Being made redundant, or facing redundancy can be an extremely difficult time for you and your family. Not knowing what the future holds following the end of your employment is a worrying prospect, but there is support and assistance available in the form of redundancy coaching.
Redundancy coaching is a focused and effective method designed to help people meet the challenges they face following redundancy. A professional life coach will put a process in place that helps to develop skills and give people the confidence to make the right moves forward in developing and regaining control over their career.
Coping with the emotional impact of redundancy
While many years ago a job was simply a way to earn money, today it holds a deeper significance. Now, we want a ‘career’ and not just a ‘job’, and we view this as a source of self-esteem and a way to approach an ideal of achievement.
This human desire to excel at something and the sense of success felt when we do is what can make redundancy an overwhelming and often ruthless experience. While we know deep down it’s not our fault and has little to do with our ability to carry out the job – understandably it can be difficult to see things in context when what we feel is failure.
If you’re feeling despondent after being made redundant, see below for some tips and advice on how to stay optimistic during this difficult time:
- Remember, time is a great healer – Though you may feel downhearted now, try to look ahead and see that things will get better. Counsellors have frequently reported that clients who sought talk therapy during a traumatic redundancy often come to view the experience as positive over the long haul. As long as you are prepared to be adaptable it can give you back control by forcing you to move on from a position that wasn’t moving in the right direction.
- Be positive – Try your best not to wallow in the sense of rejection you may feel and instead sit yourself down and consider your current skills before you begin looking for work or additional training. Experts warn that pursuing a very similar role to the position made redundant could be potentially damaging on an emotional level, especially when those jobs no longer exist because the sector is under strain. Instead, reflect on the areas in which you are accomplished and think about what you would enjoy doing.
- Remember you aren’t alone – While it is easier said than done, attempting to put things into context may help to add some perspective to the situation. Remember the old adage “It’s your job that’s been made redundant, not you” and also remember that this is a common occurrence in the workplace – especially during times of economic realignment such as throughout a recession.
Coping with the practicalities
In addition to the emotional fallout there are a number of practical considerations that need to be taken into account. If you are concerned about how you will continue to meet your financial obligations, or if you are worried you won’t be able to support your family – there are certain ways to prepare yourself:
- Know your rights – There are a number of laws in position established to ensure your employer treats you fairly, so be sure to check your contract and official avenues to confirm official procedure is followed. For information on your rights, visit Gov.uk for further information.
- Appeal against the decision – You do of course have the right to appeal against your redundancy. If your employer is trying to cut costs for example, you could informally contest this decision and request shorter working hours while agreeing to a pay freeze. You might also wish to take your case to an employment tribunal if there are grounds for dispute (e.g. you suspect discrimination or the procedure wasn’t followed correctly).
- Check what payouts you’re entitled to – When you become officially unemployed check to see what benefits you might be entitled to. Jobseeker’s allowance for example, will provide a level of financial support, while if you are entitled to income support you may also be eligible for additional benefits such as discounts on your council tax. Visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau for further advice on state help.
- Plan your finances – If you receive a decent lump sum payment from your redundancy, avoid the temptation of booking a holiday or buying a new car and spend carefully. Unless you know with certainty another job lies around the corner, you should spend wisely. If you wish to pay off debts, it’s a good idea to reduce unsecured loans and credit cards, as these are usually more expensive.
If you are likely to be out of work for a considerable length of time, check whether your loans have payment protection that may help you and also remember to check the ins and outs of what will happen to a company pension if you hold one.
- Redundancy coaching – Being made redundant is an incredibly stressful experience, and as discussed it can often be a knock to both confidence and self-esteem. If you are looking for a way to build your confidence back up so that you can face interviews and get results, redundancy coaching is an excellent tool that will provide support and encouragement throughout this time.
What to expect from redundancy coaching
Redundancy coaching encourages you to confront the forced transition of redundancy head on – helping you to address certain issues to clarify your career direction, set meaningful goals and create the life you want.
Some of the questions you will address in redundancy coaching include:
- What are you truly passionate about?
- What motivates you?
- What do you really want from life?
- Are you making the most of any particular gifts or talents?
- What help do you need in order to further your career?
What do professional coaching sessions involve?
