According to recent studies around a quarter of all people in this country will experience redundancy in their working lives. A number of the people I meet through coaching assignments have at some time in their career experienced redundancy, and interestingly most look on it as a positive turning point or step change in their lives.
Of course, they have been through the mill with all sorts of emotions from anger and fear to self-doubt. But most of them look on the experience as some sort of catalyst for positive change in their career that they would not have happened had it not been for force of circumstance.
Individuals often recount their initial struggle to get back to doing exactly what they were doing previously in a similar-sounding role, but frequently look back on this as wasted time. For some it is the easy and almost automatic route to try to do more of the same, and agencies and headhunters often knowingly or unknowingly influence candidates to limit their horizons towards a tried-and-tested job route. It takes a great deal of strength in the early days to focus your mind on identifying the right role for your next career move rather than securing any role.
In this environment, those candidates most willing to embrace change will be the long-term survivors. That change could be in terms of broadening experience through interim assignments or contract work. It could be reviewing your skills and looking to retrain or bolster your academic background with additional qualifications. It could be a complete rethink about where your skills and interests really lie.
The jobs we truly enjoy tend to be a combination of what we are good at coupled with what we are interested in, and are those that we are more likely to succeed in. Perhaps when you are facing the R word you should really take time out to think what it is that you really love doing. Don't just limit yourself to thinking at a top-line level about job titles, but look at the components and building blocks of your past job roles and examine what elements really excited and motivated you. Ask yourself, what is it that you are effortlessly good at? What is it that differentiates you from other people?
Exploring this combination of interest and skills could help kickstart a serious conversation with yourself about where you really ought to think about laying your hat in the future.