A Redundancy Action Plan
Last updated: 08/02/2007 11:32:02
The Motor Industry is a constantly changing place. With takeovers, mergers and restructuring, not to say the cyclical nature of the market, there will always be redundancy.
Whilst this is good news for recruiters, a strong pool of job seekers with the right experience and instantly available, it nearly always comes as a surprise to the employee and its effect can be devastating.

If it happens to you it will often undermine your very way of life and will certainly lead to a revaluation of your career and what you require from your next position.

Donít Panic - Formulate a clear plan of action

The key to surviving relatively unscathed and to finding the right opportunity is to have a clear plan of action. Your job now becomes simple - ensure that this is carried through absolutely to the letter.

This plan should do a minimum of four things. It should allow you

- to come to terms with your predicament
- to decide on your strengths and weaknesses
- to identify the direction your wish your career to head in
- to decide at what stage the plan changes in case it is not working.
Come to terms with it

Before you even begin to look for a new job, however, it is essential you come to terms with your situation. Redundancy is a very emotional experience for many people and if this conveys itself to employers it may cost you an opportunity.

For many there will be resentment and bitterness, for others the realisation that they are not indispensable will come as a shock and for yet others there will be the shame of having to face family and friends.

It may not be always possible, but in most cases I recommend that a short time away in a different environment with the family will always help. It need only be a weekend and can even be at friends or relations, but it gives you time to analyse your situation in a more objective light.

Above all come to terms with the fact that redundancy is rarely personal - it is not a decision taken about you but an economic reality, costs are higher than income and savings have to be made.

Console yourself with two thoughts - the person who gave you the axe may be next in line him or herself, and secondly without cuts there may not have been a company to work for in a few months time.

In an ever changing landscape, this is an all too common phenomenon and there are many in the same boat as you. The good news is that the very same restructuring is creating plenty of opportunities elsewhere. Donít panic.

There is no shame attached to redundancy and above all, once you have found your next position it is unlikely to damage your career. It happens, it is a fact of life and very often says little more about you than you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Should you take action?

Very often the temptation is to take legal action to protect yourself or to gain compensation. Of course where there has been clear wrong doing the matter must be pursued through the courts, but there are many borderline cases.

If you wish to do so then think carefully - remember it is in a solicitor's interest to help you take legal action, but is it in yours? Finding a job currently is time consuming and if anything taking legal action is even more so. Combining the two is very difficult.

Ask yourself what you will gain Ė rewards are getting bigger, but only in exceptional cases Ė is yours exceptional?

If it is compensation you are seeking, then it may take six months for an award of say £5,000. Would you work for £10,000 a year?

If it is revenge then I hate to disappoint you but many senior managers enjoy a legal battle and even if you win, it will have little effect on than, they will put it down to experience. So think carefully about it, only you can decide on how effective it will be, but be aware of the pitfalls.

Start Planning

When, and only when, you have come to terms with the fact that you need a new job is the time to start planning.

The first essential is a new CV. Do not be tempted to add a sheet to an old one - it shows a total lack of commitment to solving one of the most important problems in your life - prepare a new one. If you are unsure how to do so click here

You need spread your search as widely as possible because only that way will you give yourself the choice necessary, or will you be able to measure each job against others you have seen. To do this you cannot be over selective, but you cannot waste time on lost causes.

A test that I suggest is "If I was still looking in 3 months time, would this job interest me?" If the answer is yes, then you must follow it up, that may just be the situation and you will regret not following it now. If the answer is no, then leave it alone, your energy can best be employed somewhere else.

What about the money?

Do not be over ambitious on salary, work out how much you need to earn rather than what you want to earn. You may well end up at the latter figure but using the former will open up more possibilities. Salary is not the only criteria in choosing a job, let's face it you have just lost yours, presumably because your salary was just what they wanted to save.

The level of responsibility is difficult often to advise upon. It will depend on how financially pressed you are, but initially concentrate on positions at the same level as you are used to. When money begins to run out then obviously priorities switch from building a career to paying the bills in the short term.

It is important to decide in advance at what stage this will be, otherwise panic tends to set in. In this trade there is nearly always something that you can do, be it trading cars, working part time on the tools, helping companies out with their stock checks or temporary accounting.


Finally one area that I have not mentioned is agencies. Because of the volume of applications they receive they cannot help everyone, but what they do have is experience of the market.

In approaching an agency what you ought to be seeking is an honest assessment of your experience and your chances of finding the right position through them. Each have many of the same clients but also a number of areas of specialisation. Agencies are a useful extra tool in your search, but they are not the only answer.

It is not easy

Finding your way back into employment is not always easy.

Market yourself sensibly and carefully, however, and you are likely to be rewarded. Above all do not be unrealistic in your expectations and if you realise that the hardest you will have ever worked in your life will be in finding your next job, then you will not be starting from a bad base.
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