Career changers: redundancy and reinvention

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Mel Barclay, head of career transition at Lee Hecht Harrison, is used to seeing clients who have been made redundant anddealing with a muddle of emotions. "Some people are … euphoric, some are extremely angry and very emotional and a lot of people are in shock… disbelieving that it's happened to them," she says. They are often derailed by a loss of control, she adds. It can feel "quite personal". Ms Barclay says that she tries to reassure clients such feelings are entirely normal and to ease them into seeing the Opportunities ahead. She tries to stop them from jumping into the first job that comes along, preferring to encourage them to look at new options rather than recreate their previous working lives. The advice, including sessions on how to set up a business and develop presentation skills, helped Ms Davenport decide to work for herself.