It is not a nice feeling, being made redundant. Even the word has a very dower meaning. I’ve experienced it before and I’ll no doubt experience it again in my life (probably very soon).
It does not require the use of too much economic analysis to forecast that there is going to be a wave of people being made redundant. The furlough scheme in the UK is a godsend, no doubt, but for many it is merely a delaying tactic. The government have agreed to pick up 80% of your salary whilst the company (see: economy) picks up.
The problem with this, is that the economy picks up a lot slower after a shock like the one we are currently experiencing. It is pretty impossible that every single worker that is currently on furlough has a full time job to go back to. Not when such a variety of industries have experienced 50% or larger reductions in revenue for three successive months.
This is the doom and gloom, but I’m writing to add a bit of context. Here are a few tips for dealing with redundancy and what to do if you are made redundant, if we end up facing it.
Control what you can control
Unfortunately, we cannot control the economy. We cannot control economic demand, nor can we control the thoughts and decisions that are currently underway at the HQ of your company.
What we can control is your response to any outcome. You can control how you respond, how you plan and how you make your next move after hearing the extremely bad news.
Having a thought-out plan is vital. You may be about to find out you have 3/4/5 months of salary in the form of a redundancy package.
Here are a few things I would think about
- Do you want to get straight back into work or do you want some time to think?
- Do you need to get back into work or will the redundancy package help you take this time off?
- Is it time for a career change? Do you have skills or a desire to move into a different sector?
- How about part-time work to take you over and build some savings?
Do your numbers
Probably a precursor to the above. I’m going to go against the FIRE community here and say that I’d assess financial situation second (realistically, in line with) what you want to do. Naturally, if your notice period (which the company legally has to pay you for) is short, for whatever reason, you may need to get into work ASAP.
Otherwise, if you instinctively know that you can wait for the notice period + redundancy package to time out, this is where I’d say your fuller life plan is paramount to finances. Being dictated by finances in a situation like this could launch you into a job you absolutely hate and struggle to get out of.
In line with the top 3- consult your others
It should go without saying, but if you live in a household with your other half + family, it is important you include them in this decision. I personally believe in the ‘household’ income approach rather than two partners’ salaries being separate income streams. Personal opinion. But nevertheless, it is worth consulting them and getting their thoughts on your move and family finances.
Most of all – stay positive
Times ahead are going to be hard. Nobody is TRULY safe. But there is a light and there is also plenty of opportunity if you live in a free (enough) country. You will bounce back, it may take a while or you may land on your feet, but if you stay positive and keep active, we’ll be through the other side soon enough.
Remember that you are not defined by your job. Especially if your greater goal is to achieve financial independence. These are merely the vessels to get us to our goal of financial independence.