How to manage being made redundant
Updated: Oct 12
Redundancy doesn't impact us all in the same way, some are hoping for it, even delighted when they get it; for others, it's a topic they bring to coaching. I am sharing this for those of you and your families who find yourselves in unfamiliar territory and need support.
Faced with redundancy, we tend to suddenly love the job we haven't enjoyed for a while. Many people work for organisations where they believe they have a job for life, almost feeling institutionalised, for many years it's all they have known, never imagining joining the outside world, for fear of not being good enough to start over.
The pay gap can trap, many after years in the same company can't afford to leave and take a pay cut, so they do not even consider moving from their job to seek another role. Most are appreciative of the lifestyle they have grown accustomed too. The phrase "am I working to live or living to work" is continuously asked and left unanswered for fear of facing reality.
Many manage their workload by planning regular holidays, knowing this is the only way they will recuperate after the pressure and stress created by the last quarter, for some, going away is the only time, they stop, switch off, and take time out for themselves and their families. Faced with redundancy, they forget all the things they disliked about their role and only remember the good stuff.
Confronted with redundancy clients feel lost, their accomplishments no longer seem valid; their skills are not enough; they lose sight of how they did so well previously!
'Being put at risk of redundancy'
The enormity of the situation hits as soon as we are put at risk of redundancy - panic sets in, those affected complain of sleepless nights, internal panic and going over one hundred and one scenarios in their heads, how could they have avoided it? What should they have done differently? The reality is, it just happens to some people and it can't be avoided by how we do our jobs. It is becoming more common, if it happens to you, don't waste the extra time, until you are served actual redundancy, get started on finding out what possibilities are open to you.
These feelings are normal
Feeling anxious sense of dread
Being scared feeling like time is ticking away
Being afraid of failure,
Feeling like you are not being good enough
Our inner critic has a field day when something like this happens unexpectedly. My clients worry that a lower income could impact their relationships, fear they won't be good enough for a new company. If this is how you feel, consider reading self-help books. Taming your gremlin by Rick Carson is great for helping with your limiting beliefs. It might be difficult to rationalise how you are feeling, if you had other plans, like working until you retire, some even say it's like a bereavement, especially if you have been in the same company for an extended period.
'What you can do if you are facing redundancy?'
You may feel as if your work was your identity, and are feeling lost; your job is not who you are, rediscover yourself again and be patient and kind with yourself. Believe, this event is happening to you through no fault of your own. It does not make you any less capable than you were before.
I recommend focusing on all the things you loved about your job and give yourself time to think outside of the box, about what you could do next, do you want a career change?
Could it be the perfect time for you? The things we love generally align with our values, so exploring them will help. By matching your career to what you like most, it will reduce your stress and give you a completely different outlook on life.
There are many ways a career coach can help you when at risk, or facing redundancy:
By helping you to create a chronological CV to apply for similar jobs to the one you have or polish your existing CV and cut it down to two relevant pages. Help you to create a skills CV to look for new jobs focused on your skills if you want to broaden your possibilities. Challenge you to connect with your brilliance and get the most from this opportunity. Help you to get the most from LinkedIn with a fully completed profile
What else can you do?
I recommend attending all the free training you can, complete courses on Udemy and other inexpensive platforms, explore what your passion is, it is helping others, being creative, making things? Find and attend webinars online, review your from social media and explore the job market, registers with agencies and head-hunters.
Before an interview
Practice your interview technique, until you feel fully equipped to start applying for new jobs, capable of selling yourself and your skills.
“If you love your work you never have to work again.”
A great slogan, I once read, I am not sure by whom! If you can choose a career, that will align with your values, and by doing something you enjoy, you can make a transformative life choice, finding reward in ways you may not have considered. Do give yourself the opportunity to explore before making the change in career and starting over.
TIP: 'Turning anxiety into excitement'
This is a trick that was recommended to me. If you are feeling anxious about a job interview, flip it into I am feeling excited, getting you into the right frame of mind. Our bodies have the same reaction to anxiety and excitement on a physical level, so if you tell your brain it's excitement your feeling, then your brain can calm down, which could help.