Introducing Yourself After You've Been Made Redundant

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The most recent unemployment statistics, at the time of this writing, suggest an unemployment rate of 8.4%. It’s likely you will know someone who gets laid off or is made redundant. It’s a startling enough figure to make you realize you could be vulnerable.

Redundancy. Being laid off or let go. Being terminated. These are not words anyone wants to hear; however, it is a potential reality you should prepare for. This article will not address strategies for remaining in your current position. It will not address the emotions associated with being made redundant. Instead, this article will be invaluable to the subsequent conversations and job interviews that happen after redundancy.

It’s hard not to take redundancy personally, but unless performance is your issue, then it’s the role itself that is being eliminated, not you. This perspective allows you to recalibrate your impression of redundancy and move on. If you think about the brightest leaders of the most innovative companies in the world, you may be surprised to learn that over 40% of them were made redundant at some point in their careers: Abraham Lincoln, Anna Wintour, Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Belichick, Mark Cuban, Michael Bloomberg, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and many more.

It doesn’t feel good to be made redundant, and your outlook will influence how the world sees you. Start with reframing your personal bias about redundancy. Understand that it’s about a company not being able to support a role. Not surprising, the current global pandemic is driving companies to make difficult decisions about employment. Redundancy is a business decision; a position is being eliminated, not you. If your role is made redundant, take time to grieve and arrive at acceptance quickly thereafter. Acceptance is where you will find your next role. Before you leave, agree with your employer on what the story is, how this will be communicated by each of you.

Let’s talk about how you can introduce yourself, post redundancy. Keep it factual and brief. Remove any emotion. Blame it on Covid-19 and/or other cost cutting measures taken by your company (assuming this is the case). When you share your story, don’t take more than 20 seconds. The more you say, the more diluted your story sounds and that raises suspicion about the circumstances behind your departure.

Acknowledge the redundancy head-on. If you were let go because of a well-publicized downsizing, mention it. If your company merged, mention it. Then, talk about your accomplishments. Speak about your accomplishments with financial metrics that easily illustrate your value to another company. Focus on how you can solve another company’s problems (do your homework so you understand the company’s problems).

Demonstrate how you can contribute meaningfully to their ambitions. Document what you have done, with data: % increase/decrease, improved processes leading to better cash forecasting, optimizing cash and/or generating greater yield. Whatever it is, affix a metric to it. Quantifying your contribution takes the subjectivity out of the equation and makes it easier for prospective employers to understand your value. This also removes any doubt about the circumstances of your redundancy. Don’t forget to practice your introduction with others.

When introducing yourself and telling your story, talk about the future. Leave your old job behind and don’t bad-mouth anyone, ever. As you look forward to your next role, network daily, be proactive. It is also helpful to have a few references in writing that you can share. A reference from your previous employer is an excellent idea.

Show the world you are resilient and that you can drive results; show potential employers the value you can deliver. Make sure your skills are current and matched to the role you are applying for. If you are lacking experience, get some (volunteer to support an organization’s digital ambitions, for example, if you don’t have digital experience). These are not easy times; everyone feels stressed out. Acknowledge that, be authentic as you share your journey.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn - see below for link

  Click the url to go to the external content: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/introducing-yourself-after-youve-been-made-redundant-nicole-meyer/


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