The lock down diaries, Work

Made COVID Redundant!

One in four employers expect to make redundancies as a result of coronavirus,  poll finds

Hello fellow readers, I thought I would share a written piece that the majority of the British population can relate to. Firstly, many apologies for missing a week out of my blog by not posting anymore entries, as you can appreciate when you read further on, you’ll see I have been very busy.

So to fill you guys in on the latest info, last week I was made redundant from my job as a secondary assistant manager working for an independent pub company. I was placed on/ off furlough throughout the COVID experience, which I will be honest was starting to create uncertainty for my future within the pub company. Everyday I was going into work wondering what was going on, but then eventually I had the strength to ask, and thought, if it involves me then I am entitled to know, as I had a gut feeling from how things were going they were putting future plans together for the next phase of reopening. I sent a polite email after phoning ACAS for advice on what to do and how to approach the matter, I stated my concerns and what I had observed and asked where does my future stand. My business owner sent me an email stating that they had been through the books, and my role now ceases to exist due to cutting costs and they now only need two managers; they reasoned that due to being the last manager to be hired the secondary assistant manager role ceases to exist, however they tried to include me into still working their as hourly paid staff, to which I politely explained and declined that I needed a salary to keep myself and my flat afloat, but I shall take redundancy.

Steeles Law Solicitors | Norwich, Norfolk Redundancy, Lay-Off, Short-Time  Working and Covid-19
Redundant!

Don’t Panic!

I would be lying right now if I said, I was chilled and happy after receiving such news. I didn’t cry I just silently panicked for the first hour. The thoughts going round in my head. Did I do something wrong?! Why me?! (Even though I new the answers to these questions they still went round in my brain.) That night I sat down and spoke with my partner and tried to sensibly discuss our options. I had some furlough to buy me some time, I can use this an opportunity to go back to live closer to family; I can go on holiday for a couple of weeks to chill out; I can re-assess options for retraining or how to economise a bit more and save money.

Firstly after reflecting on the negatives, I focussed on the positives, I can use this opportunity to turn over a new leaf, reinvent myself, make new friends and see what opportunities are out there. I also called ACAS to see what I can do and my entitlements regarding what pay I should receive. So I spent 2 hours the following day, working out how I am going to overcome this somewhat crisis. I was in a fortunate position that previously, two years ago I had been made redundant from a city centre pub, so I knew how to handle it better this time.


I worked out and calculated with worse case tax and NI contributions worse scenario, how much money I should receive roughly on my final pay date, to budget accordingly. But the one thing I thought about, after I spoke to Tonic Talent Recruitment Agency and told them my situation asking them for help, they were really supportive on the phone and I remember Conrad, a young gentleman I had known for years from networking hospitality management events, Conrad sympathised and assured me as best as they can they would help me, however there is not a lot of work about, but also assured me I was not alone in this current situation.

You’re Not Alone!

After coming off the phone to Conrad, his words sunk in and made me feel better, not about the fact that they didn’t have much at this present time, but what he said regarding the fact that “I am not alone in this situation!” This put me at peace, because I know there have been family members and friends and former colleagues of mine throughout the years I knew were also in the same boat as me and I hope they found as well as I did some comfort.

My best friend, who I will protect her real name, but for now I’ll refer to her as Rebecca; she worked for an independent travel company as a strong member of the marketing team and one of the longest lasting of her team, but she was also made redundant recently, and even stated the other day, usually in the past when she has applied for jobs, she has been inundated and headhunted within seconds; baring in mind she is very skilled and talented and experienced in her area, but she has also struggled and only managed to speak to one or two people in her field that are looking at hiring. But don’t be downhearted is my advice, and I know it’s hard not to, don’t let this ruin your confidence, as confidence pays off when interviewing for your potential new role. Also what helped me was to remember, you can be perfectly able to perform a job, but recruiters I have found and from my experience in management from recruiting and interviewing is that, other applicants could have better access to the venue than you; the applicants that were more successful maybe came across more confident than you or worse case scenario fabricated on their experience; Applicants may just have one key ingredient that recruiters are specifically looking for, for example, they might have already worked using the same app that the business already uses, and that requires less training; the applicant might be a certain age or have government guidelines that they can only have universal credit applicants. During this time the job market has been more competitive than ever, and each job or company in the main have had different rules and guidelines given to them by the government. I have been there in the past and recently, where I have applied for jobs and interviewed and I know I match the requirements and have experience to perform the job really well, but then I have faced rejection. So it can happen to anyone.

