With the recent news that over 200 jobs are to be cut by US firm Caterpillar in Northern Ireland, it’s hardly surprising that many of us are thinking where and who is next!

Jobs are becoming a rare and precious commodity and not to be taken for granted.  Yes, we all moan and gripe about our place of employment but after hearing this news, you are bound to be feeling thankful and at the same time somewhat concerned.

So if you’re worried about your job security, then it’s vital that you start to think about what would happen if you were made redundant tomorrow.

Here are our 10 Tips to help you prepare for the worst.

1. GET ORGANISED

Take action as soon as you know your job may be on the line, don’t just hope for the best.  The minute you get a feeling that redundancy is imminent, draw up an action plan and move into action mode as soon as possible. 

Redundancy is a shock and you will no doubt go through a grieving and anger process but don’t get stuck there.  Pre planning will help you to move quickly.

2. LOOK AT YOUR CURRENT FINANCES

Look at your outgoings, check where savings could be made and implement them.  Do you really need SKY and Netflix? Is your energy or mobile bill too expensive every month? Consider contacting your provider and asking for a better deal.

If you owe money on credit cards and loans it is important you work out a debt repayment plan to clear these debts as quickly as possible, and make sure you avoid getting into any more unnecessary debt.

If you haven’t already got income protection or accident, sickness and unemployment (ASU) insurance you may want to consider taking a policy out. However make sure to check the terms and conditions as these types of insurance often have a long list of exclusions. Make sure redundancy is covered and check how long the policy needs to be active before they pay out.

3. SAVE

Once you have your current financial affairs in order, it is best to sit down and plan for the future. Evaluate what income you will have going forward. Will you be entitled to a redundancy payment? How long can you realistically make this stretch?

Use a budget planner and calculate what your planned incomings and outgoings will be.  If you do enough preparation for the future and what is potentially to come, you will be much more able and ready to cope when it does.

4. KNOW YOUR REDUNDANCY RIGHTS

Have your package checked by a professional before you agree to it. Some companies will pay for a solicitor to do this. If you can’t afford it, Citizens Advice will do it free of charge. If you are in a union, then go to your union representative for a check.

Make sure your employer is meeting the state requirements. The amount you get depends on how much you earn, your age and how long you have been employed.

Remember to check how much holiday you have left, and find out if you can be paid for the remaining days or if you need to use it before you leave.

Further help can be found here

GOV.UK

NI DIRECT

Citizens Information

5. SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP

If you are unsure about your situation, feel you have been unfairly treated or are facing problems related to redundancy then you should seek professional advice. If you are a member of a Trade Union then contact your Trade Union Representative or the local Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help. If you have legal issues then you should consult an Employment Lawyer.

6. RESEARCH BENEFITS

It’s hard to see the wood for the trees when you are in the middle of a situation, so do your homework before hand.  Check into what benefits you could be entitled to, you may be eligible for state support such as jobseeker’s allowance and housing benefit.

It’s important to note that many state benefits are means tested so how much redundancy pay you receive could have an impact.

For more information on what benefits you can claim have a look on the websites provided by

NI Direct.Gov

Citizens Information.ie

7. UPDATE YOUR CV

Updating your CV often takes much longer than you think so it is important you do not wait until you have been made redundant before you start thinking about it.

Keep it succinct, no more than two sides, and really sell yourself. If you don’t no-one else will.  An important thing to remember when writing your CV, is to craft it carefully to the job you are applying for.

8. GET NETWORKING

It might seem tempting to stop contacting friends and former colleagues and bury your head in the sand, but it is better if you can keep your networks going to help you find a new job faster.  Get yourself out there, make as many connections as you can and make sure everyone knows that you are good at what you do and that they know the face behind the name.

If you aren’t already on LinkedIn, get on it.  Ensure that your profile is up to date and is ‘selling’ you in the best light possible.  LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network that enables you to connect, find and be found.  It can power your career and enable you to learn and share the latest news, inspiration, and insights you need to be great at what you do.

Don’t leave it until you have been made redundant to start making connections.  Being proactive and making connections could open all sorts of new doors for you.

9. MAKE YOURSELF MORE EMPLOYABLE

Given how competitive the job market can be, it’s important that you do whatever you can to make yourself more attractive to employers.

Up your game, and grab every opportunity that comes your way. It may be worth volunteering for extra duties and more responsibility.

Put yourself forward for breakfast meetings, business lunches and industry seminars.  Ensure you meet as many people in your industry as possible as any contacts you make could prove very useful in the future.

10. STAY POSITIVE

When it happens, redundancy is unavoidable – you are not leaving by choice or for any other reason than your post no longer being required. So, although it may be difficult, it is important to make the best of the situation, and look at other possibilities it might present for other activities, new employment, re-training or perhaps a complete new start.

Do not take it personally, stay positive. Use this time to think carefully about your career. Is this really what you want to do for living? If not this may be the time to embark on a career change or retrain in a different profession.

If and when redundancy strikes, use these tips to give yourself a head start!

 



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