This morning I met with an Account Executive on $45k inclusive who yes, had been made redundant. This was not my first meeting with a junior candidate having just experienced the big R, and these meetings are becoming much more frequent. These candidates all seem slightly confused on the situation; they haven’t been let go because of lack of skillset, but they no longer have a job. It can be a demotivating experience for a junior. Remembering that their generation has not been in the work force during a financial crisis.
This got me thinking about market perception - is there a negative connotation associated with redundancy?
Would a potential employer prefer to hire a candidate who is leaving on their own accord over a candidate who no longer had a valuable place in the company, and how do we overcome this bias?
Do potential employers see you as less valuable because your previous employer couldn’t afford to keep you on?
In my opinion, the answer should be absolutely not! In today’s fragile economic climate and especially in the world of marketing, where retainers are becoming less common and big clients sway between agencies like a toddler on a swing, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for agencies to stay lean and flexible.
Let’s take a second to reference the News Corp cuts and the ripple effect to their agencies we are only just seeing now, also Vodafone moving (again) and the loss to their previous agency. Redundancies are becoming more commonly seen across all levels. Potential agency employers should understand this because they too are going through the same thing in maintaining their own head count vs profitability.
Ok I have been made redundant, now what?
The good news is you are available immediately - this is gold to a lot of agencies, where business is being lost, it is also being won. Keep your ear to the ground and start mapping out the agencies who are winning big pieces of work and approach them. Try to keep sector & channel specific to help with a smooth transition and hiring process. For example, if you were working on a financial services account with heavy ATL & content – try to approach agencies and roles that are similar, so you are going to be really emphasizing your expertise.
Utilise your own network, reach out to people and make sure you have a glowing written reference(s) to accompany your CV when you are making direct approaches on Linkedin or via email.
Stay positive and stay busy. This may even be an opportune time to take a holiday? Refresh, cleanse and refocus, so that when you do begin the job search you are in the right frame of mind and have taken some time to reflect on what your previous experience was and what you are looking for next.
Your friendly talent consultants at iknowho are always here to guide you every step of the way. We can help with interview training, CV design and presentation, and introduction to our network of agencies.
Chin up! The best is yet to come!
If you’re looking for a new position and would like to have a confidential chat please get in touch via: firstname.lastname@example.org / 02 8925 9207