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Pre-Christmas redundancy might not be a bad time to lose your job


From an employee’s point of view – and assuming that this redundancy hasn’t come as a relief – Professor Jepsen asked is it better to go through summer in “blissful ignorance” or to use that time to contemplate and plan for the new year?

“Are friends and relatives – always our first line of support – more or less available to support you as you take in the shock? Or, would you rather be given the news on your return to work in the new year?”

The answer to your question isn’t that before Christmas is clearly a good time to fire people, or to be fired. It may not always be the worst one, however.

“The most important thing for managers planning redundancies at any time is to provide appropriate professional, dignified and respectful support for those being made redundant. That includes consultation on internal and external communications, generous financial arrangements and outplacement support, which includes career transition support, resume preparation, job search techniques and interview preparation.

“That support should be appropriate to the role and, in a case like the reader’s, available over the holiday period.”

Managers shouldn’t forget that remaining team members and colleagues will also be affected, Professor Jepsen told me.

“They are observing and noting how the organisation treats their employees and may adjust their psychological contract if they don’t like what they see.”

Professor Jepsen also has some general advice for anyone thinking carefully about their professional position in the new year.

“Take stock of your career this January. Is your resume or LinkedIn profile up to date? Have you recorded last year’s achievements before they become a distant memory? Have you planned your professional or skills development training for this year? Who might you discuss your career with, and when – is that someone within your organisation or outside? Are you ready if a career shock comes your way this year?”

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