The reality is that many more employees will experience redundancy at some stage in their working career in the current fluid job market. It does not have to be a monumental global catastrophe such as the credit crunch. It can be a local event where cheaper imported products have created competition that cannot be matched, making the organisation no longer sustainable.
Employer relocation or technical skills becoming redundant are frequent causes for employers having to ‘let you go’. It may happen at a critical stage when your salary is supporting a family and a large mortgage and therefore, with such dependencies, unemployment can directly affect all family members. Taking the children to and from school and shopping during the day may be new experiences, but ones you would happily swap for that full-time role and an annual income.
The job market is pyramidal in relation to salary and expertise. As you grow in salary and experience, the opportunities become fewer. Graduates leaving universities will have many more opportunities than CEOs on a multimillion package. Whatever your age or experience, the reactions will always be individual. Loss of status and purpose can lead to negativity and vulnerability or, to others, a ‘happy release’ and looking forward to a more exciting opportunity.
There is a very positive tendency in today’s market for mature candidates to undertake consultancy roles. This gives them the opportunity to capitalise on their operational experience, which they can apply to managing new projects with similar commercial objectives within disparate organisations.
Redundancy will have very different implications to different employees. You may be working for a large employer, have accrued a very favourable redundancy package and look forward to the opportunity to put your name forward for voluntary redundancy. Perhaps you have worked for the organisation for too many years and this presents the ideal chance to fund an early retirement.