- February 25, 2011
- Posted by: admin
- Categories: Blog, Human Resource Management, Relationship management, Requirement Analysis, World Economics
Joblessness is a major problem these days. A lot of people today are facing such a situation because of the present state of economic affairs.
This can cause de-motivation and can hurt one’s self esteem if the period of unemployment gets prolonged. Therefore no matter what the condition of the job market is, an individual should always try to search for new opportunities and need to try to extend their professional network as well which can assist a lot in this situation.
Besides, it is often seen that during such a phase, people do get the job offers but at times they tend to ignore it as their current experience, expertise, expected compensation etc do not go along at all with the available opportunity.
My question is, what is the best way of handling redundancy? Moreover, how can people stay positive during such a phase?
Each individual has (or would have) his/her own way of handling redundancy. Being redundant, does not in any way, reduce the knowledge or skill or expertise of the individual. Knowing this is very important. And this knowledge would come from the depth of self confidence the individual has in him or herself.
Understanding that the redundancy is a decision based on business objectives/need and is not a personal victimisation is a good start. The second point, in order to manage redundancy, is to have a strong self-worth and not couple (or tie-in) one’s individual value to that of the job title or position (though most do that).
In terms of staying positive, the period of unemployment can be best utilised to undertake or involve oneself in bringing to fruit one’s own ideas in the professional field. For e.g. if one is a corporate legal adviser or a finance head and has been made redundant, then the individual can start a blog and share, practical and useful knowledge, with other similar professionals. These other professionals he or she can develop relationships with trhough professional social media forums and even take it further by face to face meetings.
In addition, undertaking voluntary work, coaching or teaching (part-time) would all help keep one occupied and upbeat whilst networking and searching for jobs.
I think that these days, it is important to have several interests and competences areas. It gave you more possibilities to get opportunities, and period of joblessness are periods which have to be used to follow some trainings or activities allowing you to empower your skills and competences.
Last year, between 2 assignments, I helped a small non-profit organization in their finance activities, and finally joined the board of directors. It was an unexpected opportunity, but such experience brings me a lot of positive things that could be usefull in my professional activities.
People need to have several interest areas, contributing to maintain a life balance, and particularly in more difficult times.
I would agree with Eric. I think that is key to always being happily employed.
I believe that a range of skills and experience allows you to work within your primary areas of expertise, and at the same time expand that experience.
Last year I worked for five unique companies as an independent consultant where I advised and/or assisted all with Government contract requirements, utilizing my related skills and knowledge, but in five very different capacities:
1) Implemented new accounting system for a mid-size defense contractor
2) Business process analysis for Govt division of a very large organization
3) Advised on DCAA audit requirements for a small defense manufacturer
4) Provided guidance to biotech firm with DOE Gov grant accounting audit
5) Assisted defense subcontractor to start basic accounting system setup
Mine also happened to be in opposite corners of the US (CA, DC, FL) but worked remotely 95% from home and 5% on travel, so flexibility helps too.
I also agree with Eric on the continued education or training between jobs,
or with free hours on work days, you should always be learning something.
I had the opportunity to learn two new accounting software systems and to work in two business industries that were new to me in two different states.
So last year was a great mix of new experience and learning to continue to increase my market value as a consultant or as an employee so every year continues to be better than the year before to keep up with my expectation.
Problems and opportunities!
The instant reaction is to try to get back to work as soon as possible. And this inevitably involves looking in the market sector you’ve just left. But it’s probably over optimistic to assume that the perfect job in the relevant market sector will become available at the arbitrary time at which one has been made redundant. Chasing this rainbow easily and quickly leads to disillusionment and despondency.
A real benefit to being made redundant is that it provides an opportunity to redefine the perfect occupation. You can do anything you want from now on! And that probably hasn’t happened since the end of formal education! Also you may have a little money to tide you through this period.
So my recipe is:
1 – Take time to evaluate what you want. Read ‘What Color is Your Parachute?’
2 – Catch up on all the things you didn’t get time to do when you were working
3 – Build a new ‘work community’ via forums on job boards or here on LinkedIn and spend some time each day keeping your brain in work mode by exchanging ideas on all manner of issues, not just the job hunt
4 – Exercise every day
5 – Don’t spend more than a couple of hours each day on the job hunt. If you can’t find good leads in that time, they’re not there. So do something different instead – like learn a new skill or improve your qualifications.
I’ve been made redundant four times and the next job has NEVER come directly from job applications, but from networking during the time when I wasn’t out making the best of the temporary freedom.
Hope this helps
The best way is to have and to maintain a very clear picture of what ’employment’ means to you.
