touch with them in ages. We really shouldn’t do this, but we do. Instead of nurturing our network like we know we should, we let weeks, months, even years go by without making contact with someone who should be closer to us, either personally or professionally. Reverse this with the following steps. 1. Rank the people left in your contacts list according to who you want to make contact with first. 2. Warm up the top people on your list by sending a short email or posting a handwritten card to let them you’d like to get back in touch via telephone or by grabbing a coffee together. 3. Once you’re face-to-face or talking on the phone, explain you’re going through a transition and just thought you’d reach out to them again as it’s a time of big changes in your life and you’d appreciate the support that they can give you. This is also time where you can start building your contacts list again. This is why clarity is so important. When you’re clear about your intentions, you know only to connect with people relevant to your needs. Be very specific about where you build your contact. Each new connection should be related in some way to where you want to go next in your career. Take a look at our 135 Networking Career Tips for more help with harnessing and building your connections.
Are you on LinkedIn? If not, you should be. It’s being used a lot more frequently these days by recruiters and employer organizations—i.e. people who are using the site for their hiring purposes. Here are some tips for getting into LinkedIn, regardless of whether you’ve been on it for ages or are just starting out: • Work on your profile. If you’ve never completed it, do so now. • Ask people in your former or soon-to-be former organization for Recommendations so they write them while you’re still fresh in their memory. • Assess your participation. Loads of people are on LinkedIn but not using it. Do something to avoid being one of these people. • Monitor your Connections’ activity and consider ways that they can help you and you can help them back— reciprocity is key here. • Read our 125 LinkedIn Job Search Tips eBook for ideas, inspiration, advice, information and takeaways on LinkedIn features such as apps, Q&A and groups. LinkedIn is the most important networking tool based on technology that there is in the world right now, so be sure to be engaged and involved with it.
Researching the Market and Making Yourself the Perfect Fit Research is not necessarily the first thing people think about when they’re trying to get back into work but it’s a really fundamental aspect of the job search. You need to be smart and be targeting where you aim to go. Doing your research increases your ability to identify the areas of the market in which you want to work. If you have a job interview, open day or informational session coming up, research as much as you can about who it is you’re going to be meeting. Meetings such as these require you to have quite a lot of knowledge about organizations, sectors and areas of growth. Think hard about where you can find this information out and how the information you glean can drive you towards a greater amount of information. Identify the people in the key positions at a company who’ll you want to go find out about and maybe even meet. By gaining an understanding of these individuals, you’ll understand more about the market you’re going out into it. The more you look at it the more you understand about different segments and markets and what it takes to get working in these fields. Being this specific is worth it and will pay off for you. Let’s say you identify three roles you’re interested in. You will have so much more impact in your job search if the roles are spread across three different sectors. Having just one role to each sector will help you really target your research towards organizations within that sector. Some more research tips:
• Before you even start researching, define the questions you need answering. This is how to get specific. • Use the Internet. The Internet has done a lot for openness and transparency, giving you a greater opportunity to find the accurate information you need. • Look in the press also. Where have your target organizations been mentioned, what for and with whom? What are the latest developments in the business and which areas are they focusing in on? • If you’ve found a job opportunity through a recruitment company, ask them questions: o Who’s interviewing you? What do you know about them? What are their role and their style? o What’s going on in the business at the moment? o What are they looking for specifically? o Why has the agency put you forward for the job? o Have other candidates been sent? How many? Where do I stand? o If so, what happened? What was asked, expected, what went well/wrong? o Is the company hiring in other areas? o Why are they hiring? (Someone left/restructuring/expanding/new role?) • If the job is in the private sector, check it out on Companies House – where the business was registered. See who’s running the show and what other bits of information you can find to really get to grips with what this business is about.
