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Coping with redundancy and landing that new job

Being made redundant can cause a cycle of emotions much like a grieving process. Feelings of shock, denial, anger, resentment and, finally, acceptance are all perfectly natural. Try to remember that it's the position that has been made redundant and not you personally.

People who are out of work may also experience stress, and feelings of sadness and isolation. It's a time when it may be difficult to get motivated and even the usual day-to-day challenges and activities may seem overwhelming.

Enlist the support of friends and family during this time and try to talk about your feelings. If you can't talk to them, then think about talking to a professional.

Take control where you can and keep reminding yourself that you can't always change the world around you, but you can change your reaction to it. Focusing on the negatives, predicting the worst and blaming yourself or others can all take their toll, so give yourself a break. Try to think about positive future possibilities.

Also, look after yourself. Eating well and participating in some form of exercise even if it's a quick walk each day can get your body's defences working and help bring stress levels down. Take time to do things you enjoy.

Give yourself things to look forward as it can help provide you with a sense of perspective. They don't have to be expensive activities as your budget may be a concern, but you could meet a friend for coffee or invite someone over to watch a movie.

It's important to try and stay positive and maintain your self-esteem during this time because you will be interviewing and having to sell yourself to prospective employers. Remember that the employer is looking for a specific set of skills as outlined in the job description and in this economy where so many people are searching for jobs employers can afford to be pickier in choosing candidates that fulfill every skill requirement.

If you don't have a specific skill that's required for a job, do you have a similar skill that could easily translate? Also, what expertise do you have that will set you apart from other applicants? Know your strengths and weaknesses before the interview and have examples of each ready.

In addition to your professional qualifications, employers are looking for a certain personality that will mesh well with others in the company. While it's important during an interview to be enthusiastic about the position, it's also important to be yourself.

You need to feel comfortable about the environment in which you work, so really ask yourself if you think you're a fit.

Make sure to do your research on the company. Visit the website, read the annual report and search online for any news coverage about the company. This will also help you determine if the company seems like a place you would enjoy working.

Finally, remember that when you're not working, looking for a job is your job. Approach your search as you would any other professional endeavour and never give up hope. The hard work you put in to finding your next job will pay off eventually.

Britt Reiss is president of The James Partnership, established in 1991, a professional service firm specialising in C-Suite Executive Search and Immigration Processing for all levels of professional positions. She can be contacted at britt[AT] or visit the website,

Never give up: When you lose your job, your job becomes looking for a new job

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Published March 15, 2011 at 10:00 am (Updated March 14, 2011 at 7:30 pm)

Coping with redundancy and landing that new job

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