| James Innes

Being made redundant

Redundancy is undeniably a traumatic experience, but it is important to remember that being made redundant is no reflection on one's personal ability to perform a job. Redundancy arises when a position, not a person, becomes untenable - primarily for economic reasons - and it is becoming increasingly frequent across various industry sectors as efforts are made to 'downsize'. Research indicates that the manufacturing industry is generally the worst affected, with as many as three times more redundancies than industries such as telecommunications.

A background to redundancy

Employers downsize or 'reduce their headcount' for various reasons, including mergers/takeovers, increased operating costs, loss of business, new management, new technologies and reduced profit. There are two main types of redundancy - 'compulsory', whereby the specific positions simply cease to exist, and 'voluntary', where employees are given a choice whether or not to take redundancy, although they are not obliged to accept.

Despite knowing that redundancy is very much a commonplace occurrence, it does not make it any easier to cope with and it can instil feelings of inadequacy, rejection, loss and humiliation. It can also leave you feeling vulnerable and fearful for your future security. However, there is no longer any stigma attached to being made redundant and it should not be spoken about with any sense of shame.

Employers are obliged to follow certain guidelines in the event of redundancies being made, including giving advanced warning, utilising objective selection criteria, offering alternative employment within the company where possible, assisting with job hunting and offering an appropriate redundancy package. The Internet offers a wealth of information and advice on redundancy and, if you are in any doubt as to the legitimacy of your redundancy, there are numerous websites with downloadable forms to enable you to pursue your concerns through legal channels.

The way forward

It is important to use your new-found freedom productively and not to allow yourself to become idle or complacent. Although it is the ideal chance to spend more time with the children, or improve your golf handicap, it should also be seen as an opportunity to reinvigorate your career, to achieve greater job satisfaction, increased remuneration or indeed to undertake further training.

Your CV is a vital first step and naturally we would strongly recommend that you have it professionally prepared by The CV Centre UK. You should also register with local recruitment agencies and maintain regular contact with them to ensure they fully understand your career objectives. The more information you provide them with, the greater the chance they have of finding an appropriate position for you. Be as proactive as possible in your job hunting - your ideal job will not come and present itself to you - you have to get out there and find it!


When you are made redundant, it is often very easy to lose control of your finances. You should never assume that you will be able to walk straight into a new job no matter how skilled or qualified you may be. Any redundancy package that you receive, and any savings that you may need to rely on, should be budgeted carefully to ensure that you have enough money to survive the full duration of your redundancy - however long this may be. It might also be worthwhile investigating your eligibility for Jobseekers Allowance or other similar benefits.

The Future

Finally, just remember that every redundancy cloud has a silver lining. Try to manage the situation to your advantage. Many people find redundancy to be an important - and positive - turning point in their lives, giving them the opportunity to reassess their goals and consequently achieve them.

Have your career documents written by the professionals!
Order Now