The shifting landscapes of work, especially in the unpredictability marked by recent global events since the pandemic, have seen many professionals faced with the daunting reality of redundancy. While the initial reaction may range from shock to uncertainty, redundancy can unexpectedly serve as a powerful impetus for career reinvention and exploration of new pathways.

My own experience echoes this sentiment – a period of significant life change led to a profound career transition. It’s within these transformative phases that we’re afforded the clarity and opportunity to align our career trajectories more closely with our evolving aspirations and life realities.

 

1. View Redundancy as an Opportunity for Reflection

Redundancy can provide a rare pause in your professional journey—a chance to reflect deeply on what you genuinely want from your career. It’s an invitation to reassess not just your job title or salary expectations but to consider what fulfils you at work, the values you seek in an organisation, the environments in which you thrive, and the balance between life and work that you aim to achieve.

Reflective exercise:

  • What drives you? What kind of work would make you look forward to Mondays?
  • How do your personal values align with potential future workplaces?

 

2. Explore the Hidden Dimensions of the Job Market

A significant portion of job opportunities never make it to public job boards; they exist in what’s known as the hidden job market. Networking, therefore, becomes an essential tool in uncovering these opportunities. Share your evolving career vision openly with your network. Be clear about the kinds of roles, industries, and work cultures you’re interested in exploring.

Action step:

Initiate conversations about your career aspirations with both personal and professional contacts. The more specific you can be, the easier it is for others to offer relevant support or guidance.

3. Dive into Industry Research

Embrace your curiosity and conduct thorough research into industries or roles that pique your interest. This groundwork is essential for making informed decisions about your career pivot. Engage with professionals in these fields, seek informational interviews, and immerse yourself in relevant industry content and events.

Pro tip:

Identify professionals in your target industry and request informational interviews to gather insights and advice.

4. Consider the Role of Further Education or Skills Development

In some cases, transitioning into a new field might require acquiring additional qualifications or skills. This investment in your professional development not only enhances your employability but also demonstrates your commitment to this new path. Assess what skills or credentials are highly valued in your new industry and explore how you can obtain them.

Self-assessment:

What new skills or qualifications would bridge the gap between your current expertise and your desired career path?


The road to a successful career change post-redundancy is both challenging and exhilarating. It demands a proactive mindset, resilience, and openness to new possibilities. Through strategic planning, networking, continuous learning, and a bit of courage, redundancy can mark the beginning of an exciting new chapter in your professional life. Remember, every career journey is unique—embrace this as your opportunity to craft a path that resonates deeply with your personal and professional ambitions.

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