Feb. 12, 2024

Redundancy: A Pep Talk and Practical Tips

In this week’s episode, I share practical tips for anyone who has been made. I discuss the emotional impact of redundancy and the importance of taking care of one's mental health.

You will get my advice on assessing finances, updating resumes and LinkedIn profiles, networking actively, reassessing career paths, applying to jobs strategically, and prioritising emotional resilience.

I'm not a career or recruitment specialist. This insight is based on over 10 years of journeying with clients through this transition period.

Remember, redundancy is not a personal failure. It's a result of external factors beyond your control.

Links I mention in the episode:
Adam Karpiak: https://www.linkedin.com/in/akarpiak/
Headshot generator: https://www.aragon.ai

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Big shout out to my podcast magician, Marc at iRonickMedia for making this real.

Thanks for listening!

Catherine Stagg-Macey:

You will find your next job via your network. I'm almost certain about that. And so way to hiring managers and recruiters come to look to see your shop in inverted commas, it's your LinkedIn profile. Of course, tailor your resume to specific job applications and your shop window, the LinkedIn profile needs to look great. And if you're like any of my clients, you've completely know that wonder it's dusty. On a date, you don't have photograph, because you didn't need it for five, even 10 years, I get it. Now's the time to sort that out. So feel free to have a look at mine stalk me on LinkedIn if you aren't already connected. Hello, and welcome back to unset at work, I'm your host, Katherine stagnancy. I'm an executive team coach, with a bunch of corporate experience and 12 years of coaching. And I like to talk about conversations and things, we don't talk about work. And one of those is the topic of redundancy. So I find myself in this peculiar position of having five clients that are working with him being made redundant. And in the 12 years, I've been coaching, I've never had that many clients be in that position at the same time. And so I think it's a real measure of the market and the difficult decisions that companies are having to make. And so if this, if you've had the misfortune of being made redundant, first of all, I'm sorry, then this episode is for you. It's about pep talk, and part practical things that you can do. And if you've know someone who's been made redundant want to share this episode with them. Because it's a very lonely place to find yourself. So let's start. Let's start with a pep talk. And the thing that I want you to hear is that being made redundant is not your fault. And why do I say that I've been through several economic damn spins in my own corporate career. And also with coaching clients. I've had the privilege in those times to have some insight into the decisions that are made around who's on the redundancy list or not. I've never had to make those decisions. But I've been in the rooms or hurdled happen in the rooms where those decisions are made. And, you know, I can tell you this, that who's on that list is usually it's just a spreadsheet exercise. To reduce overheads. I've worked with clients who've had to make a list, usually from from raw up above. And the way the odor comes down is, is very, it's a very blunt instrument, it's easy, like, take 10 people out of your team, or take 10% out of your salary budget, there is never, in my experience, I've never heard of a conversation about the impact of taking out staff or you know, we need to downsize. But we need to look at what capability is in the organization, and therefore what people will need in that reimagined organization. It's never like that it just really is a spreadsheet. So it's a very blunt instrument. And I think if the organization is in that situation, again, based on the perspective that I've seen, I think there's something about, you know, who who is the leadership team that got the organization to this purchase this situation, because there will be other organizations who are not having to make their decision who are navigating it a different way. So it's, I think, tough economic circumstances really expose the quality of the senior leadership team. But that is a conversation for another time. But my point here is that there you know, if you run redundancy, there are forces bigger than you that have no consideration for your skills, your situation, your commitments, your value, or your contribution to the world I can feels personal I know it does. And it's not personal. And both can be true at the same time. So let's get on to the practical side of this episode, I want to give you seven tips to work through if you find yourself in the city position of being made redundant number one, and it's not going to surprise you, given what I do. And if you're a regular listener on this podcast, number one, number one is feel your feelings. You're going to ride this whole wave of, of shock of anger of sadness, and that's okay, like losing a job is one of those traumatic life experiences. It's a huge adjustment to make. I see clients wanting to jump straight into the super pragmatic place in the hours and the days after getting news like this. I understand the need for that I understand the need for certainty, you're wanting to put some certainty back into life. And I want you to allow yourself to feel how you're feeling and talk to others being made redundant. There's nothing to be ashamed of. And if you ignore your feelings, they're going to come back and bite you. So I had one client who was quite flat and his processing very focused on you know, it is what it is I'll just find another job. And I was a little concerned about how unemotional how and unpainted he seemed to be at the time, that about three months later, he really connected to his anger at the unfairness of it all. And it took him out at his knees and his sense of betrayal that he fell by the company he had given five years of his life to And yeah, he felt very strongly about the whole thing. And he had to work through that those feelings in order to really let go in order to refocus his energy on finding and finding a job. So your feelings have a place in this process and Don't bottle them up. So number two, expect you've already done