From mining to manufacturing, media and government employees, it seems few are immune to being made redundant these days.

For some, redundancy can be a blessing, a chance to change jobs or careers or even retire with a healthy payout.

For others, it can be soul-destroying, a blow to both the self-esteem and the finances.

As the Australian economy changes – the mining investment boom winds down, manufacturing heads offshore and the federal government cuts 16,500 public sector jobs – redundancy is becoming a fact of life, says Jason Andriessen, general manager of marketing and advice at State Super Financial Services.

“It’s certainly a big issue already and as businesses change and markets change and consumer preferences change, industries will grow and some will stagnate,” Mr Andriessen said.

“People under 48 today will have to wait until they are 70 for the age pension so we’re looking at people who will have working lives of 50 years or more.

“Redundancy, I think, will become a feature of most people’s careers at some point, potentially numerous times, so we’ll need to be flexible to get through 50 years.”

Redundancy can be difficult but there are some ways to make job transition easier:

Don’t lose confidence. Jane McNeil, director of recruitment firm Hays, said there was little stigma attached to redundancy these days.

“Most employers agree it is far better to have one redundancy on your resume than two short-term jobs, both of which you left by your own accord,” she said.

Believe in yourself, don’t doubt your capabilities. Remember that you weren’t made redundant as a result of your performance and feel comfortable to discuss your redundancy during job interviews.

Embrace change and be flexible. “Many of our candidates who moved on to new careers during the downturn in 2008/2009 said it was the best thing that ever happened to them,” Ms McNeil said.

“Think about your transferable skills and consider whether learning a new skill could open more doors for you at this time.”

Act now. Don’t be tempted to relax for a few days. You should begin looking for a job as soon as you’ve been informed of your redundancy.

Use your payout wisely. Find out how your payout will be taxed and how redundancy could affect your superannuation.

“Don’t get dazzled by the payout,” Mr Andriessen said.

“You need to plan for being out of work for a period and consider how you’re going to manage debt and expenses.”

If you’re worried about debts, explain the situation to your lender and consider speaking to a financial planner.

Update your resume. Tailor your resume to every role you apply for, state all your relevant skills and quantify your successes.

Include a strong, concise cover letter and consider using a recruitment consultant.

Do your homework when applying for jobs. Research the company and understand the job description.


  • Don’t lose confidence
  • Believe in yourself, don’t doubt your capabilities
  • Embrace change and be flexible
  • Begin looking for a new job straight away
  • Use your payout wisely and keep a budget
  • Tailor your resume to each new job application
  • Do your homework and understand job descriptions