Financial worries cause an enormous amount of stress in life, on those directly and indirectly effected. Redundancy brings the double whammy of financial insecurity and career vulnerability but John Lowe has these tips to help you, and yours, through.

1. Act now, seek advice and don’t panic:
If you know you are going to be made redundant, seek financial advice immediately to ensure you don't miss out on any financial planning opportunities.  Talk to a financial adviser before you receive your termination payment - this will allow you to minimise tax, maximise your entitlement to other benefits and ensure you avoid making any costly mistakes.  You should also start seeking new employment and organise your referees straight away.

2. Be prepared and be flexible:
Update your CV, improve your cover letter writing and develop your interview skills.  Many job websites have sample cover letters and CV templates you can view to get your job documents looking and sounding professional.  These websites are a good resource for job hunting and practical interview tips.

3. Know what you're entitled to AND your rights:
It's important to understand what you are entitled to when you are made redundant.  Check with your HR representative and financial adviser about what termination payments you should be receiving and what to do with them.  Find out what outplacements services you can access - these services are generally free and run by specialists who can provide emotional and professional support to redundant employees and can help prepare you for the job market. Claim everything you are entitled to such as government benefits – and for the moment, get rid of income-eaters (things like gym membership, digital TV etc)

4. Plan and get your finances in order - prioritising them:
When you have been made redundant, there are many important factors to take into account including tax implications of your termination payments, social security benefits and insurance arrangements.  Your financial adviser can assist you with these issues, help manage your debt and maintain cash flow until you are re-employed plus be able to recommend effective strategies to put you in the best financial position.

5. Review your skills and take the time to up-skill:
Evaluate your skill set and see if some of these are transferable into other roles.  Do some short courses to up-skill yourself in the variety of software programs that many industries use – these will all help you to sell yourself in the job market. FAS have a brilliant EDCL course if you are not up to speed on computers.

6. Target the right employers for you:
Think about what you really want to do next.  Try not to rush into any job as it could be the wrong job for you.  Look at all possibilities carefully and whether there is scope for growth and development.  Think about which industry sector and what employers you want to work for and research their company profiles.

7. Think Positive – your job is redundant, not you!
This is a great opportunity to move your career forward in line with your own personal agenda. Although it can be traumatic at the time, many people find that in the long run redundancy is actually the catalyst they need to take their career in the direction they actually want to go. So use this time to think about what you really, really want (thank you Spice Girls), and go for it.

8. Network and utilise resources:
Start networking as job leads can come from anywhere.  Even your last employer is a lead – don’t burn your bridges with your former colleagues and don’t take it personally. Talk to people in your chosen industry, family, friends and former colleagues to build up your contacts.  See career counsellors for guidance and visit recruitment agencies to see what jobs are on offer.  Explore the hidden job market by cold calling or emailing letters of interest to specific companies. Relook at all those stored away business cards.

9. Begin a new job with enthusiasm:
Remember that the first three to six months in a new role are the most challenging, but it is also a good opportunity for you to showcase your skills and experience to your new employer, so put in your best effort.  It's a good time to also have a career plan in mind so you can aim towards any opportunities for career progression within the company.

10. Two maxims for the quick return to employment:

a.            If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well

b.            Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today

John Lowe The Money Doctor, Personal Insolvency Practitioner & Fellow of the Institute of Bankers, is managing director of Providence Finance Services Ltd the trading name of Money Doctor and based in Stillorgan Co Dublin. He is author of The Money Doctor 2015 (Gill & MacMillan). For seminars or consultations  Tel +353 1 278 5555, or email seminars@moneydoctor.ie , consultation@moneydoctor.ie  or visit website www.moneydoctor.ie Follow on Twitter (@themoneydoc), Facebook & Linkedin.