this, but it is assess your finances. So you determine how long can you answer that a salary and you look at things savings, redundancy, pay any unemployment benefits that you may be eligible for. And creating that budget in this time is really crucial to to giving you some certainty. And there's a huge link between money and mental health. When I see clients having worked through a budget, even if this tells a story that you don't want, they find a lot more peace, because they have some sense of the certainty and the reality of what they're having to live with. And let's be honest, most of us haven't really worked through a budget for some time, you know, we are operating out of habits in how we spend our money and where we spend our money. So so number two, assess your finances. Number three, update your shop window. So what I mean by that it's your resume and your LinkedIn profile, you will find your next job via your network. I am almost certain about that. And so where to hiring managers and recruiters come to look to see your shop in inverted commas. It's your LinkedIn profile. Of course, tailor your resume to specific job applications and your shop window, the LinkedIn profile needs to look great. And if you're like any of my clients, you would completely no that wonder it's dusty. On a date, you don't have a photograph, because you didn't need it for five, even 10 years I get it. Now's the time to sort that out. So feel free to have a look at mine stalk me on LinkedIn if you aren't already connected. If you want to have a look at our complete profile, and I want to point your attention to a few things you should focus on in your LinkedIn profile. So firstly, have a good corporate headshot. If you don't have something like that available, no problem, you can use a an AI tool to generate this from a standard picture, you have a client of mine shared with me, the tool that he used, and that tool is in the show notes. It was amazing. It's a you know, you could have a standard picture of yourself and walk on the weekend. And it'll take that and put you in a suit or puts you in sort of casual Friday, whatever it is. So it's a very cheap, I think it's about $5 or five years, very cheap way to get yourself a corporate headshot and make your LinkedIn profile of professional. The second thing I want to point to you on your LinkedIn profile is update everything your experiences, your contact information, any certifications that you've got, in this last role, put everything in there, then spend some time crafting the copy, there's a part of LinkedIn that says about me place. And I know a lot of us feel very squeamish and weird about a frame that use chatty beauty of words or things, not your thing. Just use it as a basic like give me a draft copy. There's lots of ways you can look at this on LinkedIn, lots of ways of pointing into your LinkedIn profile, getting it to create a summary, putting a certain tone, putting your tone of voice on it to make sure it sounds like you use the tools, you have to make this easy for yourself. And finally, and this is a big one is curate your feed. So LinkedIn is a social platform. And you're going to be seeing in your feed, essentially your current network, which might be little updates, you might be following people that are posting things that you're not interested in. So your task then is to find people and topics that are valuable to you. So who's names in your industry or or hashtags that people are posting about? Follow them and get to see the right kind of information and people and things that are related to your role in your LinkedIn feed. It's a fairly useful source of insight and your funds to review. I didn't take LinkedIn seriously until about two years ago. And my feed at that point was just yawn inducing the imploring and couldn't make it through like a single page without rolling my eyes at somebody sort of self promoting posts, you know, oh, I've been to a conference and had so much fun at the insurance Network Conference in Greeley, do I need to see that? Loving the tech conference come here such desk number nine had felt like it's all good socializing as a teenager. And then a colleague of mine suggested I get much more intentional about who I followed. And so I unfollowed a lot of people and I started following other people. And for me, I was following people around talking about copywriting and personal branding and leadership. So those are sort of my interest areas at the time. And then of course, the algorithm kicks up and suggests other people. And so today, my feet is way more interesting, and therefore more likely that I'll show up and looked at LinkedIn and I found podcast guests on LinkedIn. I have new clients and new colleagues with a strategy and also years ago, when I was running a consulting, I had folk by headhunting, them myself and LinkedIn, who didn't have a recruitment budget, so there was no way to do it. So this to say I I think LinkedIn is underrated and I've been in that camp but underrated. But in your in this process of redundancy, LinkedIn is going to be your friend. So that brings us to number four, we're doing the LinkedIn activity. Because number four, I want you to network activity. So I'm normally met with squirmish iros. This one too, right? When I say network activity, I'm talking about getting contact with former colleagues of mentors, with industry contacts, and let them know you're looking for new opportunities. As I said earlier, networking is probably the way you're going to find the job, not through jobs that you've seen advertised on LinkedIn. The advice that I give to clients and how to do this is find 10 colleagues in the category of ex boss, teammate, mentor, industry colleague, whatever they are, reach out to them and ask them for a 20 minute chat about the state of play in your sector. People love talking about themselves, and how they see the world. Right. So this is what this is what networking is, it's about being in conversation with other people on topics that you both mutually find interesting. In those conversations, you can ask things like, who's hiring, like, what are the most exciting opportunities in the next few years in our sector, at the end of the call, ask them if there is any way in which you can help them because networking is about reciprocity, after all, kind