I've been chatting with a lot of fantastic people recently who are considering or have taken redundancy from their organisations. Stepping away from employment, however brief, can be an incredibly uncertain time for anyone, so I thought I would share a few thoughts on how to make the most of these situations.
1. Have a break
Yes, I am serious! If you’re able to, I highly recommend taking a period of time to reconnect with family, friends and those hobbies that you've been neglecting. I meet a lot of people who are nervous about stopping and feel like they need to jump straight back into the job market. Of course, it’s important to update your LinkedIn profile and keep your eye out for any relevant vacancies, but there is no need to panic at this stage. You're in a unique position where you can genuinely have a break and recharge, so don't waste it if possible. The right role will come along, although it can take some time.
2. Reflect on your priorities
While you're enjoying your break, you should also take stock and start to imagine what the next phase of your career will look like. One of the best ways to get clarity on your future direction is to consider the times in your career when you were happiest. Or perhaps when you were the most engaged and professionally fulfilled. Use these insights to help guide your decisions. Taking the time to reflect is essential and research shows that it can improve performance and productivity.
If you're really unsure about this next step, you could also consider hiring an executive coach who can help you unpack your thoughts and formulate a plan of action.
3. Activate your network
More often than not, people find a role through their existing network. Either they know a great recruiter (and hey, if you don't, please get in touch) or an old colleague may tap them on the shoulder for an opportunity within their network. If people don't know you are looking then they won't think of you when there is a vacancy. In fact, I find that most people don't consider approaching the high performing people they know because they expect them to be engaged in their current role. You need to let as many people know as you can, within your network, that you are looking for a new challenge. So start setting up coffee catch-ups with old colleagues and friends, and your current network, to let them know what you're looking for. Also, joining an industry association and attending their events is a great way to help grow that professional network.
4. Consider interim roles
There are many benefits to considering an interim role during this time in your career. Firstly, it can be a great way to explore different organisations and industries while you’re deciding exactly what your next permanent role looks like. It can also be a useful way of broadening your leadership capabilities and can provide a level of flexibility that is not found in a permanent role. Importantly, I've noticed that it also helps to build confidence and can show you the transferability of your existing skills.
If you're currently in the middle of a career transition and would like some advice, please reach out to find out how Meritos could assist you.
About the author
Chris Morrison is the founder and Director of Meritos, an executive search and recruitment business working with purpose-driven organisations. If you're interested in connecting with Chris, you can find him on LinkedIn here. You can also reach him on 02 9055 6836 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org