Where is your career? Resilience in redundancy

Losing your job from current COVID-related redundancies does not make you redundant! It is about the job and not a judgement of you.  


Realise this in your head and feel it in your heart. It's the key to picking your bag up and moving on. No job ever had a guarantee, and this job was going to end someday but, for every closed door, the question is, 'Where is the open window?'.

The answer? It's inside you.

So how does one handle themselves after receiving the redundancy news? I have been sacked once and made redundant once. In my feelings of rejection, it was hard to separate the person from the action and I have learnt much since. The first place to start was accepting the reality that the job was gone, and I felt terrible, in need of something to grasp.  It happened and I needed to do something. It's the place to start if we want our logical, problem-solving to kick into gear. Learning lessons from a bad situation or occurrence is often the first sign of its acceptance and evidence of making the choice to heal. To be and to do. Let us explore how you might go about this.

Facing practicalities of redundancy

No doubt, there are practicalities to face:

  • What ongoing living needs are there immediately, in this reality? 
  • Who needs to know about this, when and how can they be of practical emotional or physical help? 
  • What conversations are required? 

To improve the chances of better decisions, this is time to take a step back. Who are you and what really happened?

Now if you were to stretch the mind and consider being chosen for redundancy as feedback, what do you hear from your employer? You probably could be thinking that the decision is about the employer, about you or about both parties. That this is negative feedback about your competence, relationships, behaviour, character. It is tempting to rest there - but do not.

Depending on your habitual response to negative feedback, the news of redundancy could affect confidence and raise self-doubt. The longer these feelings stay around, the more damaging and the more difficult to shift, so it is important that you handle the feelings and get to a positive mindset, even if you have to adopt a different habit. Consider a different perspective.  

Engage your feelings with cognition. It may be of little consolation that you are leaving your employer so that others could stay on, but however flawed the process and how much it hurts, the decision will be of benefit to someone else. It is a fact. Now, that is their life and you have yours to get on with. You may choose to find out the fuller picture and understand how the decision about you sits in the larger picture - is this about the survival of the employer or a change in direction in response to the unprecedented economic and social environment?  

Even where you have reason to believe the decision was punitive, considering what else the decision could be saying about you is beneficial to your personal development and ability to bounce-back. What is the most positive reason you could imagine for your name being on that list? You may be bold to consider checking with the decision-makers for a better objective insight about the decision, and perhaps about opportunities for work or development they may be aware of.  

Ensure that your reasons for searching are beneficial to you, whether you intend to challenge them or walk away. Such an inquiry could reveal a useful perspective for thinking and positively speaking about your own reality.  For example, if you were the decision-maker, faced with the same situation, what would you have done? If this reveals unrealistic expectations of others, face up to this and add it to your self-knowledge as part of personal development. Remember the keys to moving on are inside you.

A senior human resources professional posted on LinkedIn to encourage contacts to recruit the staff her firm was making redundant. Those on that list must have left a positive impression on the organisation, and on this professional, to risk such a referral. I was encouraged by her boldness on behalf of others.

We all know that a compass is a reliable reference guide in uncertainty. Looking inside to your own compass, a key starting position is that you are not your job role and so, as soon as possible, begin to lean on your core values to say who you are – those few principles that you live by to be your best self. Review or discover them. 

Looking into the future

Next consider a beacon in the future, perhaps five or 10 years into the future, shining on you.

  • Where is the best place the beacon would find you if magic were possible?  
  • How does this redundancy affect that picture?  
  • Your commitment to that future will probably be determined by how well it aligns with your personal values. 
  • What gaps need filling to get you back on track? 
  • Where will you start today?

To have a taste of the sort of beneficial conversation you could be having with yourself and others, for getting you back on track, why not contact a life coach to book a non-committal chat. Personal development, career coaching - you may be surprised at how perspective and actions do change in conversation.

Life Coach Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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