of mine who's a real real introvert and is looking for another job, implemented this approach. And she was really dreading making these conversations, reaching out to people it's going to be what she doesn't know is, is incredibly anxiety inducing and awkward for her. And in her email back to me when she done this, she said, The call went really well. And she learned a whole lot. And she was actually really excited and really enjoyed it all. So I think having the structure about what you're going to talk about, we'll help you get through any anxiety that you might feel about what they're thinking or what the value of this is. So at number five, reassess your career, I don't want this to be a, it's time to see the silver lining kind of point, right? I don't want to sideline just how hard or painful being made redundant is thinking about redundancy, the user sense of agency, like the thing happens to you and gets really painful. But at some point in this journey, it's worth asking yourself, like, are you on the career path that you want to be on? And if the answer is a hell yes, then crack on. Gotcha, go for it. But if it's a no or, um, I don't know, then perhaps it is time to start thinking about what next. And so I would quite strongly suggest that you don't do that without a job that you go and get a similar role, put less attached less meaning to what the next role is. And then in the safety of that role, just embark on some sort of personal discovery journey from that place. I've done this, I've taken on a role that did not align my fire, but but I knew that I could do it on my sleeve, I felt safety because the because the salary was coming in. And I could spend a reasonable amount of my time and my attention, just exploring new opportunities, knowing that I wasn't on some burning platform and had to get out of this place as soon as I could. So yeah, just a question for you, you know, is this an opportunity to consider what you're doing? And if it should be something else? So number six of my suggestions here of tips is to apply to jobs strategically. And it sounds like a no brainer when you say it that way. But you are going to get the job based on who you know, rather than applying for 100 adverts on LinkedIn. And this is sort of based on what I've seen my clients do you in their mid to senior level people in no in organizations. So if it makes you feel good, go ahead and apply that to the jobs that you see on LinkedIn. Absolutely. I'm not stopping you doing that. But I want you to have a multi prong approach. So there is that you're applying to jobs as you see them. But the first prong, I would say is find the top 10 recruiters in your sector and connect with them, reach out to them see what's going on. Recruiters are hired by companies, not by you, coming into the one to two paying so you know, you can have a degree of skepticism and yeah, but you know, recruiters are part of the ecosystem, and you never know what you might find out. The second prong to apply for jobs cheekily is, when you see a company hiring, see if you're connected to the hiring manager, and connect to them, and reach out to them directly. And then the third prong and one of the best LinkedIn hacks I've seen is how you search for the role employees of the company that's hiring, my often post about the role of LinkedIn just as a normal post and you find those posts by searching in LinkedIn for your role plus hiring. So maybe you're a financial manager. So you'd search for financial manager, plus hiring in the search box and LinkedIn and that's going to give you everyone who every employee has posted that job role, and it's a much more personal way into the application process and make me give you this But to do things that you otherwise not seeing on LinkedIn. The final point here, which again, won't surprise you, if you're listening to the podcast is number seven, take care of your mental health. When I had six months, between jobs, some years ago, I was so incredibly stressed. And nothing wanted me out more than Well, meaning friends and family saying, Oh, how wonderful, you've got time off, like, you have to be absolutely kidding me, looking for a job is the job, it's the day job. And if you're not careful, its consumes you know, 4050 hours in the week, it's very consuming. And it feels very personal, and therefore more draining because you're selling yourself. And that's, it's a vulnerable place to be in for an extended period of time. So it's an IX, stressful and emotional experience. And it's really important to take care of your mental health, you're also not going to have Office to go into so all that structure that you have, or you had in your day, even if you were just tired working, going in some of the time, that structure feels very strange to not have at all. So put the structure back into your week. So create the structure for yourself. What I've seen work very well for clients is they block off time for themselves. Because if you don't do that you're ending you're going to do eight hours a day sitting and staring at LinkedIn, waiting for the phone to ring. So block off time for yourself. So maybe it's a long walk every Wednesday afternoon. Maybe you join a local meetup group in your local town, something that gets you out of your house and connecting with other humans that it's an important aspect here. Is there a hobby that you've always wanted to be you never had time like start that hobby block little blocks of time off for you to do that? This is not you slacking off. This is you protecting your mental health. So you could continue to show up now. And when you do this, you'll find yourself having more energy and more capacity to do the job hunting job that you that you have that's consuming most of your week. Those are my seven tips for redundancy, my friend, and I'm going to say it again. And I want you to hear that. So pause what you're doing so you can really hear what I'm saying to you that redundancy is not a personal thing. Yeah. If you take nothing else from this being made redundant is a result of forces that are bigger than you and not a reflection of who you are and the gifts that you have to offer the world. So I'm wishing you the very best for this journey. You will come out the other side. You got this and until next time. This is your wing woman signing off.