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The first days of redundancy can be tough, whether it was a surprise or you have known it’s been coming for some time. But there are steps that may help you find a new job or start your search for a new career.
In a sign of Australia’s changing employment landscape and transitioning economy, 268,000 workers reported being retrenched from their last job in the 12 months to February 2018.¹
An analysis of the data² shows that men were more likely than women to be retrenched, with 19% of men and 13% of women job leavers during the time period reporting they ceased employment due to retrenchment. And retrenchment was among the top two reasons job leavers in all age groups over 45 gave for ceasing their last job. It was the second main reason behind only their own ill health or injury.
Redundancy may have implications for your financial security, even your personal identity and relationships. There are, however, practical steps that can be taken very early in a redundancy to help you stay in control and prepare for your next career move.
ASIC’s MoneySmart website³ explains redundancy occurs when an employer terminates a worker’s employment because the employer decides the job is no longer needed, or the employer becomes insolvent or bankrupt.
Ensure you understand the nature of the separation from your employer and wherever possible to get it in writing. When you receive your redundancy package, your employer should write to you to explain your entitlements.
Get a clear idea how the redundancy will roll out for you including an understanding of:
what payments you will receive
what happens to your super
where you can get support.
When you leave your workplace, you no longer have access to workplace systems. So ensure you have any copies of documents you may need such as pay slips, group certificates, company policies or employment policies, leave entitlements and your employment contract. Having all of your workplace and financial information is critical to good decision making.
Work tools may sometimes end up storing more than strictly work information. Ensure any personal numbers saved in your work mobile phone or information stored on a work computer, such as emails from your children’s school, are taken with you. Think through the loss of access to your information before you leave your workplace.
It may be worth taking some notes for yourself on projects that you worked on, initiatives that you implemented, or company results that you contributed to. As you deal with the impact of your redundancy, you may not have clear recollections of all the work you did and you won’t have access to your former workplace diary or emails to refer to. This information will be helpful when you are looking for work through your networks or job applications.
Following redundancy, you may wish to take some time to work out your next steps, whether it’s finding another similar job or making a career change.
While you are working on your next steps, the Australian Government4 provides services for people experiencing redundancy including:
A Financial Information Service
A free, confidential financial information service that can inform and educate on financial matters.
Social work services
For counselling, support and information.
Claiming unpaid entitlements
If your employer went bankrupt or into liquidation, you may find out how to claim some of your unpaid entitlements.
Accessing financial relief from loan payments
Your bank or financial institution may offer temporary help with your loan. If they don't agree to a reasonable request, you can ask to have the decision reviewed through the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
Finding payments and support that is available while you look for work.
If you are ready to dive back into the job market, be prepared to network and reach out to the contacts you have made through your career.
Also start searching in different places for advertised jobs, as the way vacancies are advertised is changing.5
• 55% through recruitment website and job boards
• 13% through social media
• 32% by word of mouth
Around 20% weren’t advertised at all.
Source: Australian Government, Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2018 Survey of Employers’ Recruitment Experiences.
Finding a new job market may not have been your plan at this stage of your working life, but there are some job preparation tips to help you get noticed. The Australian Government’s What’sNext website6 suggests tips for job seekers include:
Matching your qualities with job ads
Updating and improving your résumé
Improving your cover letter
Choosing the right referees
Tapping into the hidden job market by networking
Getting yourself interview-ready.
Sometimes, redundancy can be a positive that may lead to a career change. Taking the time to decide what you really want to do may allow you to be open to new opportunities.
You may be surprised how many opportunities there are to gain new skills, learn from other people and grow in confidence.
And you have the knowledge that there is no longer such a thing as ‘a job for life’.
Planning your best future means being invested in outcomes today. Wherever you work, QSuper works too. Keep the feeling that comes with being part of Australia’s most recommended superannuation brand.7
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1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, February 2018, Participation, Job Search and Mobility Australia, accessed 16 February 2019 at http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/6226.0Main%20Features1February%202018?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=6226.0&issue=February%202018&num=&view=
2. Vandenbroek, P, 26 October 2017, The main reasons people left or lost a job, Parliament of Australia, accessed 30 May 2019 at https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/FlagPost/2017/October/2017-job-leavers
3. ASIC, MoneySmart, Losing your Job, accessed 16 February 2019 at https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/life-events-and-you/life-events/losing-your-job
4. Australian Government, Department of Human Services, January 2019, Retrenched or made redundant, accessed 30 May 2019 at https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/subjects/retrenched-or-made-redundant
5. Australian Government, Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2018 Survey of Employers’ Recruitment Experiences, accessed 30 May 2019 at http://lmip.gov.au/default.aspx?LMIP/GainInsights/EmployersRecruitmentInsights
6. Australian Government, What’s Next, Help to find a job, accessed 30 May 2019 at https://whatsnext.employment.gov.au/get-your-next-job
7. Source: Engaged Strategy September 2018 Superannuation Consumer Loyalty and Recommendation Study. Survey of more than 1700 Australians, using the Net Promoter Score framework, in conjunction with customer experience, loyalty and brand metrics. More information and methodology available www.engagedstrategy.com.au
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