Five steps to moving on after redundancy
Feb 9 2009 By Jon Cooper
I was with a friend of mine last weekend, who shared with me the seemingly bad news that, after 12 years grafting as man and boy for a major energy company, he had been made redundant.
His severance package of almost a year’s pay gave him, I observed, the luxury of being able to consider his next move without worrying about next month’s bills.
I understood his natural desire to find another job as soon as possible, but, I asked him, why not take the opportunity to become self-employed?
Without straying too much from his field of expertise, there will be many companies to whom he could offer his services as a consultant.
He would be spreading his income risk across more than one source; paying less tax, taking control over where he works and when, and would be able to employ others, thereby multiplying his earnings.
His clients (including maybe his former employers) would benefit from transferring the financial burden of using his services from that of a fixed-cost employee to that of a variable cost consultant, paid by the hour/day/project.
Here’s my five-point action plan for anyone facing redundancy:
* Offer your employer the prospect of retaining you as a consultant, particularly if your role or your particular skills were unique;
* If the company already engages consultancy firms, go and talk to them about becoming a consultant in your field;
* Consider teaming up with other colleagues in a similar position to form your own consultancy business. Your accumulated experience, offered on a variable cost basis, could be hard for an employer to resist;
* Don’t panic and take the first, or any, job you are offered. Your new boss could sideline you again at any time in the future, and you will be back to square one again;
* Talk to others who are already consultants in your industry. They are likely to be suffering far less than their employed counterparts in today’s climate, and should be happy to give you some pointers.
Most consultancy businesses were started by people who were previously employed in similar roles, and some grow to be massive global ventures.
For many though, the simple knowledge that never again will they have to hear the words “We’re going to have to let you go”, will be incentive enough for them to join the ranks of the self-employed.
* Jon Cooper is the founder of JupiterDawn.com business consulting. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with feedback and business strategy queries