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How To Handle Redundancy Like A Pro

Jul 15, 2020
How To Handle Redundancy Like A Pro

Redundancy is never easy, regardless of the circumstances. UK employment law is undoubtedly great at protecting employees, albeit not in an immediate ‘tell me now’ kind of way. The time length of the process which is there to protect ironically helps perpetuate the immediate emotional rollercoaster that the employee gets jettisoned onto when they get home. If that’s you, you have likely experienced the following emotions: Shock, denial, anger, upset, disappointment, worry, anxiety, anger, sadness and disbelief.

And all these emotions are usually followed by a future gazing narrative which often goes: “If I lose my job how are we going to pay the mortgage? What will people think? I’m going to struggle to get a job that pays as well as this. This is awful. I just don’t know what is going to happen.” This is an entirely understandable and very human reaction. However, here are my thoughts as an executive coach on how to handle redundancy like a pro. 

Reasons For Redundancy

First, let’s get some perspective on why a company might lay off an individual (in no particular order. Redundancy is considered when the economic environment is uncertain (budget cuts). Recently we’ve seen this with Brexit as well as Covid-19, but it can also happen because of a recession too. 

Other reasons include the business needs to restructure because it’s currently uncompetitive. It can also be that the individual isn’t performing well versus another employee. There are many reasons for this and none of them is ever positive. Cultures and businesses change and evolve all the time, you may not or you may not enjoy what the business is turning into. It is not necessarily an indicator or a sign of how good or not you are at your job, fit, opportunity, relationships and culture play a large part in the mechanics of being successful. 

Neither is wrong it might just be time to move on but you haven’t noticed. Or you have become stuck in a job that doesn’t make you happy and therefore not very productive or fulfilled. For one reason or another, you haven’t done anything about it, you have sat there, frequently complained but not been motivated to move into action.

Redundancy During Furlough 

If you are reading this post soon after it was posted, you could be here because you have been made redundant while on furlough. The coronavirus pandemic has caused seismic changes to many organisations. Sadly, many sectors have faced job cuts (especially the hospitality and travel sectors). As well as checking out the latest government advice on redundancy during furlough, the same tips I am about to go into detail about still apply. Redundancy is tough whenever it happens, and now couldn’t be a better time to find the best way through it. 

Acknowledge What Happened

Quite often redundancy removes control from the individual and threatens some of those elements on which we ostensibly rely on for survival, the sub-text of any negative narrative for redundancy runs something like this: “If I haven’t got a job, I haven’t got money, if I haven’t got money, how do I buy food and shelter.”

Redundancy does, on the surface, drive a coach and horses through Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In 20 years of working in HR, I have very rarely started the redundancy process and had someone turn around and thank me for the opportunity. Yet in many ways, if you take the emotion and Maslowe out of the equation that is exactly what redundancy can represent if we can just change the narrative. 

Fixing Your Mindset

Now is the time for you to change the narrative and turn this massive negative into a HUGE positive. Redundancy can be your gift, your jet pack that gets you off the chair and out into the world, a world outside your current job does exist and it is FULL of opportunity.

This is where you take control, there is nothing you can really do to change the outcome of ‘the process’ which will happen in the background, but you can take control of what you do now and whether you turn this into the most traumatic, negative event ever suffered from no hope on the other side OR you turn it into the best opportunity you have ever had to be happy.

Now Is The Time To Grab Life

Let me ask you the following: What if you could be in a job that you loved? What if you could change your career, transfer your skills and experience to a different sector or a different job? What if you could now do whatever it is that you have always wanted to do but never had the balls to do it? 

Be grateful you have had the experience of even getting to a ‘what if’ crossroads. Many don’t and they can stay stuck for years. You don’t have to be one of those people. Because as difficult as being made redundant is, now is the time to grab life. 

You really have a choice in how you react to your situation, which means that only you can decide on a different outcome. I promise you, it might not feel like it, but being made redundant really could be the best thing that ever happened to you!

10 Things To Do After Being Made Redundant


1.It’s normal to go through the emotional rollercoaster of emotions. Go with them, get annoyed and angry and then use that energy to flip the situation positively. 

Set some goals. Make a list of your skills and experiences. How could these be transferred to another type of job?

3. Get networking. Who do you know that might be able to give advice, or support you, or refer you? Don’t be shy about reaching out. 

4. Determine what kind of life you want to live and what ‘type’ of job would get you there.

5. Always ask your company for outplacement help, there are services and agencies that can help you redo your CV and help point you in the right direction of additional training and help you network or get referred.

6. Don’t burn your bridges. Whilst I know your co-workers or boss might not be popular with you right now it’s a small world and people move on, people remember people, make sure it’s for the right reasons. Be the bigger person.

7. Don’t look back, ruminate, or go over and over the situation wondering how things could have been different, they aren’t and that’s it. It’s Over. Do not waste your energy.

8. If your self esteem has taken a hit, it’s time to work on that. 

9. Put the whole experience into context as many people end up in your position. It’s all going to be fine. 

10. In 12 months time, look back on this episode of your life and ask yourself the question, ‘Was this the best thing that happened to me’? If you take the right approach and strive to do even better than where you were at before – 9 times out of 10 the answer will be yes!     

Find Out More

Losing your job in any capacity is never easy, even though most people will experience it at some point during their career. If you have been made redundant, whether because of the coronavirus pandemic or any other reason – you cannot control what happened, but you can control how you act from this point forward. So it’s time to brush up your skills, look sharp and keep your mindset focused on finding a new opportunity. While you will experience highs and lows throughout the process, with the right attitude you can make it the best thing that ever happened to you (yes, really!).

For further advice on your career or personal development, why not try executive coaching? I have been helping my clients to reach their potential in their careers for over two decades. If you are currently looking for help with your new direction, then this approach might just be able to help you. I offer virtual sessions available through Skype and Zoom which is open to clients based in the UK and internationally. Please get in touch to enquire. 

Are you ready to do more with your life?

Contact Paula now to discuss how she can support you.