Redundancy: Why it is the making of you

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Two audiences for this post 1/ those of you, who like me, have experienced the abject horror and humiliation of redundancy, please take heart. And 2/ marketing professionals still in a job who may be able to help.

Yup, that powerful human feeling of rejection kicks in and makes you feel pretty worthless. Especially if you’ve had to go through somesort of formal scoring process. In many cases, decisions have been made before that point whether you like it or not, remember it is a business and not a personal decision.

In these cost sensitive times, companies are downsizing and candidates for redundancy are being selected on wide criteria: you may be the biggest earner, be part of the biggest team and/or unfortunately work on an unprofitable or no longer unrequired piece of business that the company wishes to outsource or do away with.

But, this is your time, your big break, your time to really think about what you want to do with your life.

OK, time, and a requirement to pay the bills are right at the forefront of your mind. So consider the following approaches to help cut the clutter and focus.

1. Landing a job

– If you need to work, utilise all the online job boards, spend a day refreshing your CV, upload it and make it searchable, getting it front of recruiters. Sign up for job alerts direct to your email address – note 98% of them will be tenuous to say the least. I’m a marketer so in the early days, I used Monster, Totaljobs, Trovit, Guardian, Brand Republic and The CIM’s Marketer site.

– Going direct – most companies (or in my case agencies) are not advertising right now for fairly obvious reasons. But it’s already better than it was in the summer. Recruitment agencies typically charge 15-20% of the first year salary as a commission for the candidate introduction, so it gets quite expensive for the recruiting company. Create a powerful email that gets your value across in 2-3 lines. Talk achievements, campaigns and budgets.

– Applications – Make each application unique, link your experience to the requirements of the role. Pay attention to the little things like the document title (Name>Role>reference) so it looks tailored. Follow up within 24 hours on an appliction to ‘check receipt’ and to gauge if you stand a chance.

– Management – keep a log in Word/Excel of live applications, contact, role and a status update on last contact and when to contact next. All companies whether they are advertising or not are being inundated and are not contacting applicants who don’t make the grade.

– Get networking – post your profile on Linkedin, join groups of relevance and respond and set up posts. Start a Twitter account, join Facebook. Put yourself out there. 

– Start a blog – are you passionate about what you do or an expert in something? Start a blog – I did. promote it on all your social networks (see point 5). Add it to your email footer and your CV. But keep it up -even if you only add something every few days. It shows you are committed.

2. Doing your own thing (part time or full time)

– If you have more time to pursue your dream, work every day to get a step closer to it. It may be you start up on the side of a day job or go head long into it. There are lots of resources out there to help, ranging from entrepreneur networks (www.ecademy.com), startup networks (www.startups.co.uk) to BusinessLink (www.businesslink.gov.uk) and referral networks like BRE and NRG and others.

And with open source software, free hosting packages, cheap rents and cheap staff (!), its no surprise that so many businesses launch and thrive in recession.

To those marketing professionals still gainfully employed, seek out the experts that are available to you NOW and utilise them before they 1/ get snapped up or 2/ become too busy to help you.

Hope this post helps.

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2 responses to “Redundancy: Why it is the making of you

  1. Hi Rene!

    Great post! In the absence of my own blog, I hope you don’t mind me commenting on yours 🙂

    I chose the latter option in May. Having been made redundant twice in my career, I decided enough-was-enough, it was time to control my own destiny.

    It wasn’t a tough decision but I can’t say I thought it all through properly – and in honesty, there are parts of my own marketing strategy that I’m still thinking through – and bits of the execution that need in time to be revised!! However, I must be something right as after some incredably long days during the Summer months, I’m now starting to reap the rewards and am working with a number of small businesses across various sectors.

    And I’m loving every minute of it! I stepped onto an almost vertical learning curve and have met some wonderfully supportive people along the way. I have not once regretted this decision.

    So my advice to fellow marketers considering their options after redundancy or struggling to find another role is take control! The future doesn’t have to involve working for other people, and even if you try it and find it’s not for you, the experience will be invaluable and look great on your CV.

    Good luck!

    Katrina

  2. Hey mate,

    I found you after a quick trawl of “das interweb” as your email address just bounced back to me.

    One other option that is popular is going onto the interim market. I’ve got 4 of them covering vacancies that, due to budget constraints, I can’t fill permanently but apprently it is ok to spoend upwards of £600 per day on the same calibre of people but from a different paybill budget line. Go figure!

    If there’s anything I can do to help you out, let me know, OK?

    I’ll drop you a line soonest.

    Be well,

    Keith

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