“These are the words I never wanted to hear. Given the uncertainty of the last 18 months, I thought I was prepared to hear them, I went into the consultation meeting almost expecting it, there was a process to get to this point, and many of us would be made redundant at the end of it.
My legs went to jelly, and I was pleased I was sitting down. I wanted to get out of the room as quickly as possible so my hands, eyes, and voice couldn’t betray my emotions. Change was being forced on me, and I wasn’t able to deal with it. I was angry with the organisation for putting me in this position and for no longer caring about me after having given my all for 12 years.
At the meeting, I was told I would be offered some outplacement support. I didn’t hear it, all the words being said were completely drowned out by the loud voices in my head saying “What are you going to do now?”, “No-one is hiring right now!”, “How are you going to pay your mortgage?”, “You’re going to lose the house”.
Later at home, I blindly looked for vacancies online, submitting my CV for any jobs that seemed even vaguely relevant. I was convinced my best hope was for an interview and a hire, it didn’t matter what it was. Suddenly I saw my ambitious career plans disappearing. I was desperate to get a job, anywhere, doing anything.
The next day, tired from a sleepless night, I saw an email titled “Outplacement Support” land in my inbox. I decided to take all the help I could get and made an appointment with a Business Coach who specialised in providing outplacement support.
I was nervous about the meeting, as I was convinced it was just another box-ticking exercise from my employer and one where I would come away feeling even more of a failure than I already felt, anticipating talking about all the reasons why I was made redundant.
After an hour with the coach, I came away with a completely different feeling. We talked about how I felt, really felt, about being made redundant, and he helped me see it was natural to feel lost and angry. He told me he had personally been where I was twice in his career, and he would help me through to the other side.
He asked me about the future, and what I wanted to happen next. I told him I had no idea, so he got me to do a psychometric assessment so we could explore my strengths and transferrable skills, which I just couldn’t see because of the redundancy fog. This helped to identify areas for me to develop which would give me a wider skill set and in turn become a better candidate for the jobs I applied for.
We talked through my financial position and made a plan for the redundancy money which would give me some breathing space to find a suitable job, rather than end up applying for and being offered something I would end up hating.
We also talked about my future, and I realised this could actually be a real opportunity for me, rather than the end of my career aspirations. I’m not sure how he managed to do it, but he said I did all the work.
My outplacement programme included a complete review of my CV, as well as guidance on how to get the best from LinkedIn to encourage support from my networks in landing some interviews.
With the help of my coach, I created my own personal brand and a strategy for my job search – we even explored self-employment and the possibility of setting up my own business, but I decided that wasn’t the road for me.
When I was invited to speak to a potential employer, my coach gave me a mock interview and then offered honest feedback for me to act on. But possibly the biggest benefit of my time with my coach was the feeling of continued support, and that I wasn’t doing this on my own. Despite my initial upset and anger with the organisation where I had worked for 12 years, I could now see at least they cared enough about me to help me take the next step on my life journey.”
This is just one example of how outplacement can support those whose job has been lost through redundancy. If you as a business owner or manager have to let people go, it’s not an easy task and is often one not managed well because, its awkward and emotions often run high. However, there are supportive and sympathetic ways to do so using an outplacement programme.
If redundancy is something you need to consider, or plan for in the near future within your business, then ProAction HR are here to support you.