Dealing with redundancy can be difficult for everyone involved. Many times I have had the horrible experience of sitting down in front of people to tell them they are being made redundant. It’s a very stressful situation for all concerned and no matter how professional you think you are, it’s emotionally, physically, mentally and socially draining. Here’s 7 things you can do today if you are facing redundancy.
1. If you are going to take it personally, make it quick.
Being made redundant is just horrible and can be a real shock. It doesn’t really help you when HR people tell you it’s the role that’s being made redundant rather than you but there is real truth in that. Thinking of it this way can help and there is no shame in being made redundant as I’ve seen very skilful, brilliant people made redundant due to a change in business focus. The trick is to not dwell on it too long. Moaning to your colleagues friends and family may feel helpful but the BIG problem is that there is no action taking and that’s why I say if you are going to take it personally, make it quick.
2. Drop the cynicism about any offer of free support available.
If the company offers any kind of free support, take it and make it work for you. In a stressful situation the real danger is that your perspective narrows and you only see things one way – your way. Taking up free support is a great way to challenge your own thinking and perspective and therefore help you deal with redundancy. It can often open up opportunities that you might not have thought of.
3. Stop looking back and focus on what you want to gain.
Redundancy can be a brilliant opportunity to do something new. Try to see your self less as a role and more of a skill set that’s transferable. If your perfect job demands a certain skill or qualification that you don’t have, could you obtain what’s missing with any redundancy money? Remember that many employers value character and experience over skill set and may be willing to train you. What about approaching the potential employer and explaining you are willing to train in that specific skill and opening up a conversation? In doing so, you may make a good impression; have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you are looking backwards and dwelling on what’s gone then you are already facing the wrong direction. It’s not helping you deal with redundancy.
4. Don’t carry around baggage.
I’ve interviewed people facing redundancy and often found myself in a situation where these people are given preferential treatment before any other applicants. That’s a good thing in my mind because it’s in the spirit of an organisation committed to retaining people rather than losing expertise. The challenge is that some of the applicants bring their baggage to the interview. Their anger and frustration comes to the surface, works against them and it is easy to see they are not dealing with redundancy well. It’s understandable although it can get in the way of providing clear, relevant examples of why you are right for the role. Make sure you work through points 1-3 to help avoid bringing your baggage with you.
5. It’s not falling in the water that makes you drown, it staying there that does.
In other words, take action. When dealing with redundancy you can draw up lots of options to move forward and plan things through in your head but without action all of that stuff is just a wish list. Take a first step, any step and work from there as you’ll soon pick up pace as you start to move.
6. Look around you.
Lots of people define themselves by their job and when that’s in danger it can be seem like the end of world. Take a step back and ask yourself is it your whole world? Try to focus on the other good things in your life like family, friends and activities and make time for them. In times of uncertainty and unfamiliarity we have things around us that can give us certainty and familiarity although we tend to take them for granted.
7. Put yourself first and the business you are working for second.
Dealing with redundancy has a strong motivation.The reality of the situation is that shortly you could be without employment and that has big implications for you. If you’ve worked for a company for a long time it’s easy to continue to be loyal and put the companies needs ahead of your own. Continue to be professional and constructive but recognise that now is the time to act in your own interests and put your needs and interests first. Take the time to prepare and attend interviews and prioritise that free support. Ask if the business will allow you a % of your time to do this. Explain to your boss what you are doing and ask for their support. You might be surprised at their answer.
If you know someone facing redundancy or dealing with significant change please share this post.