By DebbieH 01 Apr 2019 7 min read

5 things to do if you’ve lost your job

The aviation industry is volatile. Over the last year, a number of airlines have unfortunately collapsed, and as a result thousands of employees have been left without work. If this has happened to you, or you suspect this could be the case very soon, we have included five helpful tips below that will hopefully help you get back on your feet during this uncertain time.

Working in the aviation industry, you may well know someone who has been made redundant or lost their job in the past, or even very recently. This is a devastating event, and for a number of aviation professionals, like pilots, for example, is an uphill battle to get back to the point you were at in your previous role. 


Know your rights

Employers are legally obliged to follow strict procedures when making redundancies. This includes making sure the selection process is fair and objective, that you have a clear explanation in writing, and the the job losses are genuine redundancies and not just an excuse for dismissing certain people.

Check your contract for details of redundancy, including likely compensation. Below we’ve included an outline of what you’re legally entitled to:

Been in the same job for two years or more? Then you have the right to statutory redundancy pay. You could also be entitled to more than this – your contract will outline it all clearly, and if not, you can always speak to Human Resources at the company. You may also be entitled to pay in lieu of notice and holiday pay.

If you have been in your current role for less than two years, it’s likely that you’ll only be entitled to one month’s full salary. Stay on top of what you’re entitled to – you’ll need to know where your next paycheck is coming from. If you need more information, visit here.

Want to know your rights if your employer is insolvent? Check here to see what you can apply for.


Get into the right frame of mind

It’s not easy to bounce back from shocking news like redundancy, insolvency, or any type of job loss, for that matter. You are perfectly entitled to a period of upset about your career path during this time. The best advice we can give you? Don’t let this defeat you.

Whether you’ve been told your contract will be terminated or not, at some point, you have to start thinking realistically, and planning for your future. This likely means searching for a new job, which we would advice you to do as soon as you feel ready.


Update your CV

The next step will be to update your CV for upcoming applications. Leaving your job search until loose ends are tied with your old job could result in an unpaid period, which nobody wants, particularly if you have a family. You could also lose valuable time discussing a new opportunity with recruiters. Plan for the worst, and be ready to move on.

Note: you don’t need to include that you could be/have been made redundant or lost your job on your CV or cover letter. You can discuss this honestly with the employer when they ask about your current situation.  

You may not be thinking straight during this difficult time, but the sooner you take control of your emotions and accept what is happening, the better the frame of mind you will be in to approach a new job. Redundancy does not mean you have failed in your career, particularly if it’s due to insolvency. It’s just a bump in the road, and a step towards a better future. So take the time to tailor your CV for each application to increase your chances of reaching interview stage.


Start applying for jobs

Now that you’ve updated your CV, you’re in a much better position to start applying for jobs. While an updated CV is a great start, you should always take care to write a tailored cover letter with any application. Tailoring this to the job is essential – in fact, your CV should complement your cover letter.


Prepare for “Why are you looking for another job?”

Be prepared to answer this question multiple times. Katherine Burik, founder of The Interview Doctor provides some really good advice on this via The Guardian.

She says, “Write out a response and internalise it so it sounds natural. There is nothing to be ashamed of with redundancy or leaving a job, but you don’t want to invite questions. Something like: ‘My last position was eliminated. I am looking for X.’ Turn the conversation away from being made redundant, which you can’t control, to what you want.”

“Say it confidently and no one will inquire. Say it with fear and the interviewers will ask more questions that you don’t want to – and shouldn’t have to – answer. So write out your response and practice out loud until it sounds natural. The more confidence the better.”

If your airline collapsed, this is an entirely appropriate situation to explain to a potential employer, because it was completely out of your control. 


And one extra helpful tip from us

Look after yourself. Do not let a job loss break your confidence, and do not let it define your next steps in your career. The key is to decide what you really want, and to stay motivated during your job search – but you should always look after number one first.

The urgency to find a new job can take over your life, so make time for yourself to relax and switch off from what can be a stressful situation. Talk to friends, make time for family or have some well deserved “me” time.   

Positivity, as hard as it might come at the moment, will be your grit in getting through this unfortunate situation, and hard work and persistence will see you in a new job in no time. If you need a helping hand, read our guide to being kind to yourself.

Search the latest pilot jobs