5 lessons learned after redundancy as a medical writer

You heard us right, you are not immune from redundancy. No matter how hard you work at your job, the business could go bust at any time.

I’ve (Virginia) experienced redundancy first hand last year (2022), when the medical communications agency I was working at completed their contract for two big clients… and there were no new clients to take their place.

It was a shock to jump on an unscheduled call and be told “difficult news” – that I had lost my job!

Luckily, I had been connecting with people on LinkedIn and reaching out to companies for freelance opportunities. I was able to keep myself afloat for a few months until I got a new job.

So I wanted to share with you the 5 lessons I learned about medical writing, after being made redundant for a second year in a row in 2023.

5 lessons I learned after being made redundant

  1. You cannot rely on one client as a source of income (your employer). You have to, at least once a month, look around for jobs or clients that can offer you a freelance contract – send out emails and bookmark job boards. Be sure to build your contact list of recruiters, so you can quickly reach out to them if you are made redundant.
  2. You need to keep track of what is happening at work. If people are being let go, or clients are not renewing their contracts, and nobody is being found to replace them, then this is a HUGE red flag! You may be next on the chopping board – so start looking early if you feel the financial status of the company is starting to go down hill. Don’t sit there in denial, be proactive!
  3. You have to keep posting on social media about your achievements so you are visible to people that may be waiting for you to become available and offer you work. By building a strong online presence, people will be familiar with who you are, and are more likely to choose you over other candidates if you need to find a new job.
  4. Have an emergency fund – take on extra work to build a cushion of around 3 to 6 months of your expenses. This gives you time to process your thoughts and make a plan after a redundancy.
  5. Keep your CV and portfolio up to date – even if you review it once every 3 months, it’s ready to go when you need it. You could be made redundant after 6 months or 1 year, and that’s a lot of experience to write about. If you can, get testimonials from your freelance clients, and definitely ask for a recommendation from your employer after you are made redundant to support you finding a new job.

Here are some websites that offer support on redundancy:

  1. https://myonlinetherapy.com/how-to-cope-with-redundancy/
  2. https://www.money.co.uk/guides/how-to-cope-with-redundancy
  3. https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/mental-health-at-work/coping-with-redundancy/ 

We hope this never happens to you, but in a high churn and burn world in business right now, it’s sadly a likely possibility as a medical writer, despite your skillset.

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