How to get your job back during a restructure?

How to get your job back during a restructure?

Just under 50% of UK companies think that they will have to make redundancies in the next few months because of the Coronavirus crisis. 

If your company has already made use of the furlough scheme, it will come as no surprise to hear one of the big R words: Redundancy, Reorganisation or Restructure. 

They all mean the same; jobs will disappear and most employees will have to successfully apply for their job or be made redundant. 

Have you been asked to reapply for your own job? 

I bet your first reaction was ‘WTF! This is my job, why do I even have to reapply for it? I’m already doing the job!’

Even if you were expecting a restructure to happen, it’s still big news to you and it’s natural to feel angry, sad or betrayed.

But you need a clear head to think calmly about what to do next. 

Take a deep breath and consider your 3 options:

Leave it

Since the reorganisation means your job is gone, you’re not obliged to apply for this new one. You can take the redundancy pay and go. 

Even if you are really really angry and want to give your employer the finger, don’t! You don’t know who you’ll work with in the future. 

Leave gracefully and remain professional until the end.

Fight for it

If your company is going through a consultation process, you can challenge the proposal if you can prove that the job really is what you are doing right now. 

It’s worth a try if you have a union rep who’s ready to fight your corner. But chance is the company has already decided to go ahead with the restructure and that this ‘new job’ is too different to your ‘old job’ to just give it to you. 

So you’ll be wasting your time and can be a bit risky as you can be seen in a bad light for being too militant. 

If there are other people in the same situation, tackle it together, there is power in numbers. 

Earn it

If you want to stay and want the job you’ll just have to go with the flow and apply for it. 

Here are my 4 tips to earn your job back:

  1. Be quiet

You do NOT have to give your opinion about the new structure, you do NOT have to share how you feel, you do NOT have to say what you plan to do next to your colleagues or boss, even if they ask you. 

Let’s be honest for a second, if you are really negative about the new proposal and air your frustrations with everyone, you’ll not only look bad but also make others around you feel bad.

If you’re going to discuss your views about the reorganisation, do it with someone you trust who will not use what you say against you. 

  1. Be nice

Be a model employee! You don’t know yet who your next boss is going to be, be nice to everyone… just in case… 

  1. Be confident 

Of course, there’s no guarantee that you will get the job! Nothing in life is guaranteed. 

Don’t start speculating about who will be made redundant and who will  compete with you for this role. Don’t listen to those who are trying to intimidate you by telling you that they think the job is theirs. If it was their job, they would have been appointed already. 

If you don’t believe you can get this job, whoever is interviewing you won’t believe it either. This is YOUR job and you’re going to earn it. This is YOUR job!

  1. Be proud

If it’s your job, you’ve done it before and I bet you’ve done it well.

Remind yourself of your accomplishments, look at your past end of year reviews, quantify your results where you can and write down your successes. 

Gather evidence that you are the right person for this job and show it off in your CV, application and interview (or whatever hoops you have to jump to get your job back). 

Got it?

I get it,, going through a restructure and reapplying for your own job may seem like a waste of time but it is also an opportunity.

An opportunity to renegotiate your offer. It is a new job after all…

An opportunity to practice your interviewing skills. If you don’t get it and are made redundant, don’t panic… Your CV is up to date, you know what questions to prepare for your next interviews and you have (hopefully) a decent redundancy pay package to keep you going until you find your dream job. 

So remember, be quiet, be nice, be confident and be proud! This is your job and you’re going to earn it!

How to deal with rejection

How to deal with rejection

When you’ve set your heart on a job it’s hard to hear you didn’t get it. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just applied, not been selected after an interview or lost your job, you’ll naturally be disappointed not to be the chosen one. 

The intensity of your sorrow and the speed you’ll get over it will vary depending on your personality, how much you wanted the job or what else is going on in your life but you’re likely to go through the ‘5 stages of grief’ before you can move on.

There is nothing wrong with experiencing those feelings and you will eventually get over it but the longer you take, the more time and energy you’ll waste, potentially missing opportunities to find something else. 

