Redundant? Me!?


Let’s be honest; job hunting sucks. It’s a bit like living your life on a roller coaster.

You’ve got the highs in the form of call-backs from prospective employers, confirmed interviews, and that feeling you get when you walk out of said interview knowing you went really well.

Then you’ve got the highest-of-highs, the equivalent of that moment when you’re about to go upside down on the roller coaster, where time seems to slow for just a second or two; that’s the moment you receive that phone call from that prospective employer letting you know that, of all the other applicants, you are the best, and the job — and salary — is yours.

But for every high, there is a frustrating low. There’s the three hours you spent tweaking your résumé and working on that cover letter, effort that elicits only an automated email rejection in return. There’s the interview you meticulously prepare for a week beforehand — and which you nail on the day — that attracts only an afterthought phone call a few weeks later. And, finally, there’s the encouraging feedback and positive signs you cling onto throughout the application and interview process that ultimately come to nothing.

Like I said, job hunting sucks.

In the current climate, however, many of us are getting practice at it. Teams are downsizing; businesses are changing. What was an appropriate headcount yesterday might not be the same tomorrow. There’s an air of uncertainty out there at the moment, and for some industries (the media industry in particular), the threat of redundancy is, suddenly, a very real one.

Redundant: No longer needed or useful; superfluous

I hate that word, and its definition, but it’s one a lot of people are having to come to terms with.

If it (redundancy) happens to you, it’s easy to think your whole world is crashing down around you. “Being redundant” doesn’t help, nor does having to explain oneself as “no longer needed or useful”.

A better way to look at redundancy, however, is by treating it as a chance to show the doubters just how “needed” and “useful” you really are, or can be; that whole “one door closing, another opening” idea. Often, being made redundant is just the push some people need to pursue their dreams, or at the very least, a more satisfying work environment.

If you’re out of practice in terms of job hunting, however, getting accustomed to a daily routine can be difficult. Some advice given to me years ago went something like this: looking for a job is easy, as long as you make looking for a job, your job. Follow me?

Of course, and as I’ve said in a previous post, it’s important to take time out from such a relentless schedule of applications, cover letter writing and research, and to take stock of your progress along the way. Job-hunting may be a roller coaster, but there are plenty of other rides in the fairground.

Redundancy is not pleasant, but it’s not forever. Indeed, it could end up being just the push you needed. Sometimes, you’ve just got to get back on the roller coaster, even if it’s been 20 years since you last had a ride.


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