What process do you take newly redundant people through?
An initial one-on-one meeting with the individual is followed by a full career transition programme tailored to meet their needs. Group sessions can be organised too. We'll initially work with a person for around three to four weeks, guiding them through a number of activities designed to assist them to make the next career step, whether it's self-employment, finding a permanent role, securing part-time work or study.
We find out the individual's career values, drivers and long-term career motivators. Next we guide them through their options and measure them against the criteria they have identified for their "ideal" job or type of work. Then we help them implement their plan including preparing a CV, interview preparation, marketing themselves, networking and assisting them with evaluating opportunities and negotiating offers.
Is redundancy an opportunity for people to do what they really want?
Yes, absolutely. However, it may not be the next step they take. Self-employment may be their ultimate goal but they may need to get more experience and or skills in a particular area. So, their next move needs to give them this experience before they embark on self-employment.
Some people successfully move into self-employment after redundancy, including those who use their skills in key business areas to work as self-employed consultants. We know of a case where someone who previously worked in administration used her payout to set herself up as a fashion designer.
What disciplines are needed for running one's own small business versus having a corporate job?
They'll need to know how to set up their business - for instance, the structure, tax obligations, writing a business plan, insurance, record-keeping, health and safety, finance and employing staff. As part of the career transition programme, individuals who decide to pursue self-employment are guided through all aspects of setting up or buying a business. We also recommend that they get an objective assessment of their idea and their ability to make it happen from someone who is experienced and not emotionally connected before they hit the go button.
Are people often not in jobs that suit them?
Yes, for myriad of reasons individuals find themselves in roles they are not ideally suited to. It may be that they didn't realise what the particular career entailed when they embarked upon it 20 years ago, and now it's too hard and scary to make that change. People often select a career path based on factors such as financial security rather than what would best suit their personality.
Is there anything you would caution people to do before they set up that bookshop of their dreams?
Treat it like any other project and make sure you go through all the steps, evaluating the feasibility at all stages. Be completely honest with yourself - ask "can I really make this work?" Don't rush into setting up a business because you need a job or you may end up worse off.
Reece Notton and Gerard Mackle are from career transition specialist Grafton, www.grafton.co.nz