So you’ve been made redundant, now what?

By February 23, 2024For Talent

Being made redundant provokes mixed emotions. In most cases losing a job is followed by shock, anxiety, fear, and sometimes even shame. Once those feelings have subsided (and they will) redundancy can offer clarity around what you really want and pave the way for new opportunities, (ideally boosted by a generous pay off). 

The pandemic period represented a thrill ride of job opportunities for many tech professionals. Perhaps the most famous effect of the Covid-era’s employment roller coaster was the “Great Resignation”.

A mainly stateside phenomenon, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 47 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs in 2021, and in 2022, more than 50 million U.S. workers left their roles too. 

During the pandemic, companies hired at scale as the world did more online shopping and transitioned to more online services––all of which required talented staff to facilitate.

It was a period of extreme confidence for workers who were job hunting in a tight labour market. Many felt assured that they’d get better pay and benefits or superior career opportunities elsewhere. 

get laid off

In Europe, the reaction was a bit more muted, but many people did make a move. In the Netherlands for example, the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics noted that in the first quarter of 2022, 1.9 million people indicated they had started a new job that year, or 400,000 more than in the first quarter a year before.

But what came next is now familiar to many tech workers: layoffs.

Companies including Meta, Google, Amazon and Microsoft, laid off thousands of workers across the latter half of 2022 and into 2023. Mass layoffs were explained away as a correction of the pandemic’s hiring binge, combined with high inflation and weak consumer demand as the world returned to normal.

In total, according to, 165,269 workers were laid off, with 262,915 redundancies in 2023. While things seemed to level out for a period, tech layoffs are firmly back on the agenda. So far this year, more than 42,000 tech employees have been let go.

Some of the most recent layoffs have happened at TikTok, Snap, Salesforce, Microsoft and PayPal, and if you’ve been affected, then you’re probably wondering, “what’s next?”

Sit with your feelings

Most of us will experience a redundancy (or two) during our working lives. It’s incredibly common, but it is also really likely you’ll experience the gamut of emotions, from feeling numb, to being sad, angry or irritated––or even feeling fear and shame.

Many people think a redundancy is a reflection on them and their abilities, but the truth is that this is rarely personal. Try to keep this in mind as you navigate the first few days after you get the news.

Understand your rights

Depending on where you live and work, your rights and entitlements will be different so it’s important to be aware. For example, there is no redundancy pay requirement in the U.S, while in the UK, the Redundancy Payments Act from 1965 ensures that workers are protected. 

In the EU, minimum periods for consultation apply as well. If your company plans to make fewer than 100 redundancies, then there will need to be a 30-day consultation period.

So make sure you understand your rights regarding redundancy pay, notice period, and any other entitlements you may have under your employment contract or local labour laws.

Look at your money situation

One of the things that can cause the most stress during a redundancy is money, so it’s important to not put your head in the sand. Assess your financial situation and create a budget to manage your expenses during the transition period. 

This may involve cutting back on non-essential spending, applying for social security, or exploring other options for financial assistance, such as a mortgage holiday, if needed.

Update Your CV

Take some time to polish your CV and update any professional networks you’re on. Add your most recent experience and skills to both, and when it comes to your CV, take time on each occasion you apply for a new job to ensure that you’re tailoring it to highlight your strengths and accomplishments that are relevant to the role.

On your professional social presence, make sure you set yourself to “open to work” as you’ll have a better chance of being contacted by recruiters looking to hire for your skill set. 

Start to network

Thanks to referral bonuses, it’s easier than ever to leverage who you know to get a new role. So reach out to those on your professional network, including former colleagues, mentors, and industry contacts, to inform them of your situation and seek potential job opportunities or referrals.

Begin your job search

Start actively searching for new job opportunities through online job boards. Decide what roles and areas you’d like to work for, and consider broadening your search to include industries or roles outside of your previous experience if necessary. 

Recent data from Glassdoor indicates that tech candidates should look to non-tech competitors which are also hiring for their skills. Many tech candidates gravitate towards “traditional” tech firms, so non-traditional companies can often pay more to attract the best talent.

Give it time

A job search is a job in itself, and it can take a lot of time, effort and patience to get there. So if you’re finding that the journey is less than enjoyable, there are a few things you can do. 

This is a period in which you can work on some new skills development. Enhance your skills and qualifications through online courses, workshops, or certifications that can make you more competitive in the job market.

Get active

If money is starting to be tighter, consider freelancing or contract work. This can both generate income while you search for a permanent position, and get you in front of new contacts.

Lastly, job hunting is stressful and can be filled with highs and lows. You will get there–but don’t be afraid to seek help if you need it. 

For more inspiration, read our piece on how to get hired, even in a job market slowdown

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Author Kirstie McDermott

More posts by Kirstie McDermott

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