• Look at the Investor Relations and Sitemap on organization’s websites. You’ll be surprised at how much really interesting and useful information you can get your hands on by exploring the whole website page by page, including downloadable documents such as annual reviews and financial reports... In particular, focus on: o Financial results o Strategic trends o Customers and clients—who are they are and what they buy o Competitors o What the industry regulators think of the company. • If a job spec catches your eye, read it thoroughly and read up on your department or function area. What are they really looking for? • Tap into the people in your target companies. Ring up HR or reception and ask about the organization, the role, the department and how the business is going. You’ll be amazed at how much information they have and could be willing to share, starting with something as straightforward as what, from their point of view, it’s like to work there. • Look at a company’s LinkedIn presence, both its company page and the individual profiles of its employees. o When looking at the profiles of staff members, find out what they do and if they’re happy to have a chat with you. If so, ask them about their roles, the recruitment process and what’s going on in the business. By this we mean what the organization’s main priorities are, which areas they’re building, whether they’re expanding or shrinking and so on. If you do connect with some of the employees, learn about the people you are going to meet at your interview:
What they do? What their responsibilities are? Anything relevant in their background? What projects they lead? What are they interested in? Why they need additional resources? What makes them tick?
o When checking out the business’ page, see who does what within the enterprise and if you have any connections there. Get the inside scoop to help fuel any future interview conversations. • After you’ve done your research and are talking to someone, remember what you discovered through your research. Use it to show in the conversation that you understand the other person’s world, their organisation, their sector and their industry. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your competence and capability are enough. The person who has had umpteen job opportunities that haven’t gone anywhere usually isn’t doing enough research. As you move closer towards getting interviewed you may want to read our How to Ace the Interview eBook for more help in preparing for a successful interview.
Branding Yourself and Personal Presentation The topic of personal presentation covers a huge amount of ground. People may be feeling unconfident about connecting with new people again, or may feel uncomfortable about going for an interview or having to give a presentation as part of job application process. Personal branding is a relatively new area but is becoming increasingly important. Why? Because how you present yourself in your day job is important. It always has been but now, because of the currently high turnover of professional workers in organizations, the issue of your branding becomes more and more important. What you say and how you say it is really important, just as the media you choose to get yourself back out. For example, some people are comforting with putting some slides together and giving a presentation to organizations. For others, blogging or writing articles is a good way to put themselves out there. What you have to say is one thing. How you say it and through what vehicle are increasingly vital. Here are a few general pointers for presenting yourself well as you step back into market and building a memorable and reputable personal brand: • Coordinate your online and offline activities. Match up your online profile claims with who you really are and how you come across when meeting people face to face.
• Give your CV a makeover. If you give your CV to a recruiter or HR director, they’ll only spend 60 seconds skimming it before deciding whether to chuck it in the bin or not. Cut your CV down to just one page with lots of white space and no irrelevant information. The less you say, the more people are likely to be curious about you. • Browse and explore the professional networking and special interest groups on LinkedIn. There is a group for almost anything on there and people are specifically there to network and to do things that will further their careers so take full advantage of this. Find a group for your specific industry, or specialist area or even for your geographic location perhaps. Explore them and find where you can add value and what can be valuable for you. • A lot of branding is centred around the physical appearance of the product. In the case of personal branding, the headshots on your social media profiles and your grooming and presentation at face-to-face events are important. Ask yourself: o What do you want people to think about you and to associate you with when they first see you? o What impression do you want to give them through your clothing and body language? o What impression do you want to leave them with? • Get better known by attending conferences. You’ll appear on conference attendee lists that are meat and drink to researchers of headhunting firms. • Once you’ve established a regular presence at conferences, start hosting breakout sessions and even leading main conference sessions. This leads to much greater visibility. • If you are in your early career then career fairs can be a platform on which to brand yourself. Not only do you get information on various careers and companies that might be an option for you, you also get to meet with various
employer representatives, recruitment professionals and networkers. Keep an eye out for career fairs in your local area and go along to the ones that seem most relevant to your goals. Most of them are free to attend. • Sign up to a couple of relevant online forums and get your brand known by contributing valuable and insightful posts to interesting discussions and creating worthwhile threads yourself. You never know which of the forum members are actually employers—or representatives of employer organisations—looking for their next star. • When you’re networking, remember to ask the people you talk to ‘what can I do for you?’ instead of just reeling off a list of things you can do for them. It’s by listening to what customers want that businesses develop brands that sell well. • Storytelling is increasingly being recognized as a big part of branding. Be prepared to tell (truthful) stories to illustrate the value you have to offer and to make yourself memorable. Entertaining stories tend to hold a person’s interest and can be a great tool when out and about and networking and also in an interview. • Get feedback and use this to improve what you do. Ask people for comments on your CV, your online profile, how you present yourself and if you go for interviews and don’t quite land the role. The more information you have to work with the more you can hone in on what you are doing. Personal presentation is extremely important for us when we’re trying to get back in the game. We don’t normally think about these things when we’re working. When we’re trying to move on, this stuff becomes very big indeed. If you’d like more help with this you may find the following eBooks useful reading: 125 Personal Branding Tips and Sell Yourself with Confidence.