A professional life coach will provide a step-by-step course of action to help you get back on your feet following your redundancy. One-to-one sessions will be available for as long as you need, providing support and guidance in a range of career development areas. These will include:
- identifying transferable skills
- pinpointing career achievements and aspirations and exploring how to apply these to future career paths
- learning how to see change as a positive life experience and opportunity
- exploring career options
- evaluating personal values and career goals
- practical guidance on how to adapt your CV and develop a presence online
- identifying your strengths and weaknesses to determine the best approach for your next role
- developing interviewing and job application skills
- honing your personal and written communication skills, research techniques, marketing strategies and negotiating skills
- creating a long-term career plan.
Redundancy coaching also focuses on the emotional issues and setbacks that arise as a result of redundancy, and many life coaches will use Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to address these. NLP is a specialist technique used to break down the mental barriers and habits we all unknowingly create for ourselves over a period of time. This is thought to change how we make sense of the world - helping us to adjust our behaviours and actions so that we make the most of our lives and ourselves.
A professional life coach will use the NLP technique to help clients to escape their comfort zones and redundancy issues, enabling them to rediscover their inner potential. This encourages them to focus on goal-orientated, career development actions that can lead to more rewarding and satisfying careers.
How can redundancy coaching help me?
The focus of professional coaching is to ensure your next course of action is the right one for you – and that you are physically and emotionally prepared for future opportunities that come your way. Rather than rushing back into a role similar to what you had before, redundancy coaching offers constructive support to help you realise what you really want from a career and how to achieve this.
The benefits of visiting a professional life coach include:
Helping you to stay focused on the positives rather than the negatives
After redundancy you will experience a range of emotions that can be difficult to deal with. Professional coaching will help you to manage the pain and frustration that comes with this forced transition, while emphasising the positives to this time in your life – including the opportunity to get up and start again in a career you’re passionate about.
Providing constant support and guidance
A professional life coach will offer support whenever you feel overwhelmed by redundancy related issues and challenges. Their aim is to assist you through this time of uncertainty and to help you to open up about concerns and worries that you may have otherwise kept to yourself. Some life coaches also offer Skype sessions so you can talk to them from the comfort of your own home.
Increase your confidence and self-awareness
Securing a new job requires confidence – particularly in your skills – and a life coach will encourage you to reflect on your achievements in the workplace in order to identify what makes you tick. Knowing where your career satisfaction and strengths lie will open up so many doors in regards to future roles – helping you to feel more optimistic and confident about your future job success.
Helping you to market yourself more effectively in the working world
Marketing yourself effectively online is crucial in today’s digitally advanced and highly competitive job market, and a professional life coach will advise you on setting up profiles (i.e. LinkedIn) where you can advertise your skills and expertise, while networking with hiring managers in selected companies. Such social media sites have become a key part of people’s job search activity today, and they provide excellent sources for contacts that you can approach directly for job opportunities.
How long does redundancy coaching take?
The length of professional coaching depends on a range of factors – particularly on the person’s needs, the complexity of their issues and any challenges they face. Ultimately you can choose to have as many sessions as you feel necessary, and some life coaches operate over the phone or via the Internet, so sessions can easily fit around your schedule.
Each professional life coach will devise a tailor made career development programme to suit every client, ranging from short-term to long-term approaches. While some individuals will only need a handful of sessions - to help with CV writing, devising a long-term career plan and developing interviewing skills – others will need more to help build their self-esteem, self-worth and confidence.
Most professional coaching sessions should last for about an hour or 45 minutes, though the length varies by coach. These are likely to take place on a weekly basis.
How do I know which redundancy coach to choose?
Someone you can trust
It is very important that you choose a professional life coach that makes you feel at ease – someone you feel you can trust, and can share your feelings with. Consider speaking on the phone to your potential coach before arranging a meeting, and ask for a complementary session so you can see for yourself what redundancy coaching will entail.
Choosing a life coach with references, the relevant qualifications and evidence of membership with a recognised professional body is key. For a guide on how to find the right redundancy coach for you, see our site help page.
Redundancy coaching prices
The cost of redundancy coaching will depend on various factors, including the length and number of sessions and location (life coaches based in large cities and central locations are more likely to charge a higher premium). On average, you should expect to pay anything from £40 to £100 per session.
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