To start with, you’ll be in denial. I just can’t believe this is happening, I need to read this rejection email another 10 times to be sure. Don’t bother, you’ve truly been rejected, that’s a fact. Have a good cry and move on. 

Then comes the anger. Those bastards! That’s so unfair, I deserved this job. The reality is that you’re not pissed at them but at yourself for not getting the job but all this negative energy will get you nowhere. Turn your rage into action and start sending loads of new applications. 

Now that you’ve calmed down, you’ll start wondering if there’s still a chance. That’s the bargaining phase. I said bargaining not begging, it’s not time to sound desperate. First, try to get some feedback and, if it sounds like you did ok but there was someone else better, just let them know that if there is another opening in the future, you’d be interested. 

Although they’ve said they’d be in touch if something else came up, you’re not stupid and know they’re just being polite. Depression kicks in and you start to feel like shit. I’m so rubbish, no one will ever hire me. You’ll naturally be reminiscing about where you messed up. Go on, do it. Think about what happened and where you could have performed better. What questions did you stumble on? Was your CV really showing the skills needed for the job? Did you show enough motivation for the role? Identify where you’ve gone wrong and fix it for next time. 

You’re almost in the final phase: the acceptance stage… Yes maybe you could have done better and got the job, maybe there was someone else stronger than you. It still doesn’t make you worthless. This role just wasn’t right for you at this time, that’s it. 

Being rejected is hard and you will find yourself being negative and sometimes frankly ridiculous… I have cried on the phone while being told I didn’t get a job, refused to listen why I wasn’t ready for a promotion and just quit, contacted a recruiter far too many times after a rejection, considered changing careers when things didn’t work out… Not all at the same time. I have made all those mistakes so you don’t have to!

Just be aware of your feelings and refocus your energy to bounce back as quickly as possible. 

Realise that this was just practice to land your dream job. You’ve learnt and improved thanks to this rejection and you come out of it a better candidate. You WILL find a job you love. 

It’s not you, it’s me!

It’s not you, it’s me!

A few weeks ago, I got a call from a friend who just had just been told she was being made redundant. No warning, nothing, just like that… 

The current situation is tough on people but also on many businesses who have to adjust and do whatever they can (or want) not to go under. For them it’s all about survival. 

There will be some cowboy businesses who use this as an opportunity to do whatever they want. Some others will truly try their best to save jobs but just can’t. And now, you will see what your company’s strategy is. 

Choices will be made to save money, jobs, maybe both. You might agree or disagree with them but your opinion won’t influence the outcome. Whatever has to be done will be done and for a minute you’ll feel like a spectator in your own life. 

Maybe you’ll be safe, maybe you’ll be furloughed, maybe you’ll be made redundant. Only time will tell. But whatever happens, don’t take it personally! It’s not your fault. 

You haven’t done anything right or wrong, you are just a resource (think about it, that’s what HR is about: human ‘resources’) that is or isn’t essential for the survival of your company right now. Tough love I know but feeling sorry for yourself or getting angry at the situation won’t change the outcome, you have to get over it quickly and think about your next move. 

Maybe you’ve always wanted to go travelling the world (well, when at least after this lockdown is over), spend more time with family, write a book or change career. It’s your opportunity to do so. But if you don’t, that fine too, you can now focus solely on finding a job you love in a company you’re proud of. 

Take time to think about what you really want to do and turn your energy into making it happen. 

Good luck!

Are you ready to go back to work?

Are you ready to go back to work?

As lockdown is being more relaxed and we’re urged to return to work you might have found yourself called back into work, whether from the office or home. How did this make you feel? Were you ready for it? Or maybe you are still off and getting anxious about how you’ll cope when you go back?

It hasn’t been easy adapting to life in lockdown but you’ve made it work. You’ve finally settled into your new routine and maybe are starting to enjoy it. You’ve had breakfast with your kids for the past two months, perfected your tan and are finally have time to practice yoga every day But it’s all about to change again and you need to prepare yourself to go back to work at some point. 

