Article by Ceri Wheeldon
I meet many individuals who, as soon as they are made redundant, rush to put together a CV and send to as many potential employers as possible.
There are so many things you need to do BEFORE you do this.
First of all there are some practical considerations. As an employee, you may well have taken advantage of an employee benefits package which has included life insurance and health cover (amongst other benefits). How long (if at all) will these benefits continue once you have left employment? Which do you wish to continue to fund privately – is it possible to arrange cover with the same providers to ensure continuity? These are issues that need to be addressed before leaving.
Before rushing into looking for another role, take this opportunity to take time out and gain a better understanding of where you are at in your life, and your goals moving forward.
Understand Your Finances
Understanding your finances in detail will help you guage your needs and options moving forward. When working full time we get so caught up in our daily routine that we can easily lose track of what we are actually spending on a monthly basis. This is an excellent time to get up to date pension valuations (including tracking down old pension pots) and review exactly where you stand. Look to the future and determine the when you want to retire, and the kind of retirement you envisage having. Are you on track to achieve this? There is an excellent finance module (which can be bought separately) as part of the Mid-Life MOT programme that will help you that will help you assess your current financial status and your future requirements.
Having reviewed your finances, does this shape your thoughts on your career options moving forward? Do you still wish/need to work full time? Do you want to explore a portfolio career? Set up a business? Work on a flexible basis?
Understand Your Skills
Do you understand your skillset, and which of your skills and aspects of your knowledge are relevant in today’s market? Before pulling together your CV you need to do this background work and look to address any gaps before applying for roles. Again, there is a careers module withing the Mid-Life MOT programme which will help you to work through this. Understanding your marketability will help you to fine-tune your job search – and provide you with the content you need when putting together your CV for specific roles. Tailor your CV and covering letter for each and every role you apply for. You need to maximise your chance of success at each and every stage. Only having a generic CV can be a recipe for disaster when looking for a new job. I have lost track of the number of people I have met who have sent out hundreds of identical CVs and complained of not being successful in their job search (and blaming their age) . Putting in the time to put an individualised quality document tailored to each vacancy can increase your chances of success.
I have many articles within the careers section of this site with job search tips, and tips for putting together a CV- and there are many more to come, but cover the basics in this article first.
Being made redundant can be an opportunity to take a fresh look at your priorities and goals. Be confident. Yes, there is a perception that those over 50 are discriminated against when looking for new roles, but you can use your age and experience to your advantage if you approach your job search in the right way. Many employers are now becoming more aware of the benefits of hiring ‘older’ workers as they recognise the opportunities the longevity economy can bring.
Being clear in terms of what you can offer an employer before putting together your CV and applying for a role is imperative if you want your job search post redundancy to be successful.