3 Things To Do If You Are 50+ and Facing Redundancy

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I just read today that there are around 92 MILLION people out of the workforce in the USA - the lowest employment stat in 35 years.

Experts conclude that it's a sign of both an aging population and of unemployed people who have given up on their dispiriting job hunts.

What a staggering waste of people and talent.

In my own experience as an HR Manager and now HR Consultant, those most at risk of redundancy are the 50+ people. Many organisations conclude that they can probably hire 2 x 20 year olds for the same salary, and of course there is the perception that younger workers are more tech savvy and possibly of more use in an age where everything we touch involves technology.

So here are my 3 tips:

  1. If you are 50+ and still employed, then every time your boss asks who wants to ‘attend an xyz course’ GET YOUR HAND UP. Don’t even worry about whether you need to learn about xyz – just let your boss know that you are keen to learn and grow. Become a ‘pick-me’ person. You don’t have to become a boot licker, just a person who stands out as someone who is keen and has a great attitude. Will it 100% guarantee that you won’t be made redundant, no it won’t, but it may just extend your employment by a few years. And who knows, when you are on that xyz course, it may be the very thing you can take and offer to your NEXT employer.
  2. Keep your eye on franchise opportunities. These are a great way to move from being an ‘employee’ to being your own boss (sort of). A franchise is a ‘system’ and in most franchises you can’t change that system, but it is a brilliant ‘starter-kit’ for learning the ropes of running a business and then, if you decide you want to totally branch out on your own, you’ve served your apprenticeship.
  3. If you decide you don’t want to take that giant leap; that you still want to find another ‘job’ then DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME SENDING OUT CV’S. Because so many people are out of work, harassed managers receive dozens of them and unless your CV stands out from the herd, it will be heading unopened, for the shredder. So couple of options with a CV:
  • Make it stand out from the rest. Put it in a huge coloured envelope. Send it via a Gorillagram or other punchy delivery mechanism (absolutely NOT a stripagram). Or attach it to a helium balloon or in a fruit basket. Get creative. Its the ONLY way it will get noticed.
  • Package your talents in a way that says – this is what I can do for your bottom line. My next door neighbour simply sends out colourful envelopes with one sheet of paper inside, all it says is – I can save you $x000 dollars in 3 months and if I don’t you don’t have to pay me.

 

I made myself redundant when I was an in-house HR Manager. I knew that in the next down-turn I would be on the shortlist for redundancy (after I’d made the other people on the list redundant first). So I negotiated my own redundancy. I asked for 12 month’s salary for 6 month’s work, by which time I would have completed a particularly nasty piece of HR work they wanted me to do (another story), and then I’d walk out the door.

After a few grumbles they accepted my offer and I set up my own HR company.

Was that easy? It surely wasn’t.

I walked away from a very healthy salary package to nothing. No income. But within a couple of years, not only was I a happier person; I was more secure – no-one could make me redundant except the bank manager.

So don’t be afraid of redundancy. There IS life after the pink slip.

 

Ann Andrews Dip Bus (Pmer), CSP


About

Ann Andrews CSP specialises in working with high performing teams and showing managers how to deal with poor performance.

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