No one knows what work is going to look like when we’re fully out of lockdown, will we all continue to work from home where we can, or will employers be desperate to get everyone back in. Will we still be able to grab a coffee with a colleague and sit together in meetings or will we all be sitting in cubicles surrounded by plexiglass? Only time will tell and rather than speculating and getting yourself worked up about what it may or may not look like, you need to take this time to reflect about whether you want to go back to your job, regardless of where you’ll be working from. 

You need to consider everything that is certain about your job so you can evaluate if it makes you happy. 

Some of the things to reflect on are:

  • your actual job: do you like what you do day in day out?
  • your employer: are you proud to work for your company?
  • your team: do you enjoy working with your manager, colleague, own team?
  • your pay and benefits: do you feel fairly rewarded for the work you do?
  • your work life balance: even if things have been different for the past few month, were you given space to live your own life or did you become available for work 24/7?

Things will change, only time will tell if your employer is going to recover from this crisis, if your boss will leave, if you’ll be working from home permanently or be made redundant in a few months. But it doesn’t mean you should delay doing something about it if your job is making you feel like shit. 

You have to deal with the facts that are in front of you right now. If you keep hoping and waiting for something to change, you’ll be there for the rest of your life. 

Take action now and get yourself ready to become employable again. Think about your dream job, take a course, update your CV. Whatever floats your boat…

What I don’t want you to do is to go back to the same job, feeling like you’ve waisted an opportunity to change your life. 

Is your company doing the right thing?

Is your company doing the right thing?

As I write this, we’ve been on lockdown for over 7 weeks… To start with, I continued to work in the office as long as I could, worked from home for a bit with a very reduced team, then went of furlough and now I’m waiting to hear if my job is going to be made redundant. I think it’s fair to say I’ve almost gone through the full spectrum of what can happen to your job during Covid-19.

This virus has not only had an impact on people’s health but also on their jobs. And you’ve been affected too, one way or another. Maybe you’re still working from your usual place of work trying to avoid people and getting paranoid every time someone sneezes, or maybe working from home with kids trying to get your attention every time you’re in a Zoom meeting, or on furlough keeping yourself sane by volunteering or baking an unhealthy amount of cakes, or you’re one of the less fortunate and are unemployed and desperate to find a job in a market that is very different to what it was a few months ago. 

Let’s be honest, regardless of how your job has been affected, it’s a pretty shitty time for everyone. Yes it is, but it’s also an opportunity. An opportunity to step back and take time to think about your job and whether it deserves you…

You need to really consider is who you’re working for. How have they treated you, the rest of their staff, their customers, the community, during this ‘unprecedented’ crisis?

Have they donated goodies to NHS workers but sacked half of their workforce? Have they helped their staff continue to deliver by being flexible and accommodating with their childcare situation? Have they held onto customers’ money and refused to help? Or have they stepped up by transforming their operation to help in this crisis? Has your manager not even bothered to send you a text to see how you were coping? Or have they been here to listen to your concerns?

Your company and manager’s behaviour will say a lot about their core values and what is important to them. Do you agree with how they dealt with the situation? Are you aligned with their ‘Covid-19 strategy’?

If you do, great! Stay put and enjoy working in a place you’re proud of. If you don’t, you have to get out quick! I know, now is not the best time to start a new job, but it’s the perfect time to get your CV up to date, sign up to job alerts and start figuring out what your next step will be. This is about you, and how you feel in this situation, not anyone else. 

This crisis is showing the real face of many companies and managers. Some truly stepped up while other have dropped the mask and shown they didn’t care about people. 

So sit back, get your thinking cap on, and ask yourself if you’re in the right place right now. 

I truly hope you are, but if not, now is your time to get ready to work for a company whose values are aligned to yours. 

Is the grass always greener?

Is the grass always greener?

