The Upside of Redundancy
If you’ve recently been made redundant, you’re probably experiencing the full gamut of emotions - everything from anger and depression to relief and hope. Research reveals following an initial shock, people eventually acknowledge substantial upsides to redundancy. “It was the best thing that ever happened to me,” is a common reaction to someone who survived a redundancy.
If you’re looking for the silver lining on the redundancy cloud, this article will help you see the positives of your cashed-up and temporary unemployment.
In Australia, severance payouts are generally equivalent to two-to-three weeks’ pay per year of service at the company. Your payout may also include unused annual leave. If you’ve been a long-term employee, this severance amount can be a substantial financial windfall.
It is best to spend as little of your payout as possible until you begin earning new income. Whether you find a new job, or start a new business, you will need money to fund your lifestyle in the meantime.
If you’re lucky enough to receive an especially large sum of money, give careful consideration to how you spend it. Don’t be tempted to buy on impulse. Instead, place the payout into a high interest savings account until you have decided how to use the money. Make wise decisions now to reap the financial benefits of your redundancy for years to come.
Time to Refocus
For many people, redundancy is like a forced holiday. In fact, it may be the first time in years you’ve taken a break from work. Depending on the size of your payout, you should have at least enough money to maintain your current lifestyle for a few weeks. Careful budgeting and cutting down on unnecessary expenditure will extend your available time.
Embrace your newfound, albeit temporary, freedom with purpose. Use the time wisely to refocus and reassess your life goals. Depending on your goals, your payout and your available time, you may decide to pursue a career change. Consider the opportunities below.
Ask yourself how you’d like to change your work life. Would you like to work fewer hours, change your career, earn more money or seek a promotion? Redundancy is the perfect time to improve your circumstance. If you’re ready for a change, give some thought to the following ideas.
- Career Change – Career guidance professionals can help you identify your personal strengths and workplace skills. You’ll soon discover you have many transferable skills suited to a variety of industries. Redundancy is the perfect time to embark on an exciting career in a totally new industry.
- Become Your Own Boss – Perhaps you’ve always wanted to be your own boss. With time on your hands and cash to invest, redundancy gives you the chance to start your own business. You can start small by accepting work as a contractor or freelancer. Remember to honour any non-compete clause you may have signed in your employment contract. After that, make the most of your career contacts and loyal followers to build your new business.
- Re-skill, Re-Train – Employers often provide financial support for re-training as part of the severance package. Alternatively, you can fund training courses with your redundancy payout. Think about upgrading your skills, or re-training in an entirely new field of expertise. Check out our section on Up-Skilling, Retraining and Personal Development for more information on how to accomplish this.
- Total Life Change – No longer tied to a job, redundancy not only offers you a chance to change employers, it gives you the opportunity to relocate. If you’ve been thinking of moving interstate or living overseas, redundancy provides the perfect opportunity to do so.
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As you can see, there are significant upsides to redundancy. Give yourself time to mourn the initial job loss, but don’t dwell too long. No doubt you will initially feel shock, sadness, confusion, doubt and other negative feelings. The key to moving forward is to remain proactive in planning your new career. See your redundancy in a positive light. Instead of watching television, feeling depressed and asking “why me?”, focus your thoughts on the future. Spend your days either job hunting, or pursuing the opportunities listed in this article.
Visit our Careers Advice section for related articles.