Being offered voluntary redundancy when your employer is going through a restructuring can catch you unprepared. People who opt for redundancy have usually already made up their minds that they want a change. However, it’s essential to evaluate yourself and your career thoroughly before making a final decision.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of voluntary redundancy that you should consider before responding to the offer:

Good reasons for accepting voluntary redundancy would be:

  1. Length of Time in the Company: You may be feeling that you’ve been in your role for a long time and would enjoy new opportunities to learn and grow with different systems, people, and a career pathway that is not currently available to you.
  2. Personal Reasons: This could be due to changes in family commitments, health and wellness, or a desire to retire or downsize.
  3. Stagnant Career Growth: If you feel that your career growth has been limited within your organisation, or if you have already applied for roles you wanted but were declined, voluntary redundancy may provide an opportunity for you to explore new avenues.
  4. Change of Career: Voluntary redundancy can provide a chance to pursue part-time study in a field that might bring more meaning to your life and career or to intensify your work in another industry or environment where your skills are highly valued.

Poor reasons for taking voluntary redundancy would be:

  1. Impulsive Decision-Making: Deciding to take voluntary redundancy purely to take control after a time of insecurity in the business may not be the best thing to do. Impulsive decisions can lead to regret and difficulties in the future especially if you have not considered the consequences, job market conditions, or your financial situation.
  2. Avoiding Workplace Challenges: If you are considering voluntary redundancy solely to escape challenges or difficulties in your current job, without exploring other solutions or addressing the underlying issues, could be a mistake. Workplace challenges are common, and exploring ways to overcome them may be a more constructive approach.
  3. Financial Need: Opting for voluntary redundancy purely for short-term financial gain without a clear plan for the future may not be a wise choice. If you don’t have a well-thought-out financial strategy or alternative income source, you could face financial instability in the long run.

Making an informed decision:
Voluntary Redundancy is a personal choice, and whether it is the right choice or not depends on your circumstances and what you want for your future. It is important to make an informed decision, so speaking to a professional career specialist may be an invaluable option to help you decide what you should do.

Working with a professional career coach would help you explore your thinking, and determine a career strategy to ensure you move towards your  “best fit” roles. You can book a confidential session with one of CareerEQ’s experienced coaches by completing the online form at the bottom of this website page.

Make good use of the restructuring opportunity to reassess your career goals – your “purpose” in life. If you’d like to do some self-and-career reflection, you can complete our CareerIntelligence questionnaire which will help clarify your core values, rate your skills, establish what motivates you, explore the fields of work that might interest you. Try it here!

If the winds of change threaten to blow you off your mooring, remember that you need to prepare for the journey. This entails knowing where you are headed (plan), using your rudder (know your values) to head in that direction, and be prepared to take the opportunities (the wind gusts) for learning. You might just enjoy the journey!

Kaye Avery,

Principal Consultant