It’s a situation that no one wants to find themselves in. You may have been in your current job for one year, five years or thirty years and it might be sudden or expected. But at the end of the day, what do you do if you find yourself made redundant?

It can be difficult and heart-wrenching, but at the end of the day you need to know that it’s not the end of the world and that you will get through this.

Here are four things to do if you’re faced with a situation where you are made redundant or are about to be made redundant:

  1. Don’t panic

Panicking will not help your current situation. It’s not a fun place to be, but there is no point in adding extra stress to your life in an already stressful time. As the old saying goes – “The only way is up!” You might feel as though you’re at your worst and like life has landed you a kick right in the guts. But you will survive.

Pick yourself up off the floor and set about re-evaluating your career and prospects. Maybe you weren’t happy anyway and it was time for a change. Maybe you were given a good amount of notice and you managed to emotionally prepare yourself. Or maybe you’re completely in the dark.

Just know that this is no reflection on you as a person and is unlikely to be a reflection of your skills.

  1. Get a great reference from your previous employers (to leverage the guilt)

If you’re made redundant, sometimes the last thing that you want to do is have any contact with the person/people who put you in your current situation. But you should. As a loyal and dedicated employee, your old company owes you the curtesy of writing you a totally brilliant reference to help with your search for new employment.

Call or drop in to the offices, or send a professional email explaining that you’re looking for a reference. You could even cite some of the good work you did during your time with that company which your previous employer may then choose to put in their reference. It may seem like you’re telling them what to write, but it’s easy for an employer to forget who did what work – particularly when the company employs large numbers of staff and the higher-ups may have had less contact with some staff than your immediate manager.

  1. Negotiate a fair redundancy package

This, of course, is easier said than done. But if being made redundant is given to you as a choice, you may have the option to negotiate a better redundancy package than if you’re made redundant suddenly and without warning. Don’t be too pushy, but don’t make a deal if you don’t think that it’s a fair reflection of your time spent in employment. Hopefully you can reach an agreement which is fair for both parties involved.

  1. Speak with a recruitment agency

Recruitment agencies can be a lifeline in a difficult situation such as when you’re made redundant. Not only do they understand the current market trends, but they also know which organisations are hiring at the moment. On top of that, they will get to know your skills and attributes and try to find you a role that matches you. Just because you’ve been made redundant from a job that you loved doesn’t mean that you won’t find an even better one just around the corner. Finally, a recruitment agency can also assist with resume writing and interview tips. It might be difficult to ask for help, but a lot of people go through redundancy at some point in their careers, or know someone who has.

Don’t be afraid to seek help and open yourself up to new opportunities.