Finding The Perfect job

Factors to consider when applying for your role, and a way of moving forward in your next chapter is to consider your strengths and weaknesses. Carefully evaluate the job description and see if it is a job you’re experienced/ qualified to do, remember you don’t want to waste yours or the recruiters time and trip yourself up.

Be as honest as you can with the recruiter, tell them your strengths and feed off your experience and past contributions. For example, from being in catering management, I have been acting as a mental health representative for staff members suffering from mental illness or problems, but I have also conducted disciplinaries, I have also excelled in recruitment and the HR side of things so I have expressed my interest and explained that I am more of a people’s manager. Remember everyone is different and has things they excel at and in a team, they might want someone with your strengths to compensate for another team member who has strengths in another field.

One important rule, I know after being made redundant I had my time where I had a self pitying hour or two where I felt negative and didn’t even want to leave the house and not get out of my pyjamas some days; but then I thought I can either carry on like this and act on, or see this as an opportunity to start over and pick myself back up again. I knew the job I wanted after been made redundant and I put on my smartest outfit, dressing in a pencil skirt, blue blouse and high heels (I find heels add that bit of confidence, as I am rather short) if you dress and put a lot of work into your appearance for the job you really want, you can give off a good impression alone, as recruiters can see after your job loss, you’re making the effort and don’t look downtrodden. Dressing to impress can help confidence, self esteem, and also can show a recruiter a good first impression by showing them that you’ve made an effort.

Managing Your Time During Redundancy

How I managed my time during redundancy, I explored hobbies that I couldn’t do due to my previous work schedule, and took the time to basically not punish myself, but thought I really enjoy Human Resources so I started up a home learning course to build on my knowledge of this subject, and thought this could lead to my dream job being in Human Resources for a pub company or a theatre.

I spent two hours a day researching and applying for jobs that would suit myself and my experience.

One thing is give yourself a break! Don’t spend all day home learning or looking for a job, dedicate times and draw up a schedule of when you’re going to do your housework, job searching, and always schedule unwind time!

Interview Tips And How To Land The Job You Want

How Today's Tech Will Shape Tomorrow's Job Interview | TechCrunch
Redundancy and Reviewing your next move
  1. I revamped my CV, I got a relative and a friend to view it and help edit it, I emphasised on my experience and also transferable skills, i.e. recruiting when looking for a particular kind of role. Two/ three pairs of eyes are better than one. Tried to use a varied vocabulary as well in your CV this could emphasise your professionalism and your written communication skills, however do not use big words for sake of it and out of context, as it can be seen as trying to hard, but also can portray pretentiousness.
  2. Dress for the job you want, as I explained earlier dressed to impress. Embrace that confidence.
  3. I went onto YouTube and typed in job interview tips, a lot of these videos are very short but explain these tips and how and why they work.
  4. When applying for a job, make sure if it is on Indeed you add a covering letter instead of just submitting your CV, as it show that you have made an effort and gone that extra mile to state and outline your reasons for applying, it also gives you that connection to an employer as you have started written contact with them.
  5. When preparing for an interview always proof read the job description and see what language the recruiter uses, and the skills they are looking for, so that you know in your head roughly what kind of questions and experiences you’ll be asked about and to see if the job is right for you.
  6. I found performing role play interview scenarios, which I did with my friend and partner, where they play the role of the recruiter and ask you possible questions the recruiter could ask you, then you get your practise in and also get honest feedback. Practise interview questions you can find on the internet.
  7. Prepare for your interview the night before, I pick out my outfit and a back up outfit in case of wardrobe mishaps the day before, I also plan my route, put on some meditation and set my alarm.
  8. Get in touch with recruitment agencies as well as applying for jobs, as they can help you with your CV and also find a job that you would like and that would match your skills and expectations.

Thank you to all my readers for your readership, I hope this offers some help and form of comfort, and remember you’re not alone, we are living in strange times, but it won’t be like this forever, The UK has overcome a recession before and it will again.

Anyone who has or known someone that has been made redundant, please don’t hesitate to share any tips or experiences on how you dealt with this and what your plans are. For advice on being made redundant for advice regarding pay/ rights as employee, https://www.acas.org.uk/ or you can speak to someone from ACAS by calling this number Helpline 0300 123 1100 they are open for chats Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm. I found this very useful.

For now I bid thee adieu

Ellie xx

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