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“Would you have 5 minutes to step into my office please?”,  my manager asked politely. I obliged, of course. “Please sit down. I want you to understand that what I will say now is in no way reflection on your skills or performance, but only a result of the company restructure.” (what??!) “Unfortunately, your position has been made redundant.” (kaboom!!).

Many of you reading this will experience this kind of conversation once in your working life-time. In any given year (and I am talking good times here!) some 3% of the workforce will be made redundant. In bad years that can go as high as 10%, although Australia has been blessed with no major economic upheaval for the past 25 years, so this ugly statistics has not reached higher than 5% at any time since 1991/2 recession.

No prizes for guessing – construction, manufacturing and retail sectors typically have it hardest, accounting for almost 40% of all redundancies between them. On the opposite side, the arts and recreation, agriculture and (surprise, surprise!) IT sectors are the safest – totaling at only 4% ! Please choose your career carefully …

Some of us are unlucky enough to experience this unpleasant event twice during the working life, and a very small minority has it three times or more (they should definitely play lottery more regularly).

So, the odds are against us. The times of job-for-life are not even a distant memory anymore, yet another way the Baby-Boomers screwed the Millennials! It is like the global warming – invisible and hard to know when and whom it will hit – but hit it will!

The question is – how to rebound once redundancy hits you, and how to go about finding a new job. Here are some useful thoughts:

1.  Do not dwell on it!

One of the worst things you can do for yourself is to go into the heavy analysis mode – why, why me and why now! It happened. It happens often. It is often a matter of luck. Of course, get angry and disappointed about it, vent it out (not on the former employer!) – but get over it! Quickly!

2.  Get into the action mode!


Many years ago I got (unexpectedly!) retrenched. After a beer with (now former) colleagues, and after we collectively and   thoroughly lambasted the company, the HR manager, the industry and bad luck, I sat in my car to go home. It then occurred to me that it was Wednesday and that The Age would have, albeit small, a vacancy column in classifieds. The  luck would have it so I got the very last copy of the paper out of the news shop just about to close for the day. There was 1 (one) ad that suited me, including the phone number. In short, I started my new job the next Monday. Less paid but great  experience and a fill-in. Lucky, hey? Yes, extremely, but only because I tried!

3.  Further education and training!

Chances are your skills need an update. In addition, employers love people constantly learning new stuff. Finally, it is GREAT for your self-esteem – not to mention for your brain! Equally importantly, the average career span nowadays is  around 10-15 years and we are likely to have 2 or even 3 career changes in our working life. Additional training will make the transition smoother and easier.

4.  It is an opportunity!

Funny enough, some 55% of people made redundant actually get a pay increase in their new job! Thank you boss – I  never knew you were underpaying me!

5.  Get your house in order!

No, I don’t mean your actual abode – I mean fix and update your resume, check your Linkedin profile, refresh your network contacts, polish your black shoes and dust off your interview suit – and plunge into it!

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