Taking Charge of Your Career Redundancy perversely gives you an opportunity to take charge. We say perversely because when you’re in work, you may or may not feel you’re in control of things. You may or may not feel you’re having the chance to take charge of your working life. Redundancy gives you that chance, even though the decision for you to leave the company was someone else’s and not yours. Up to now most of the decisions may have been made for you but now you have the opportunity to take control. Taking control is absolutely fundamental to your career. The pace at which organizational change is happening means individuals are having to wake up to the importance of taking responsibility for their working lives. When we’ve gone through the job application and hiring process, how often have we looked at an organization’s values and the values that underpin the basis on which we do the work that we do? Lots of the work we do at Position Ignition, for example, is around this. One of the reasons for disquiet in our hearts and souls is to do with misalignment between our own values and those of the enterprise we are working for or our boss’. When thinking about the criteria around what it is you want to do, these are the sorts of issues that are more in your conscious state. You might be thinking, this looks like a really good organization or who is this person I want to go work for? When going through the application process next time, look at this in a really objective way. As a more mature professional than the last time you looked for a job, you’ll be in a better position to know what you’re looking for.
This may be a new state for you. Most times we expect and perhaps even hope that others will make decisions for us. When you begin to understand this concept of ‘it’s only me that’s in charge of this’, how does that make you feel about what you might do? You have the opportunity to explore more creatively what you can do with your capability: skills, experience and the wisdom you’ve gained over the years. In most organizations, for most of the time, the work you do is only using a fraction of this capability. But now you can set appropriate criteria around what you want your career to look like from now on. This is a chance for you to add more purpose to your work. Engage in some independent thinking around this subject. Ask yourself these questions to start setting your parameters: • • • • • • •
What is important to you and your lifestyle? What kind of personal growth do you want? What type of environment do you want to work in? Are there any situations or particular organizations you don’t want to work in? What type of boss do you want to work for? How do you want to work? Who do you want to do the work with?
Look at it in the context of your life. If you look at all the surveys on the matter, pay is not high on list of reasons we usually go to work. There are other things that make life important for us. Other things are in the mix in our life-balance. We are further down our life track. We see work as more important in terms of fitting into a certain paradigm. Being made redundant can actually be a chance to evaluate where it is you are and can give you space to decide whether you want to continue down the same course or make adjustments. Do you want to carry on doing the kind of thing you’ve
been doing or do you want to pursue new avenues? The decision is yours. You may decide to change the way you work completely, by getting a job with more flexible hours and options or even setting up your own business. You now have time to establish the right path going forwards. Here’s a chance to step back and look at what we might want to be in a year, three years, five years. Take a realistic view of what you want to do and how you want to do it. You own this process of transition. Taking charge now is the first step to owning your career for the rest of your days.
