Six ways to bounce back after you've been retrenched

Posted on Nov 19, 2015 03:51 PM |

Six ways to bounce back after you've been retrenched

Losing your job can be a confusing and scary time in which you're potentially facing profound financial, professional and personal losses.

Have you ever found yourself unexpectedly retrenched and not sure what to do next?

Losing your job can be a confusing and scary time – thrust into the unknown, you're potentially facing profound financial, professional and personal losses. And without the right support, it's easy to find yourself struggling and unsure of what do next.

A new resource designed to help you get back on your feet after such an event is now available online – and it’s free.

In September, the federal government launched ‘What’s Next?’, a website offering a comprehensive range of self-help resources to help Australians bounce back from the stress and uncertainty of retrenchment.

So thanks to the What’s Next? site, here are six important things to consider if you find yourself in this unenviable – but always recoverable – position:

1. Don't take it personally

The change in your organisation’s circumstances that led to your retrenchment doesn’t speak to your value as a person or worker. In fact, your organisation may be just as dismayed about your departure as you are.

Even if there’s no love lost between you and the organisation, that doesn’t mean it’s your 'fault' – there are lots of reasons why organisations change, and almost all of them have nothing to do with your skills. Remember: it’s just your position that’s been made redundant – that doesn't make you redundant as a person.

2. Find some support

Though you might feel alone, there are plenty of resources available to help you figure out your next steps. A great first port of call is jobactive, a government employment service that can give you tailored help with looking for work, updating your resume, preparing for interviews and more.

If you haven’t already done so, it's also worth checking to see if you're eligible for any Centrelink benefits – you might be entitled to cheaper healthcare, rent assistance, childcare benefits and more.

3. Figure out your financial entitlements and rights

Apart from any leave-based or other payouts you’d expect to receive from your employer, you might be eligible for some additional government entitlements. In particular, you're guaranteed certain rights under the Fair Work Act, including a possible redundancy payment based on the length of your service.

If you're retrenched as a result of your employer's bankruptcy or liquidation, you might be understandably concerned about any payments you’re owed. The good news? You could be eligible for further financial assistance through the government's Fair Entitlements Guarantee.

4. Devise a short-term financial plan

Debts, expenditures, bills and taxes – they’ll all continue to need your attention (and money!) after you've been retrenched. That's why creating a budget that takes your new situation into account is essential. The last thing you want is to find yourself in debt because you unintentionally lived beyond your means!

If you think you may be in immediate financial difficulty, don’t wait to seek advice – there are some great free 'financial counselling' services available in each state.

5. Look after yourself

You may have intended to hold onto your job for many years, so it's understandable if being retrenched has left you feeling down in the dumps. If you find yourself struggling to cope, organisations like beyondblue and Lifeline can help you get into a more positive headspace and successfully transition to the next phase in your life.

Don’t neglect your fitness, either – it’s now widely accepted that mental and physical health are fundamentally linked, so maintaining an exercise regimen and eating well could help you stay positive during the days that lie ahead.

6. Start looking for a great new ethical job

It’s never too early to start applying for a new role – as soon as you find out you’ve been retrenched, it’s time to start thinking about what your next role will look like.

Luckily, you don't have to go far to find great ethical jobs – we have hundreds of ethical jobs open each day. If you haven’t signed up already, subscribe to our weekly email update – it includes all our new jobs, every week.

And if you need some tips on applying, don’t miss our posts on how to tailor your resume to the jobs you're applying for, how to double your chance of getting a job interview, and also how to stay positive during your job search.

For some people, retrenchment can be a difficult experience. But equipped with the right information, support and mindset, many people find they recover far quicker than they first thought.

Visit the What's Next? website for more detailed information.

Have you ever been retrenched? Do you have any tips for others experiencing the same thing? Share in the comments below!