No Job? Redundancy? A Personal Story Of What Not To Do.

Have You Been Made Redundant? Lost your job? This is My Story:

I’ve seen a lot of posts recently about redundancy. About how people are feeling and what they should do next. In a previous life way before I became a recruitment consultant – I was working in a Media organisation and lost my job!

I hope that my own experience and insights might give any of you in this situation some solace and some notion that it WILL BE ALRIGHT!

I was somewhat younger than I am now but I have NEVER forgotten how I felt, what I did and the mistakes that I made. To say that I lost my confidence would be an understatement. It absolutely destroyed me! I was young and, in my mind, invincible and absolutely BRILLIANT (in my own opinion) at the role!! So how could this happen? What was it about me (and 3 others I might add) that led to this?!

I mean how could they get rid of SUCH an indispensable member of staff?! Why me? Why not Janet from Accounts or Cliff from IT? Well – this is an easy one! IT WAS A BUSINESS DECISION! It had NOTHING to do with me, nothing to with my skills or ability to do the job. The ROLE had been made redundant, not me as a person. This is so important to realise – it is not you, you are just as employable as you were before. The business has made a decision that THE ROLE cannot be substantiated and so the decision has been made to make THE ROLE redundant. In all honesty – It took me years to actually realise that and come to terms with it.

I realise now – with several years of hindsight – that work categorically defined who I was. Without the job – who on earth was I? Maybe that very question led me to feel so panicked and lost?! Before a husband and children – as a young person intent on having a great time with their friends, there was not much else in my mind that defined who I was. But, again with hindsight there was a lot about me that defined who I was and work was just one part of that and when I got a new role that would add to who I was – it would not COMPLETE who I was. I think a number of people do this – allow work to become such a huge part of their life that it becomes all consuming – keep perspective on this if you can.

The feelings I had after ‘the meeting’ were disbelief, anger, sadness, disappointment and panic! How could this be? What was I going to do? Quick – get a new job!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately for me – I let these feelings completely overtake me!

So, what did I do?! I would call it the headless chicken approach! I contacted and met over 26 recruitment agencies – surely, the more agencies I was listed with – the easier it would be to find a role?! WRONG! I was at that point under the false illusion that recruitment agencies would contact you to let you know about roles that they might have for which I was suited. Some did – but a great many did not. I also thought that they had hundreds of roles all the time that maybe they weren’t telling me about. WRONG! I had no idea how sales driven recruitment was, how jobs needed to be filled quickly, how the recruitment consultants were looking for their next roles all of the time! I was also under the illusion that the recruitment consultants would act as my advocate, helping to sell me into the client as a strong contender for the role. WRONG! I was often sent in with several other candidates often without any supporting evidence of why I might be the right person for the role.

The agencies I dealt with at THAT time – were not interested in me at all as a candidate. Fortunately – today, there are a lot of agencies that do care.

I’m not trying to turn this post into a massive sales pitch – but at CX Talent Ltd we genuinely care about our candidates. We do proactively contact candidates to let them know about roles we are working on that might suit them. We work really hard as candidate advocates. A great deal of our approach was borne out of the time that I was looking for a role and trying to provide a service that I would have found appealing and helpful as a candidate.

I applied for hundreds of jobs – using the same CV assuming that whoever saw the CV would READ it and automatically see that I had some good transferable skills if they read between the lines. WRONG! Resourcing teams usually only look at CV’s for about 6 seconds. They dont always read between the lines – some do, but most do not! And that’s assuming that my CV even got through the then very basic ATS systems! I used the scattergun approach – what an unbelievable WASTE OF TIME!!! I could have been spending my time being so much more effective!

When I lost my job it was a beautiful spring / summer – very much like it has been to date. But I didn’t go out and enjoy the sun, I didn’t read more books or meet with friends for coffee. I sat at my computer ALL DAY EVERY DAY – thinking that if I didn’t then I was not doing enough to get a job. Shouldn’t getting a job be like having a job – shouldn’t finding a job BE the job?! Well – again, with hindsight I would say no! Because I became OBSESSED with trying to find the next job and allowed the panic to set in and grow so I became desperate. I would go to interviews and almost terrify the interviewer with my keenness and would not necessarily present the redundancy issue as well as I could have. So I would come across frequently as a bit bitter.

I needed to accept and come to terms with what had happened to me. My headless chicken approach clearly delayed the acceptance stage for me. In fact I don’t think I really reached that until I had my next role. It took me about 4 and a half months of utter madness and sadly weight gain – before I got the next role. Thanks to an incredible MD and great senior management team – I rebuilt the confidence in my abilities and stayed for nearly 9 years!

Having this experience has given me a personal insight into what it means for someone to lose their job.

I have been both Hiring Manager, Candidate and now Recruitment Consultant so I have a 360 degree view of job searching. I wish I had had someone to give me a true insight into what it means to look for a role and how recruitment works.

CX Talent Ltd offers a bespoke tailored package for candidates for a fixed fee to help – if that level of support is required. It’s called The Magic Hour – (though its longer than that!). However, here are some tips from me to you – to help harness that panic and use it for positive action.

1.Write a CV that really emphasises your key skills and those skills that are transferable. BE PREPARED TO TAILOR IT EVERY SINGLE TIME!
2.Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and that you have SEO’d it so that people looking for someone like you can easily find you.
3.Do reach out to agencies if you see them advertising roles you might be interested in.
4.Do reach out to agencies who are specialists in your field. Independent Specialists are by far the best!
5.Dont register with 26 agencies – that is completely INSANE!
6.Make a job seeking plan and stick to it!
7.Spend no more than 2 hours a day looking for and applying for jobs – it does not matter whether you are the first or last person to apply for a role.
8.Get in touch with old bosses and your network and let them know you are on the look out for a new role
9.Dont be afraid to proactively get in touch with companies you might like to work for.
10.Keep perspective – there are a lot of people in your shoes at the moment. It will take some time – but you will PREVAIL!

Losing my role – was awful. But it made me the person I am today. I honestly believe it made me better as a person – more empathetic, more resilient. I developed an understanding that NO-ONE is indispensable – EVER! Without meaning to sound like my Mother – it was a very character building time! It’s definitely helped me in my role as Recruitment Consultant.

So PLEASE keep the faith – it will be OK! You will get through this! Be targeted in your job search, tailor your applications and TRY NOT TO PANIC! Good Luck!

If you need any help or advice please contact us at CX Talent Ltd – we will do what we can to help. 01279 550102