– What do you derive from your career? Self worth…money….friends… interesting work. You need to be clear on why you work. What do you get from it?
– What do you have to offer? Very objectively, what is your ‘special sauce’? What can you do as well as the next guy? What can you do better? What are you not quite as good at? Having a well grounded understanding of what you can offer and how that distinguishes you in the marketplace is critical. You can not be effective in selling your ‘product’ if you don’t have an accurate view of how it compares!
-You also need to think about your parameters. Are you open to travel? Do you want a predictable schedule? Do you care about benefits, location, etc? I know a woman who is an amazing PR & Marketing talent who routinely turns away assignments because she understands that she in only willing to work part time and within a limited geography—her personal parameters define what work she will do.
If you consider each of these elements routinely (because they do change) you are well positioned to tackle the ‘job market’ at any time, and to find the ‘job’ that is right for you, whether an assignment or a traditional full time placement.
I just found a job after 4 months of looking and I found the key was to be persistent. I got a few rejections along the way but I never gave up. As Andrew suggested, I did balance the job search with the rest of my life. I would give myself a day or two off from time to time and made room for family activities.
People might want to try temporary work (my job is that) as employers seem more willing to hire temps or part-time than permanent full-timers right now. It can be a foot in the door if times get better, and a way to pay the bills now.
It’s always a shock and demoralizing to be let go and to be out of work for any extended length of time, stress is a major factor, loss of income, meaningful work, and self-esteem come into play.
To begin with, you have to handle looking for a job as a job, it takes discipline and routine. Reevaluating your strengths and redoing your resume or perhaps having more than one resume targeted towards different markets or positions should be the first step. You must also be realistic in today’s job market. There are for more qualified candidates than there are job openings, so your resume must brand you well, be well written and be concise and to the point. Don’t oversell yourself. Target positions that are realistic for your skills and background and keep track of every resume you send out and to whom and with the date. Same for every call you make, and if you get a response to any of these, make a note of it with the date and response.
In the meantime, if you need to brush up on skills, take a continuing ed class to bone up. Attend seminars, trade shows, events or meet-ups in your industry or field. Network as much as you can. Research the companies you would like to work for in your area, most companies, especially larger ones, have websites that post their available jobs. Interview several recruiters and sign up with those you resonate with, not all recruiters are equal.
If you’ve ever thought of making a career transition, now is the time to think about that and do your homework to see what it will take to make that switch. What do you bring to the table, what will you have to learn, what level can you come in at, and explore opportunities in that field. Have informational interviews with people already in the field doing the type of work you wish to be doing.
Unless you are very lucky, there’s a good chance you may have to accept a salary cut, it’s a buyer’s market right now. Not ridiculously low, but be flexible if it’s a good opportunity with benefits.
If you have skills that you can freelance or work on a contractual basis, look for clients on your own. Farm yourself out, or sign up with a temp agency.
Pursue that hobby you never had time for before. Take advantage of the time you now. Follow your bliss.
Also stay healthy and active, take regular walks or work out a bit. Keep fit.
Know that it will take longer in this job market than usual, try not to beat yourself up. Take a part-time job with a local business if you can just to keep yourself busy, this is called a bridge job. Something to do while you still look for your real job.
Volunteer. Nothing is more rewarding than giving back and now you have the time to help others.
You will get a job eventually, trust in that, try to stay upbeat and enjoy yourself, positive people are more employable than people who appear depressed or beaten down. I know it’s not easy, but it’s really up to you to take charge of your life. Work with a career coach if you feel stuck to try and change your life. And know that you are not alone. You did nothing wrong, it’s the times and the economy. Don’t become a martyr.
I am concerned how you refer to the cause of the joblessness as a result of the ‘present state of economic affairs’.
That is a misstatement…the current state of economic affairs was preceded by the high loss of jobs and the devaluation of technological and core manufacturing resources by sending our intellectual and industrial properties abroad…
…Subsequently lead to the current state of economic FUBAR…
Staying positive is like trying to be happy…it shouldn’t make a difference if your conditions do not change or elevate.
You must put your emotions aside and use your intelligence and natural instincts of survival.
Connect with your family, friends and networks…push through what is holding you back and create your own standards of sustainability.
It is no longer a reality to try to keep up with the Jones and Patels…it is more substantial to feed your family and not worry about who has the bigger TV or the nicer son in law…
As an employer, you should let go the extra people with dignity.
If you are underemployed, and your company is considering reducing headcount, take severance pay, and join appropriate organization at a suitable position.
If you are competent person, remain in existing position, organization may need you more than before.
Only incompetent and unskilled people will be facing the situation disturbing. But then, this is considered as a warning to such people.