Re-launching Yourself into the Market The issue of confidence is absolutely critical. Why is it so? It is something quite hard to measure but very easy to see and sense. When you meet someone you get a sort of feeling about their own inner feeling. It’s reflected on an almost subconscious level that the person you’re meeting with here does have that inner drive. They’re very clear about what they want because they can articulate it clearly. It leaves you with no doubt that this person is authentic. They are able to be clear with you about what it is they want from you and what they want you for. The issue of being clear is the most fundamental issue of all. When you are, you appear and feel more confidence. Re-launching yourself with confidence is very difficult to do if you don’t have that clarity in your intentions. Without confidence in the clarity and the honour of our career intentions, it’s hard to articulate them to anyone else. And if you can’t communicate in a crystal clear and authentic manner, your lack of confidence, personal integrity and inner drive are going to be noted and taken into account. Low self-esteem is a big issue with many people who’ve just been laid off. There’s a sense of “why me?” Some of us find it the hardest thing to get out of the hole. But we’re playing the blame game by saying ‘why me?’ Over-analysis of the reasons why doesn’t actually help you move forward. Hanging out with the right people and taking the time to heal the wound, on the other hand, will help. All of us have our own strategies for doing this. Another reason why people may feel low is that they don’t know what they going to do. Fix this by addressing it head on and asking yourself:
• • • • • • • • •
Who am I? What have I done in my life? What am I best at? What am I seen as a specialist in? Do I want to move into a different career field altogether? What are my constraints? How am I going to get back out there? What activity or interest energises me? Where do my passions lie?
You’re not going to be able to take the next step with confidence if you don’t ask and answer these questions about yourself. Try looking at an old CV to remind yourself where you’ve been and where you were at that moment in time. Compare that with where you are now. Appreciate who you are. Don’t allow yourself to underestimate how much you know now, what you do and how you do it. At different stages in our lives, we all too often take for granted what we’re accomplishing and what we’re capable of. Thinking about what energises you is particularly interesting. You know what energises you and makes you more comfortable in yourself. Also, ask yourself who it is you know who always seems to be high on their natural energy. Look at what they do, where they go, what their daily routines consist of.
Using Your Experiences to Your Advantage It’s all too easy for us to diminish what it is we know. In reality, what you do, what you know and how you do things is who you are. That is what you’re going to take to market. So you have to make sure you draw on all aspects of your life in order to identify your capabilities and utilise your advantage. It’s important to look at your capabilities both in the current context and the historic context. Most times we like to think of ourselves as ready-made professional workers who just popped out of the educational system and started life then. But for us, historic context goes back way before that. Look at what you enjoyed and were talented at from an early age when taking your capabilities into account. What energised us when we were quite young? Why is it we were fascinated by the things we were? Why did we enjoy playing that game or doing that activity with our parent, grandparent or playmate? Here are some ways to identify your skills, key experiences and other area of strength from all areas and times of your life: • Make a list of both past and current hobbies. Think about what you do in your spare time, such as in the evenings and at the weekends. If you have a day off, what do you ideally like to do? • Find a good career guide or coach. A decent career professional will discuss your whole life with you, which helps you to recall any hobbies, strengths and interests from different stages in your life that you may have forgotten about.
• Reflect on what tasks you enjoyed doing in your previous positions. Was there a particular type of task that you never put off? Is there anything you wish you did more of at work? What did your colleagues always ask you to do because you’re good at it? • Use volunteering opportunities to try out different activities. If there’s a particular kind of work you think you’d like to get into, try doing it unpaid for a while. Experimenting helps you gain insight into a particular field before you commit to it. • Examine the numbers. Know how much you need to earn. Be realistic about how much money you require and then align the figure with your skills, as well as the opportunities that are out there. • Take the time and space to reflect and then get moving. As a result of your thinking, be sure to focus and take action. No action equals no results, no matter how much thought you’ve put into something. For example, if you find yourself reading a lot about a particular activity or line of work, take action by getting more hands-on experience of it through studying or volunteering. This is about you, your talents and how you demonstrate them. When you’re trying to get back in the game, you’ve got to look for and use every advantage you can get in order to get what you want.
