Career advice

From negative to positive: turn redundancy into an opportunity

Being made redundant can feel like a crushing blow, but it might just be the springboard to better things

Being made redundant can feel like a crushing blow, but it might just be the springboard to better things

We probably all know someone who has been made redundant from their job. It could even have happened to you.

If so, you will know first-hand how upsetting and dispiriting it can be. Someone telling you that the experience will only make you stronger probably won’t help, but it is more than likely the truth.

Picture credit: Alamy

‘The hardest thing to remember in these sorts of situations is to focus on the bigger picture,’ says Simon Hudson, a director at recruiters Hays Healthcare.

‘Losing your job leaves you with a clean slate to start again, and can present you with opportunities that you may not have otherwise had or considered.’

So what next? Although you will probably want to start searching for a new job immediately, you should take some time to evaluate which elements of your job you did or did not enjoy, suggests Nick Simpson, chief executive of specialist healthcare recruiter MSI Group.

Dos and don'ts

  • Stay positive – do things you enjoy and try not to panic
  • Ensure you use your time effectively if working a notice period
  • Update your CV and add any new skills or experience
  • Spend all of your time searching for a new role
  • Jump into a new job without careful consideration
  • Publicly express negative opinions about your previous employer

Source: MSI Group chief executive Nick Simpson


‘Work out if you want to apply for the same role, or if your experience and abilities are better suited to a different position – or if you want to work the same hours as your previous job. Also, nurses work in incredibly stressful and fast-paced environments, so make sure you take time to relax and recuperate. This could also be a great opportunity to gain further CPD training.’

It goes without saying that this is the time to get your CV in tip-top condition. And then get it out there. Look around at the possible opportunities, which may even mean considering jobs outside your local area, even outside the UK.

‘Job fairs are a useful way of seeing the positions available to you,’ says Michelle Brown, discipline lead for healthcare practice at the University of Derby’s Chesterfield Campus. ‘International opportunities are often advertised in the nursing press, with open days showcasing opportunities. These are well worth attending if you are considering this prospect.’

When you do get called for an interview, remember to tell the truth about why you lost your previous job.

‘Try to be honest and factual about the situation, not emotional, and be positive,’ says Mr Hudson. ‘Demonstrate what you have learned from the experience and how it has made you a better nurse; being genuine is a valued characteristic in health care.’

What you don’t want to do is start openly expressing any less than complementary opinions about your previous employer or boss, says Mr Simpson. ‘With social media now a firm component in the hiring process, online interactions may harm your chances of securing a new job, which is the last thing you would want.’

What’s more, you might also scupper your chances of a decent reference.

Above all, stay positive, says Ms Brown. ‘You have a professional qualification that is in demand – there is a nursing shortage which does not appear to be changing for the foreseeable future.

‘If your job loss is due to closure of a unit or restructuring, then this may be a great time to consider your future and the direction you wish to pursue.'

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