Mention the ‘R’ word and the reaction from most people is ‘Game over’ in the current economic climate. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Whilst the thought of redundancy is never pleasant it can be a doorway to the life of self fulfilment that you have always dreamed of and the job that gets your pulse pumping for all the right reasons on Monday mornings.
If you’ve been made redundant and are wondering ‘What next?’ these 5 killer strategies will kick start you and propel you to the next step.
1. Stay Positive
As Shakespeare famously wrote ‘It is neither good nor bad, only thinking makes it so’. Your attitude will affect everything from your mood, your energy levels to the way others perceive you so keep it positive.
Think about where you want to be in life, it’s never too late for a career shift or to strike out on your own as an entrepreneur. Now is the time to grab the bull by the horns and create an opportunity. Don’t think that you are too old, too young, over qualified, under qualified or just too plain tired to make the change. Now is a great time to reflect on your dreams, the things that you have always wanted to do and take action to make them real. No matter where you might find yourself at the present moment it is never too late to take the first step towards who and what you’ve always wanted to be.
Build your network and surround yourself by people who are supportive and positive, this will make a real difference.
2. Know your strengths and play to them.
What are you good at? Chances are the answer is probably what you enjoy doing and the things that you are passionate about. Make a list of all your successes, try to identify a theme, are you good with people? Do numbers get you going? Are you a detail person who loves accuracy? Ask those who know you really well to tell you what they perceive as your strengths and when they have seen you shine at what you do. Sometimes another perspective can highlight something that you’ve missed or focus on something you didn’t realise you were great at. Consider completing an online strengths assessment for example ‘Strengthsfinder’ to see what talents still might be undiscovered. There could be a wealth of strengths that have been laying dormant just waiting for you to find them.
Once you’ve identified your strengths you can start to form your master plan and target roles where you can exploit them.
3. Create a killer CV
Now more than ever there is increasing emphasis on soft skills, for example, enthusiasm, ability to communicate and emotional intelligence. Amongst the core characteristics that employers look for are motivation and flexibility, alongside willingness to work, to learn, appearance, behaviour, confidence, positive gestures and mannerisms (Bunt, 2005). The trick is to convince your potential employer at the application stage by conveying these key characteristics in your CV, covering letter or application before it hits the recycling bin. But how can you do that?
Use the findings of this research to your advantage by being specific about what you will bring to the role in your application, CV and covering letter. One obvious, but often overlooked strategy is to avoid a ‘one size fits all’ template approach to your applications. Imagine sifting through hundreds of standard application forms or CVs, those that really stand out are the ones that match exactly what the organisation is looking for, applicants who have considered what the job entails, the key qualities needed to fulfil the role and how their own skills complement what the organisation requires. CVs aren’t a numbers game, churning out a hundred identical applications and firing them off in the hope that one will stick doesn’t work in the current economic climate. Employers need you to tell them why they should hire you….so let’s get started.
4. Establish a game plan
Focus your efforts. You’re positive, you know your strengths and you’ve re-worked you CV to perfection. Now you need a plan to land yourself the career of your dreams. Set yourself goals, chunking them down into daily steps that you will take towards your new life. Who do you need to speak to? How will you update yourself on industry trends? Where will you find networking events that get you out there tracking down the jobs that don’t get advertised?
Write your goals down into monthly, weekly and daily targets. Use the SMART model, be specific, make your goals measurable, achievable, realistic and time framed.
5. Brand you
Now you’re completely ready to re-launch the fabulous brand of ‘You’. How could any employer say no? Consider how you present yourself to the world. How do you talk about yourself and your accomplishments? Ditch the ‘Aw shucks, it was nothing’ approach and think about how you can create a 60 second ‘elevator pitch’ to let people know who you are, your values, what’s important to you and the achievements you’re proud of. This will also save you from being tongue tied the next time someone asks ‘What do you do?’ You’ll have the answer ready to wow them with.
Now you’re ready to go out there and grab the dream career that you’ve always wanted. Use these killer strategies to keep you motivated and ahead of the game in your search for the next step.