Final Points 1. Take advantage of the fact that you have a clean ending. The sooner you can understand and accept this, the sooner you can move on to the next stage... 2. …which is to use your time wisely. Time is the most scarce commodity available to us as job hunters. Plan how you’re going to takes action in a smart way. 3. Anything you do, do it with a clear purpose. The people who are clearest about what they do in a job search are the people who have more time—and more success. 4. Be creative about how you use your networks to tap into other networks, re-engage with old contacts and find new connections. 5. Learn as much as you can from others and build as much insight into the area you want to get into, as you can, before applying for roles in that field 6. The things that build your confidence are the things you begin to see in an opportunistic and more positive way. 7. Use the fact that you’re taking control to motivate yourself 8. Give yourself some time to identify the right course of action for you and then once you are clear, get moving quickly 9. Don’t give up. Keep going, keep at it and keep trying to move yourself forwards. This way, every day you will get closer to your goal 10. There is no need to do this alone. Use your support network, get a mentor or guide and let them help you through your journey.
Recommended Reading Overcoming Redundancy: 52 Inspiring Ideas to Help You Bounce Back from Losing Your Job – by Gordon Adams The Redundancy Survival Guide: Assess Your Legal Rights, Explore Career Options and Turn Redundancy into Opportunity – by Rebecca Corfield Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes – by William Bridges Burning the Suit: Fighting Back Against the Aftershock of Redundancy – by Andrew Taylor The Quick Guide to Surviving Redundancy – by Kathy Daniels Winning through Redundancy: 6 Steps to Re-Launching Your Career – by Steve Preston Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career – by Herminia Ibarra The 10 Laws of Career Reinvention: Essential Survival Skills for Any Economy – by Pamela Mitchell The Complete Career Makeover – by Nic Paton Finding Square Holes: Discover Who You Really Are and Find the Perfect Career – by Anita Houghton
Recommended Follow Up eBooks o 135 Networking Career Tips o 125 LinkedIn Job Search Tips o How to Ace the Interview o Sell Yourself with Confidence o Get Paid Right, From the Start o 125 Personal Branding Tips
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Contact Us Position Ignition Ltd is one of the UK’s leading career consulting and career management companies. Founded towards the end of 2009 by Simon North and Nisa Chitakasem, they have brought together some of the best career guides in the industry, providing much needed high quality career support and guidance to professional working men and women. Position Ignition helps working professionals to identify where they would like to go next, what roles they will find fulfilling and how to go about getting it. Their focus is on helping people to make successful career changes, establish smart job search strategies, find focus and direction in their careers and take control of their own career development. Position Ignition offers support through one on one career guiding, career webinars, eBooks and through their Career Ignition Club, where you can access all of their career eBooks for free as part of the club. Therefore if you enjoyed this eBook and would like to read more why not explore www.careerignitionclub.com. They regularly offer expert advice in the media and press including being featured regularly on Guardian Career Clinics and on Forbes. They offer a free initial phone consultation via their website if you’d like to find out more or explore how they can help you. Alternatively visit their www.careerignitionclub.com website to get access to ongoing career support. Career Advice Blog: www.positionignition.com/blog Follow @PosIgnition Like Position Ignition: www.facebook.com/PositionIgnition We hope that you have found this eBook useful! For comments, feedback or suggestions email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Free Redundancy Guides & Resources for Recent Redundancies Redundancy Handbook from Money Advice Service (visit the site for a pdf download) Little Book of Redundancy – by Employment Lawyers CM Murray (click to download pdf) Facing Redundancy and Knowing Your Rights – by worksmart.org.uk (click to download pdf) Help Yourself if You’re Made Redundant – leaflet by the Citizens Advice Bureau (click to download) Surviving Redundancy – by Badenock & Clark (short guide, click to download) Employment & Redundancy Forum – click to visit the website City Redundancies Website – advice website for people made redundant in the UK
Other Useful Sites Escapethecity.org – online community for escaping city jobs iCould.com – offers a free library of inspiring career videos CareerIgnitionClub.com – offers a wealth of career resources for their online community Wygu.com – a free online careers community