"In this new world we are occupying redundancy is a hot topic. I was asked last week about the parallels between this COVID economy we are living in and the last recession, or the 2002 .com bubble bursting. Interestingly enough, I have been through all three and survived to tell the tale. A few scars for sure, but able to talk about my experiences.
In 2002, I worked as a Software Engineer in Dublin. We went between adding up our stock options and potential windfalls to wondering was the coke machine going to get filled. I survived 6 rounds of redundancy, until I took my chance of a few quid and a spin-out to Australia to see could I hit the career reset button... and get a tan!
The interesting thing about an IT career back then and an IT career now is that the stigma element of being made redundant or taking a redundancy package has dissipated. Many of my senior colleagues in Dublin didn’t want to ever get made redundant, regardless of the package being offered and decided to balance other job interviews against impending business closure as long as they could, leaving with no package, rather than being made redundant.
Thankfully we don’t see that happen anymore. Just like an Engineer having to stay 2 years in their first post-grad role… then running out the door like they had started a fire. Again, not a common trait in this market, engineers stay for as long or as short as necessary to become “better “.
What we have seen in NI in the past 10 years has been redundancies made in companies like Nortel, Abbey National and Ulster Bank, and their associated IT teams. As a recruiter, lucky enough to represent some of those people, I never once got asked by a potential employer whether the individual had “taken redundancy’’ or was “made redundant.’’
If managed properly, and with the help of a good IT recruiter (ahem) you can make this transition less painful than it once was. Clients are more than happy to talk to engineers that have relevant skills, regardless of what the economy, or their former company, looks like. Good engineers are good engineers and redundancy stigma no longer looms in my opinion.
The other big R is, Re-skill. A market which can be volatile will see quite a few people reskill. Again, this isn’t as daunting a task as it once was made out to be. Clients like ShopKeep, BazaarVoice and Aflac have all been very forward-thinking about giving talent the chance to reskin, as they say in Fortnite.
Reskilling is an excellent idea for skillsets which are still relatively new, as few are really experts and the learning curve is not that steep/mature. Data Science is one of those areas in recent years that we have seen become a reskilling career option. Many ex Developers, Quants people or QA engineers have taken the leap to work in the world of Machine Learning and AI.
Hopefully, this message comes at a good time for those worried about the threat of redundancy. VANRATH continue to work with the best people, we hire the best recruiters and we represent the best companies. As a trusted advisor, we pride ourselves on helping individuals refocus their career."
For a confidential chat, you can reach out to Ryan directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or 02890 330 250.