How to turn Redundancy into an Amazing Career Opportunity

Lynn a former customer of mine and an incredible academic and lecturer. We share Lynn’s success story and here is how to turn redundancy into an amazing career opportunity. She greatly enjoys her job and like many others in her sector, never thought she would be put at risk of redundancy.

Following a particularly poor few years of student recruitment, many in her department were given notices of potential redundancy, including her. She felt like she had been kicked in the stomach. Particularly given the large role she had played in developing the programmes in the department and in terms of the contributions she had made.

Amazing Career Opportunity

How to turn redundancy into an amazing career opportunity is not all about hard work. Like all of us, she made the error of thinking that the hard work she had put in over the years would leave her at a lower risk of job loss than others.

In the initial meeting I had with Lynn, we discussed the various roles and tasks she had undertaken over the years. I helped her turn these into a skills map that would allow her to see how her work in higher education had led her to develop a range of skills that were transferable to other settings.

This was quite a revelation to Lynn as she had never thought of the breadth and depth of skills and knowledge that her work had allowed her to develop, let alone how they could be used in other industries. I also helped her to see that this was not personal. Rather, it was happening to others in her workplace and also in the sector.

Brainstormed a range of ideas

In the second session, we brainstormed a range of ideas. From this I gave her tips on how to use her network and research skills to identify options and job roles that she had not thought of before. She commented on how valuable the sessions were in providing new perspectives and ideas. Also in developing her confidence to move forward-which indeed she did, getting a very senior position with a higher education think tank before her three final months of work were up.

Lynn is back in academia now and has recently completed her PhD. She speaks of the role she had with the think tank as one of the best and most exciting experiences. To this, she has ever had and credits her redundancy for this amazing career opportunity.

When she was once again made redundant from this role (funding for the organisation was severely curtailed leading to the loss of 60% of the staff) she was in a stronger position. Both skill and confidence wise – to find another and better job at a University once again.