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Taking control of redundancy

 In this week’s guest blog, we are delighted to hear from Rob Moore who is the Managing Director of The Career Management Organisation. At The Career Management Organisation, Rob works as part of a dedicated team to help both individuals and employers to overcome challenges and fulfil potential by providing tailored Career Coaching, Personal Development Coaching, and Outplacement services.  To find out if TCMO can help you or your company, please follow this link to their website:

Rob has lots of experience helping people through redundancy, and assisting them to prepare for change with confidence. We hope you shall find his blog on this subject useful, and feel free to contact Rob at if you have any questions.

For those of us who have faced the prospect of redundancy, there’s little comfort to be had from the fact it’s much more common today than it once was. We can worry a little less about the stigma, we can take heart from the fact it’s unlikely to hold you back from what’s next. But that doesn’t make the idea of being forced out of your job any less unpleasant.

Thankfully, there is an answer to that sinking feeling: taking control. Your employer may be the one starting this process, but you have a say over the outcome. You can either dwell on what’s happened, or you can look forward to what comes next. Here are a few tips to help you come out of redundancy more positively:

Recognise what you can do, and what you can’t

Remember, you’re not being made redundant, your job is. If there are several in the same position, going through some sort of selection process, then you can query that process and ask for decisions to be explained to you. However, it’s worth noting that if your employer’s business is failing, facing closure or going through a dramatic downsizing, then you won’t have a corner to fight for long – there is no policy that can turn the position around, saving your job.

So, what’s left to focus on? For starters, you can still work on getting everything you’re contractually entitled to, from holiday pay and bonuses to the all-important redundancy payment. If there’s the prospect of a settlement agreement, offering terms beyond what’s in your contract, remember to negotiate. You don’t have to accept their first offer – they may be willing to pay a larger settlement, or add in some outplacement support, for example.

Of course, there are those instances when there is a genuine injustice. If you think that your employer isn’t following their own policy, or that they’ve selected people for redundancy on discriminatory grounds, then you need professional advice. (You’re on the right website.)

Keep your cool

It might sound either obvious or needless, but in our experience, it’s neither. Many people become defensive during the process, threatening working relationships they’ve built over years. It’s worth remembering that nobody involved enjoys the process, so there’s nothing to be gained from getting angry at others.

Then again, staying your professional self throughout the redundancy process isn’t just a good idea because it will spare people’s feelings or avoid embarrassing situations. We don’t advise it just because it’s good form to keep a stiff upper lip. It’s simply a sensible plan. Career paths often cross more than once – you may find yourself working with these same people in a different setting somewhere down the line, or even relying on former colleagues or bosses for another job one day.

You might feel annoyed or angry today, but try to focus on tomorrow – and remember that your working relationships should last long after you’ve walked out the door.

Identify your aims and options

It’s perhaps a cliché, but it’s true: redundancy can be an opportunity. You’re being forced into a move, but maybe that’s for the best. So, rather than dwelling on the job you’re leaving behind, look at the possibilities ahead.

First, ask yourself if the path you were on is still open to you – and if that’s where you want to be.

In other words, if you could do exactly the same job but for somebody else, would you? If so, and you simply want a like-for-like replacement, then you probably already know who you want to work for: former competitors or industry partners, etc. Alternatively, would you prefer to stay in the industry you’re in, but work for yourself? If you’re not alone in facing redundancy, perhaps there’s an opportunity to start a new business together?

On the other hand, this could be an opportunity to make a more fundamental change in your career. If you’ve long harboured ambitions of something new, then redundancy could simply represent the time and (settlement) money you need to retrain or start a new venture.

Make a plan

Having a sense of where you want to go is great, but to actually get there, you’ll need a plan. Break it down into steps, and break those steps down into tasks – then do them. Leave room in your schedule for things like job interviews and meetings, but don’t go easy on yourself. Make sure you set a challenging amount of work for each day, whether that’s contacting recruitment agencies or potential employers, networking on social media or in person, or any of the other tasks that will help you swap redundancy for employment.

If you’re going through the consultation period or you’re working out your notice, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. If you’re unsure about negotiating a settlement package or you think that the process hasn’t been conducted in the right way, then speak to a lawyer. And if you need help getting to grips with your future, setting goals and making a plan, that’s what career coaching is all about. Whether you need an advisor to help you navigate the job market, a planner to help you prioritise the tasks ahead or a motivator to get you moving again, a career coach can help you take control of the situation – and help you find the outcome you want.

Rob Moore is the Managing Director of The Career Management Organisation, one of Scotland’s leading Career Coaching and Outplacement providers. If you would like to find out about any of the coaching programmes they offer, whether you’re facing redundancy or you’re looking to make a change in your career, please visit

If you have an HR or employment issue, or would like to find out more about our Holistic HR service, please contact Hannah and Katie on 0845 345 5004 or fill out our online contact form.



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