500,000 jobs to be lost as a result of Brexit. Is your company making redundancies?

Open door underneath an EXIT sign

A study commissioned by the Belgian government has found that if the UK were to leave the EU in a no-deal Brexit, 1.2 million jobs will be lost across Europe. And the UK will pay the largest price, losing almost 500,000 jobs.

Katherine Wiid of Career Ambitions writes:

If Brexit has put you in a situation where you are assessing your overheads and needing to make staff redundant, you are probably seeking advice on how to do it in a risk-free way.

It is inevitable that the news of redundancies leave people with questions and worries, causing them to feel anxious about their career and future, unsure where to go next. Questions we often hear as Career Management Coaches are:

“Why was I made redundant, but my colleague wasn’t?”

“I feel all over the place. Some days I feel OK, some days angry and depressed. Is this normal?”

“What can I do next? Will I get another job without a degree?”

Before these concerns become bigger problems, what can you do to provide support and practical help to your staff through the consultation period and beyond?

Ask for help.

This is where outplacement support can be invaluable. It provides your employees (both those made redundant and those left behind) with a non-judgmental, impartial person to share their worries with. When people keep those feelings bottle up, the problems escalate. Whatever their questions and concerns, we can provide support and coaching to see them through to a more positive outlook.

Questions we often get asked by HR teams and decision makers when they are thinking about support for their employees:

Do you offer workshops on CVs and Interview skills?

You may be surprised when I answer “No not normally.” In the 11 years we have been doing outplacement support, we have seen a preference especially in Cambridge for 1:1 coaching rather than group activities. If you consider that one employee may have recently joined the company and have a recent CV and updated LinkedIn Profile that worked well to get them your role. Another may have been with you for 15 years and is fearful of the job market, uncertain of their transferable skills and needs different support to their colleague.  Our approach is to focus on each individual and help them with what they need to take a positive step forward in their next career move.

There are outplacement providers who do offer workshops and these can work well in large scale redundancies alongside other more individual support.

Do you find jobs for people facing redundancy?

Again the answer is No. As Career Management Coaches we support and guide clients to gain the confidence to build a network and in particular understand how recruiters think and what recruiters’ need to help them make a placement. We do brainstorm and recommend several avenues our clients can go down and constantly review their progress. In this way our clients build lasting job searching and networking skills.

I am concerned that a member of staff is taking redundancy really badly – what can you do to help?

Our approach is to spend some time helping our clients deal with the change they are going through as everyone responds differently. A large part of their concern is feeling worthless or believing they don’t have a choice regarding their next career move as they didn’t choose to leave the company. The coaching helps them change their thinking and reframe their options, so they feel they are in control of their career.

Whilst outplacement support can benefit someone who has been made redundant by helping them to find a new job or career, it can also support those still at work to regain trust in their employers and motivation in their role. Coaching those left behind is something that is often overlooked yet it helps your staff and streamlined organisation get up and running more positively and quickly.

If you have other questions you’d like answers to regarding supporting your staff facing redundancy please don’t hesitate to drop Katherine Wiid an email support@careerambitions.co.uk or give her a call on 01223 633535.


Based in Cambridge, Career Ambitions has a strong reputation for enabling highly-trained and talented individuals to get through major career change, redundancy and/or indecision to realise their career potential and meet their ambitions.

Career Ambitions