Many people feel sad, embarrassed or angry about being made redundant. As a result, they do not feel comfortable sharing the news with others – and, more importantly, that they are looking for a new position. There’s also the matter of what to say if you’re asked in a job interview why you left your previous role. What are the best ways of telling people about your redundancy?
There is no shame in being made redundant – it is just one of the downsides of business. But for many people, telling people about your redundancy is the worst bit about losing your job.
Remember though, most of us have been out of work at some time or other, or know people who have been.
Let your network know you’re looking
When you’re looking for a new job, you should get in touch with former colleagues and contacts to let them know about your circumstances. By not sharing the information that you are available and looking for work with others you may miss out on the potential job leads that your network of friends and associates could bring to you.
Consider sending your network an email along the lines of:
“I wanted to let you know that I was made redundant from XXX last week, so please remove my work email and phone numbers from your contact lists and use this number XXX and email instead. I’m looking for a new role in the areas of (list career areas). If you hear of any opportunities that might suit me, please let me know.”
Leave the baggage behind
At some point in a job interview, you will likely be asked why you are looking for a new position. There is nothing wrong with saying you were made redundant from your last job.
If you still feel angry or bitter towards your former employer, it can be hard to talk about why you left. However an interview situation is not the time or place to air your feelings.
It is better to have reached an acceptance of the facts before this point and to have developed some form of ‘script’. Vent your anger with family and close friends once or twice and then move on. If you’re finding this difficult, please have a chat with your GP.
Keep it factual about your redundancy
The best way to tell an interviewer your reason for looking is to keep it as factual and ‘business-like’ as possible.
If you are still feeling emotional about your redundancy, take the opportunity before the interview to write a draft of what you want to say. Practise delivering your script with somebody you trust to give you honest feedback. If you are receiving outplacement services, ask your consultant or career coach to provide you with frank feedback and advice on how you could improve your script or delivery.
Telling people about your redundancy: an example
A typical script might read something like this:
“My position was recently made redundant. The company made five redundancies, including my role, in my business unit at the same time and had made 14 redundancies six months earlier. Although I was not happy about losing my job, I can understand that it was ultimately a business decision my former employer had to make.”
You could then add:
“During my time between jobs I have developed my professional skills by attending XYZ relevant training course.”