Coping with redundancy


This article was inspired by Jason Nitz's personal experience with redundancy.

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This article was inspired by Jason Nitz’s personal experience with redundancy, published on the Mining Family Matters website. Check out Jason’s uplifting story here, When I was made redundant, I used it to my advantage.

There’s an old saying along the lines of… ‘if life gives you lemons, then start a lemonade stand.’

It’s a saying worth remembering if you are facing the prospect of being made redundant, or if it has recently happened to you. It stands to reason that if you weren’t expecting to lose your job, it can be a very emotional time, as many people who face redundancy have been loyal employees for many years. But you’re not alone, and it’s possible to dust yourself off and start putting together your new life plan much sooner than you think.

By looking at the situation in a positive way, it could even become a timely turning point in your life.

Getting cashed up

In Australia, redundancy payouts can equate to up to one month’s pay for every year of service. It can also include any accumulated annual leave. In the end, your loyalty is rewarded in the only way that really matters – with money. You need to be careful if you do receive a substantial lump of money; consider that it may have to last for a while, or until you get another job. Investing wisely at the start will leave you with more choices later.

Take some time out

If you are nearing retirement, or if you haven’t had a decent holiday in years, then look on a redundancy as a forced break. Reward yourself with some relaxing time, and away from the pressures of work, you could find that time well spent as you reassess your future. It can also be an auspicious and welcome opportunity to reconnect with family. Many mining industry workers find that quality time with their families is often compromised.

Preparing your plan ‘B’

It’s no use spending too much time worrying about the loss of a job, but it makes good sense to ask yourself if you were really happy with what you were doing. Perhaps your level of pay was below your capabilities, or you were working far too long hours, or maybe you’ve been thinking of a complete career change for quite some time.

1. Re-training and re-skilling. Find out if your severance package includes financial support to get you into a new training program. If not, it may be a great investment to spend some of your severance pay to undertake some courses to either bring you up to date, or add skills to your resume.

2. Changing your career. If your employer doesn’t support it, you’ll find independent career guidance advisors who can help you to pinpoint your personal strong points and most outstanding skills, many of which you can take with you into other industries.

3. Starting your own business. You may consider investing some of your payout in yourself by becoming self employed. Contractors and freelancers can earn a substantial amount of money, and have the advantage of being their own employer. If you’ve worked in your industry for a long time, and have career contacts, you can use these to your advantage to help your new business grow.

4. A Sea Change. Many people take redundancy as an opportunity to relocate, either overseas, or interstate. Sometimes a complete change opens many new possibilities by introducing new geographical perspectives.

5. Update your resume. If you’ve worked with the one employer for quite some time, you’ve obviously learned a lot, and can add a lot of new skills and accomplishments. If you’re not confident re-working your resume, you can pay someone to do it professionally for you. If you wish to remain in the mining industry, and want to find a new job in the resource sector, make sure you upload your resume to one of the many job boards, or contact us at for advice.

Remember to stay positive and consider that there could be many significant benefits of redundancy including offering you and your family new and enriching life experience.