Redundancy is normal, here's how to cope

Redundancy, lay-offs, seeking opportunities outside the organisation. Whatever we call it, it’s becoming more normal in careers. It’s survivable and can be a platform for incredible things, but first, there is work to do to navigate a process that can be sad, uncertain and panicky.


The Office of National Statistics reports that 1 in every 4 employees have been made redundant or taken voluntary redundancy. As someone who has been through the process and all the turbulence it brings I can offer a way through, plus some gems from my clients and mentors. When the rug is pulled out from under you it releases a whoosh of emotions and I found it helpful to bring structure and stages to a time of uncertainty. Panic will make you want to do everything at once; hold your nerve, frenzy won't improve things. 

Here are 3 stages to consider to try and bring some certainty to a time of uncertainty. 

1. Agree your exit

Get the consultations, negotiations and lawyer stuff done and signed. Get as many support resources as you can from your employer as part of your settlement to help you job hunt like coaching, CV clinics and training. Don't ask, don't get. Do this first so you can tie up all loose ends and make a clean break. 

2. Feel the feels

All of them. Shame, fear, anger, regret, grief, loss, panic, lack of control, abandonment, uncertainty, joy, relief, freedom, possibility...They will all come and say hello, sometimes in a snot of tears and not in any helpful order or agreed visiting hours. Find a safe way to let them have their moment. This can be deep, difficult work so don’t do it alone. Find someone with INCREDIBLE listening skills who can allow you space to unpack and process.

Coaches are trained listeners and that's why it's useful to ask for support as part of your settlement. Don't be lonely at this time. Be incredibly kind to yourself in this stage. Panic will make you want to skip it and get straight back into the job market but doing this release will enable you to move to the next stage with more stability, control and stronger mental health. 

3. Move on

You’re back in control now. You have the emotional space to focus on your future. You will be in a stronger mindset to look at your financial health and decide from a more empowered place what you need to support your current and future lifestyle. There can even be space here for pivots and daring. Capture the evidence of your skills, strengths and data points of your achievements to re-engage the job market with clear-eyed confidence, ready to tell your story positively and move on. It's time to start building your job hunting arsenal of CV, LinkedIn profile and building recruiter allies through your network. Finally, you're allowed to have fun at this stage. Job hunting is a job, but it doesn't need to be full-time. Maybe time for some bucket list items? 

Many of my clients partner with me as they work through career transitions. It's just part of working today, nothing to be ashamed of or disadvantaged by. Take back control, and don't feel you have to do it alone. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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