As a result of COVID19, many businesses are changing the way they conduct their businesses. While many are changing their business structure, others have considered redundancies in light of the current circumstances. The Federal Treasurer made a statement that the unemployment rate will be expected to increase by 10% by the end of the year.   However, employers have a number of obligations they must fulfill in order to lawfully make an employee redundant according to the Fair Work Act 2009.

Being made redundant can be a very difficult and emotional time for some, especially with the uncertainty of their future job prospects. It is important to note that a genuine redundancy payment will be made once the employee has been made retrenched. Whether you know the news is coming or being made redundant is rather a complete shock to you, the step by step guide below can help you better and well prepare for what the future has in store.  

1.       don’t take it personally

A major part of the redundancy process is trying to understand why you were made redundant in the first place. Due to the coronavirus pandemic which resulted in Australia’s biggest recession since 1991, employers facing financial stress were forced to make the decision of making several employees redundant. Although it is important to remember that employers aren’t making the employee, but their position, redundant. Therefore, when you put things into perspective and understand that the reasons behind what has led to your redundancy will help you realise that it was due to external rather than personal reasons. According to ABC News, CEOs were found to be experiencing anxiety and stress amid the lingering uncertainty of their company’s future and having to announce redundancies to their employees. While it can be extremely stressful, you are definitely not alone.

2.       know your entitlements

Ensure that you are receiving the correct redundancy payment. The amount you receive will vary and depend on your conditions of employment, so it’s best to talk with your employer once the redundancy happens.

If you plan on conducting your own research before approaching your employer, you can use Fair Work’s redundancy calculator to find out what payments you’re entitled to during this period based on your age, duration of work in your current job, length of your notice period, etc.

Doing this first and foremost will help you feel more in control and regain your balance to face the next steps of your career.

3.       manage your money situation

As mentioned previously, facing redundancy can be difficult due to the many changes you’ll have to make to your life, one being your budget on daily living expenses.

The amount of redundancy payment you receive may determine how long you can afford to be out of work. Therefore, it’s important to create a workable budget and figure out if there are any areas you can cut back on in order to tackle any financial responsibilities until you get a new job.

You can create a workable budget by considering where your money goes- perhaps you can switch your mobile or broadband services to a fairly cheaper one, estimate your upcoming bills and perhaps even minimise the amount you spend online shopping. These small changes to your spending may not seem as much initially but will make a big difference to your finances in the long term. Writing these expenses down and forming a budget can easily help you keep accountable of where your money is going, thus managing it.

4.       maintain a positive mindset

What comes next is up to you. Having a positive mindset is key to commencing your next career steps. This won’t only strengthen your resilience and capability to move on, but increase your productivity levels, allowing you to build stronger self-confidence and emitting your best self. Demonstrating your ability to let go of any resentment can bring out your positive attitude and energy which prospective employers may be looking for when hiring.

There are many ways to maintain a positive mindset and overall looking after your mental health and wellbeing. You could consider practicing meditation, staying active, or taking the time to do things you love that helps to relax your mind. It’s important to focus on what makes you feel comfortable and works best for you. This can even involve talking to your loved ones about your current situation when you’re ready, because feeling heard and letting out your worries can help you move on with the process.

5.       reflect on your career goals and figure out the next steps

Facing redundancy can present you with the opportunity to reassess your skills, values, career goals and how you manage your work/life balance. This can determine whether you decide to start forge a new career path or retrain your skills in working towards the same goals. Whatever it may be, you can consider talking with someone in setting out your goals and recognising your progression. For example, a personal development or career coach can help in many ways, from providing professional advice to helping you identify any obstacles or gaps in your applications and therefore improving the quality of your CVs.

If you’re someone who is considering approaching a new career path in life, networking is the way to go. It will be very beneficial to expand your network and contacts on LinkedIn or other social media pages. That way, you’re not only putting yourself out there in sharing your industry knowledge, expertise and talents, but you may also start to get noticed by others and even notice other potential employers and work cultures that may align with your personal values and path.

However, when setting realistic parameters and opening yourself up to a wide range of opportunities in the job market, be sure to factor in areas that may affect your well-being. For example, you might’ve found a well-paying role that aligns with your goals and passions, but will its geographical location and your commute become an additional stress in the long term? Or will this job be challenging and provide you with the career progression opportunities you hoped for to improve as a person?