Ruth's Two Cents: Dealing With Being Made Redundant

As a seasoned money adventurer and financial blogger with the gift of the gab, who better to ask for money advice than Ruth The Happy Saver? Read the guidance she shares with our blog readers and beyond. No agony aunts here, just Ruth’s two cents.

Hi Ruth,

As you’ll no doubt have read, tech companies are taking a big hit at the moment and are experiencing mass layoffs. Unfortunately, I am one of the many who have been affected by this — my role will be made redundant in three months’ time. What can I do at this time to safeguard my finances should I remain unemployed for an extended period of time?

I’m sorry this happened to you, but I feel optimistic about your choices. Time to shake off the gloom that your position has been disestablished and turn the page to start planning the next chapter.

The first standout to me is that you have time, three whole months, to make a plan. You should use every minute of the 90 days you have been given before the income stops.

The second thing that has occurred to me is that you will likely receive some form of redundancy payment relative to your time with your company. So, alongside your final pay cheque, where you will receive all of your outstanding annual leave entitlements and any unpaid bonuses, you will also potentially receive a lump sum payment. Perfect.

You now have both time and money.

Things are looking up, don’t you think?

Become your own biggest advocate

For the next 90 days, you have two full-time jobs. The first is finishing up with your company and exiting with your head held high, completing every task asked of you to the highest professional standard. The second is as head of your new marketing team, which has just one client: YOU. 

As others panic and run for the exits, rushing to abandon a sinking ship, you will put on your life jacket and keep a level head. You will be hitting the job market with thousands of others, so you better believe that being head of marketing is a very serious job.

Now is the time to:

  • Gather the details of every person who will speak well of you to any future employer. 
  • Create a comprehensive list of every skill, qualification, and experience you have under your belt from this job and your life.
  • Brush up on your networking skills so that the word is out that you are looking for your next role. Talk to as many people as you can.
  • Sign up for every job agency or website that you can find.

Your goal is to cast your net wide and find out two things:

  1. What wide array of career opportunities are available to you.
  2. What do you really want to do?

Temporarily reposition your finances

You are in your strongest position to follow your heart into a new, perhaps different, role and negotiate strongly if you don’t reek of financial desperation.

So the day they gave you notice should be the day that you took the deepest look at your finances that you ever have. You ask how to safeguard your finances, and my advice would be to slash all unnecessary spending. You can spend money on necessities: Food, accommodation, utilities and transportation, but other than that, for this short period and until your situation stabilizes, you need to be strict with yourself.

Because keeping the money you already had, plus the final payment from your job, in your bank account, will be the difference between ‘having’ to take a position and ‘wanting’ to take a position. Creating the biggest financial buffer possible will give you choices.

Do the hard work before you take a rest

As your final day at work draws near, if even after your intensive search, you are still looking for a new position, now is not the time to give yourself the luxury of a break from work. If you try to take a holiday now, you won’t enjoy it because knowing you are jobless will hang over you like a dark, ominous cloud. Instead, get out of the house and find a job — any job — that will cover the necessities mentioned above. As long as you have income covering those things, your financial position and cash buffer will remain stable. This will make you feel calm and in control.

Keep your foot on the gas of your job hunt, and when you land your ideal job, which you will, that is when you take a break from work — a short holiday to replenish your depleted energy levels. This is your time to relax after an intense yet short season of your life. You will enjoy it so much more knowing that you did everything you could, under your own steam, to transition from one role to another. Relax and take a short holiday knowing that one door closes and you have just opened the next one.

I’m excited and optimistic for you! Go well.

Got a burning money question for Ruth? Send them through to [email protected]!

Ruth blogs at all about how she and her family handle money. What’s the secret? Spend less than you earn, invest the difference, avoid debt and budget each dollar that flows through your hands. She firmly believes that if you can just get the basics right, life becomes easier from there on in.

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