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The Money Doctor: 10 tips to help protect your finances if you are made redundant

with more than 420,000 people currently unemployed in the country, here are 10 tips to remain positive as you search for new employment:

1> Act now

Talk to a financial planner before you receive your termination payment. This will allow you to minimise tax, maximise your entitlement to benefits and avoid costly mistakes. Start seeking new employment and organise your referees.

2> Be prepared

Update your CV, improve your cover-letter writing and develop your interview skills. Many job websites have templates to help get your documents looking professional.

3> Know your rights

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 outplacement services you can access; these are generally free and run by specialists who can provide emotional and professional support to redundant employees. Claim all Government benefits you are entitled to. Cut back on your outgoings.

>4 Plan and prioritise

There may be tax implications of your termination payments, social security benefits and insurance arrangements to consider. A financial adviser will help put you in the best financial position. Email me for Budget Planner template (jlowe@moneydoctor.ie)

>5 Review and renew skills

Evaluate your skills and see if some are transferable. Do short courses to upskill. FAS have a brilliant ECDL course if you are not IT literate.

6> Target the right employers

Think about what you really want to do next. Don't rush into any job. Look at all possibilities carefully and whether there is scope for growth and development. Research company profiles.

7> Think positive

Although it can be traumatic, many people find that redundancy is the catalyst that they need to take their career in the direction they really want to go.

8> Network

Don't burn your bridges with your former colleagues. Talk to people in your chosen industry as well as family, friends and former colleagues to build contacts. See career counsellors for guidance and visit recruitment agencies. Try cold-calling or emailing letters of interest to specific companies.

9> Begin anew with enthusiasm

The first six months in a new role are the most challenging, but they are also an opportunity for you to showcase your skills to your new employer, so put in your best effort.

10> Maxims

If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing well. Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.