how to turn redundancy into an opportunity to re-energise your career.

Redundancy can understandably feel like a setback. But there are ways to use the pause in your career as a chance to re-energise your professional life.

kick-start your response.

If you suspect you might be facing redundancy, pull yourself off the back foot and get on the offensive. Take action as early as possible and start thinking about what you could or would like to do next before you leave your current position.

take your time.

That said, once you’ve acknowledged there’s an issue to deal with, don’t rush yourself. It’s not hard to find yourself sprinting back into the market, scouting for the kind of jobs you’ve always done, or even the taking the first viable option. Respect the fact that you may want some time and space after saying goodbye to a job you might have wanted to keep.

know your rights.

Find out what you’re entitled to when dealing with redundancy. You may have certain rights when it comes to notice period and pay packets, so check the government’s guide to getting what’s yours.

look after your pennies.

Sort your financial position so that you can use your available time effectively. Creating a budget and contingency plan from the beginning will allow you to explore new opportunities realistically, making exciting prospects practical and sustainable.

consider your network.

Mine your friends, family, ex-colleagues and LinkedIn contacts for information and ideas. Get in touch with people whose careers appeal to you and take them for lunch or a coffee to get the insider scoop on what it feels like to work in their industry. And, when the time is right, use that network to identify vacancies or valuable connections as you begin to search for a new role properly.

carry out a self-assessment.

Use the time you have at your disposal to choose a job and space that suits what you really want. Reflect on your strengths, weaknesses, enthusiasms and interests; set them against any practical constraints or issues like salary or working hours, and explore how you might need to equip yourself to proceed. This includes researching options for training or re-training, and the kind of costs that process might incur.

mark your targets.

Once you’ve thought about who you are and where you want to be, create a targeting plan. For each desirable industry and position, make a list of what’s important to you about that opportunity, and how you’re going to get there. Don’t be afraid to apply for more senior roles, or to make big changes in terms of your career trajectory.

Most importantly of all, stay positive. It’s by no means an easy experience, but there’s plenty to learn from redundancy, and it may just give you the fresh start you’ve been needing.