Maximising Your Time During Redundancy: Tips for Staying Productive and Focused

  |   Patricia Tiernan

Redundancy, layoff, and losing your job identity, can be difficult and uncertain times, but they can also present an opportunity to reignite your career. Losing a job can be tough, particularly if you have a lot of pressing financial responsibilities but there are lots of things you can do to make the most of this time.

When you have been made redundant the question of how to make the most of your time can compound how unsettled you feel in the moment. Most of us would like to be able to look back and feel that the time we had in between jobs was spent wisely, we had fun, we got things done and we used it to get a job that is better in some way then what we had before.

Here are some suggestions for how to make the most of your weeks during a layoff, broken down into five days of the week:


Monday – Thinking Day

Take some time to reflect on your career goals, needs and aspirations. Think about all of the reasons you didn’t enjoy the job you were let go from and what that tells you about what your ideal job would look like. Think about all of the details that would need to be there for you to feel fulfilled at work; sector, function, location, tasks, purpose, working environment, culture, hours, location, salary, working conditions, people, deliverables etc.

Pinpoint the strengths, knowledge, exposure, and relationships that you would like to have associated with your next career move.

Consider the future of work and what that means for your role and sector. What is in demand and will be in the foreseeable future? Are there any skills or knowledge that interest you that would be useful for you to strengthen or learn?

Create a must-have and nice-to-have list of your career needs. Dedicate time to researching opportunities that meet the career must-have you have identified. Research main employers, educational courses and or opportunities for self-employment. Take the time to research companies and job opportunities that meet your needs.

Tuesday – Talk Day

Focus some time on connecting with people you know and make connections with new people. Have fun with this, it gives you an opportunity to touch base and reconnect with some people you may not have in a while.

Reach out to former colleagues, industry contacts, and friends and family to let them know the types of job opportunities you are looking for. For example, “I am looking for positions in [field/industry], with a focus on [specific skills and/or exposure you want]. If you know of any openings or have any contacts that come to mind, I would greatly appreciate any leads or advice you could offer.”

It can be hard to meet new people when we are so busy at work, so this is a wonderful excuse to get yourself out there. Go to events or places that you may have been curious about but didn’t have the time to do when working. Try different events for size, local, national, international, in-person and virtual.

Attend industry events and connect with professionals on LinkedIn to expand your network. Connect with people who are in roles or companies you aspire to. Try to chat with them about the pros and cons of their role. Learn from them about the challenges and opportunities related to the role and how best to break into it.


Wednesday – Talent Day

Dedicate time to strengthening your own talent through learning and upskilling. What are your strengths, and how could you strengthen those further? What skills have you always wanted to have? Take a course, read a book, attend a workshop or seminar, or read up on industry news and trends. Follow thought leaders in the fields and roles you are interested in. Learning new skills and staying up-to-date with industry developments can help you stand out to potential employers and increase your chances of getting hired.


Thursday – Tapping Day

Most job seekers spend most of their time tapping through job boards and hitting apply at the rate of knots, particularly if financial concerns are pressing down on them.

Choose to apply for roles that meet your needs and put the time needed into tailoring your application materials to each position. This will help you stand out to potential employers, as too often than not people don’t do this. Or if you have the resources investing in a professional CV Writer is money well spent.


Friday – Treat Day

A lot of people would love to have a four-day working week, so why not take the opportunity to give yourself this time, who knows when you will have the opportunity again. Taking time for self-care is important, and it can help you feel refreshed and energized for the week ahead.

Be prepared for rejection. On the law of averages, you won’t get every job you applied for and for various reasons, treat day can also serve as a day to recoup if you have put a lot into an application and heard nothing back. See it all as a learning opportunity and be kind to yourself on those hard days which will inevitably come.

A treat means doing something you love, like going for a walk in nature, running, practising yoga, or indulging in your favourite hobby. Or it could mean climbing that mountain you always wanted to or visiting an old friend.

Remember, losing a job can be difficult, so support yourself to stay positive by reflecting on your achievements during the week and by taking small steps towards your ideal next job.

If you need any support with identifying your ideal job or getting it to reach out, I would love to support you achieve your career dream.