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How to deal with redundancy

Redundancy is something that happens to other people, right? And as long as you work hard, don’t take any time off sick and are competent, you are safe, correct?

Unfortunately, many people across the UK are discovering that no matter how good they are at their job, or how diligent they are, no-one is safe from the threat of redundancy.

Losing your job through no fault of your own can leave you feeling helpless and deflated. It can seem like an uphill battle to pick yourself up, dust yourself down and find yourself another position. It may feel particularly daunting if you have been in the same place of work for a number of years or are a more senior jobseeker, as there is no doubt that being successful in the employment market is much easier when you have more practice.

However, the sooner you start preparing yourself to find a new position, the better. And that means updating your CV and starting to look around for work, even if you haven’t left your old job yet. It may take longer than you think to find something you want to do. A good idea is to tailor your CV for every job you apply for, emphasising any skills or experience which are particularly relevant to the role. Also writing individual cover letters will also help.

But whilst you are looking for work, you still have to survive financially and that could mean making a few adjustments.

Do you qualify for financial help?

You may never have claimed benefits in your entire life, but if you have been made redundant there’s a good chance you will qualify for some financial help. You may think that you will find a job quickly so you will hang on until you need the money, but that isn’t the safest approach to take. Some claims for benefit take a while to get through the system, so it’s better to start the process sooner rather than later. You can always cancel your claim if you find work before you start receiving any benefits.

Review your financial situation

As well as taking a look at the money coming in, now is the time to carefully scrutinise any money being paid out. Check any finance agreements in case you have redundancy cover. This will cover the payments on loans or credit cards for a set period of time, usually up to a maximum of around 12 months. If you know you are at risk of being made redundant, be wary about taking out the cover. Many policies stipulate that no claim will be paid if you know you are about to lose your job.

Do you qualify for a payment holiday?

Even if you don’t have any redundancy insurance, it might be an idea to get in touch with your lenders. You may be eligible for a payment holiday or you might be able to reduce your monthly instalments for a while. Lenders can be very flexible, particularly if you get in contact to come to an arrangement before things become desperate.

Shopping around for the best deals

Undoubtedly, you will have to be more careful about what you spend. Shop around to find the best deals at supermarkets and buy in bulk to save money in the long term. Also try and find economical modes of transport to save money on petrol; it can be surprising how this adds up.

Set a budget

Taking the time to draw up a proper budget with essential expenditure is also time well spent. Sit down with a copy of your bank statement and go through all of your Direct Debits and standing orders. You may well find that some payments relate to services you no longer use or want.

And you may also be shocked to see how much some things cost. When you pay bills by Direct Debit, it can be very easy to lose track of payments which escalate. Doing some research online to compare prices may turn up a supplier which is far cheaper than your current provider. Services such as gas, electricity, phone bills and insurers are all prime candidates.

Being made redundant can be distressing but taking the opportunity to re-evaluate your spending habits can help you save money in the long term. And who knows, you might just find it’s the right time to make that change of career you have been thinking about for years.

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