In the past 3 years, I’ve tried a lot of different combinations of ‘work/life balance’: maternity leave, shared parental leave, working full time with kids in nursery, working part time with kids at home with my husband, easy job, hard job… I’ve pretty much tried it all. And every time, I look at other parents who have something different and I envy them. I want to focus on my career but I also want to focus on my kids, I want money and job security but I also want time and freedom, I want to work hard but I also want to relax. Can I have it all?

Becoming a parent brings great joy but no one tells you about the guilt. Whatever you chose to do, you’ll feel bad: for sacrificing your career, for not spending enough time with your kids or partner, for not earning enough money or for not having any time to look after yourself. So how can you achieve the right balance?

There’s no right or wrong, everyone is different, but to be truly happy with your choice you just have to do one simple thing… be selfish! Understand what you want, what will make you feel at your happiest, what you need to be the best version of you, and make it happen. 

Maybe you want to be home with your children? Childcare in the UK is so expensive that most of your salary will go to nursery fees. Is it really worth working only to pay for someone to look after your child? Can you lengthen your mortgage, buy your groceries in Aldi, go out less, sell some of your stuff? You might need to get creative about how you can reduce your expenses but if that’s what you truly want you can make it work. Don’t feel too guilty about it, it’s temporary and your kids won’t be little forever. 

Or maybe you want to work? You’ve taken enough time off work and it’s time for you to progress, focus on your career. Yes, you might be spending most of your salary on childcare but who cares? You don’t have to go to grotty soft plays and you can talk to adults all day and drink hot coffee. Your kids will get used to being more independent and will be making loads of new friends.

Or you want both? I’m still unsure if it’s the best or the worst combination but it’s definitely the hardest one to master. You’ll probably have as much work as before but less time to get it done (and less money of course) so you’ll often leave things unfinished or have to pick up work when the kids are in bed. You’ll miss play dates with friends and birthday parties and feel like you must do something with the kids on your ‘days off’ to make up for your time spent checking work emails during bath time. It’s pretty exhausting. But on the other hand you have both your independence back and a chance to be with your kids. 

So the grass really isn’t always greener… Whatever you do, you’ll have to make sacrifices but they’ll be worth it if you are confident that you are doing the right thing for you. Yes, you, not your kids. They will not love you less for staying at home with them, or putting them into childcare, but you will start to resent them if you feel that you have to do something that makes you unhappy. Kids will adapt to whatever suits you and being a happier person will make you a better parent.

I’m so bored of my job

I’m so bored of my job

Last year, I came back to work early after 6 months of maternity leave. This was my 2nd maternity leave in 2 years; I had spent more than enough time at home looking after babies and was ready to go back to work.

I had imagined that returning to work would bring the old me back, that I would be exited to recruit again, inspired to post on this blog every week. I was wrong… The truth is that I was ready for a new challenge before I got pregnant and that returning to my old job felt more mind-numbing than being home watching CBeebies all day.  

For months, my team had managed without me and there was very little for me to do in the first few weeks. I was given a few tasks that I did in about 5 minutes and spent the rest of my days staring at an empty inbox…Things weren’t going well, and I started regretting my decision to come back to work. 

So I did what I do best and started looking for another job. After a few applications and interviews for roles very similar to my current job, but with less money, a longer commute, no flexible working, etc. I realised that I had forgotten something… That work is like being in a relationship. When things don’t go to well with your partner, you don’t immediately go on the hunt to find another one (well, some people do), you talk and try to fix things first. 

That’s when I decided to talk to my manager about my feelings and what I needed to make the job work for me. 

I needed to feel busy, add value, work on projects. And guess what she did? She listened, gave me more exciting work to do and pushed me to apply for a promotion in another team. 

And here I am, 9 months into my new job, still not writing very much but this time not by lack of motivation or things to say, but because I’m running 100 miles/hour trying to manage a team, a family and myself. 

So if you too are falling out of love with your job, ask yourself if you can mend things and make it work for you, before you go and look for another one (that might not be better at all). 

Are you underpaid or greedy?

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Get a good education, a good job, a good salary… That’s what we’ve all heard since we were kids.

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A career break is not the end of a career…

A career break is not the end of a career…

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