Five challenges to face and overcome.
Being made redundant, especially if you’re in a leadership position, is an overwhelming and challenging experience. I know, I’ve been there, and it can be particularly hard to process when it happens unexpectedly.
Overwhelmingly, losing a job can shake your sense of stability and confidence big time.
I found, in the short term, it was helpful to take action, so that I felt like I had a sense of control, as I navigated my way through the process.
In this blog, I’ll be exploring the main 5 challenges you may face and the things you can do to manage your redundancy. I focus on short-term actions that can help you take charge of both the here and now during the process of managing your exit from your current role, as well as searching and finding a new one.
Challenge 1: The emotional impact of redundancy
Don’t underestimate the impact of how you are feeling and the need to process the emotions related to being made redundant.
The solution: acknowledge and process your emotions.
✔ Reach out to your support network, including friends, family, a coach, mentor or a counsellor. Share how you’re feeling and any concerns, rather than bottling everything up.
Talking through with others can give you clarity and a sense of purpose and is a good coping mechanism to manage the day-to-day stressors of the whole experience.
✔ Find online support groups or forums for redundancy where you can connect with others. Sharing experiences and coping strategies with peers can be more helpful than you’d think.
✔ It doesn’t hurt to practise relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga to manage stress and anxiety effectively.
Challenge 2: The financial impact
The first worry for many when being made redundant is the financial element and loss of income.
The solution: assess your financial situation and create a budget.
✔ Evaluate your current outgoings, including savings, debts, and upcoming expenses. Cutting down on non-essential spending in the short term and creating a detailed budget will make you feel more in control of the situation, until you secure your next role.
✔ Seek advice from a financial advisor to help create a comprehensive financial plan. They can provide insights on managing investments, debt and help you to make informed financial decisions.
✔ Consider opportunities to leverage your expertise through freelance projects or consultancy work. When I went through redundancy, I secured both almost immediately and even though I’d started to set up my coaching practice, having a separate income was incredibly helpful.
Challenge 3: The confidence impact
For many, being made redundant can feel like a direct judgement on your abilities and can really knock your confidence in what you have to offer.
Remember that in many cases it is a business decision not a personal one.
The solution: be kind to yourself.
✔ Practice self-compassion and remind yourself that redundancy isn’t a reflection of your worth or capabilities; it’s just one of those awful work experiences that happens to the best of us.
✔ Reflect on your past achievements and successes to remind yourself of your capabilities.
✔ Request feedback from your employer to not only understand areas for improvement, but to help you rebuild your confidence in your competence and abilities.
✔ Stay connected with your support network and the individuals who will encourage you with their positive mindset. Avoid the “negative Nellies” who will only drain your energy and make you feel like you’re worthless.
✔ Seek support from a Leadership or Career Coach to help rebuild your confidence and self-esteem. They can also guide you through the job search, application process and interview preparation.
If you’d like more help and support to get through the experience without stress or overwhelm., please check out my Redundancy Recovery Programme:
Challenge 4: The productivity impact.
After your final day or if you are put on ‘gardening leave’ before your official end date, following redundancy, the sudden lack of a job, routine and (for some) purpose can be very challenging.
The solution: maintain a structured routine.
✔ Creating a structured daily routine can help you maintain a sense of normalcy. Allocate slots in your calendar for specific tasks such as job searching, networking or skill development.
✔ Set yourself daily goals and celebrate your accomplishments no matter their size.
✔ Offer your skills and expertise through volunteering. Not only does this create a structure to your week but you can also demonstrate how you’ve continued to utilise your skills.
✔ Go for a daily walk. A change of scenery and exercise can positively impact both your physical and mental health.
Challenge 5: The isolation impact.
Having a job means being a part of a team, seeing colleagues and work friends regularly, as well as interacting with team mates and possibly clients, customers or patients too, on a day-to-day basis.
Whilst relationships may be maintained following redundancy, the immediate effect of not seeing all of these people and interacting regularly with ‘fellow humans’ can be very stark.
The solution: reach out to everyone you know.
✔ Get in touch with peers, professional contacts, former colleagues, and industry groups to let them know you're actively seeking new opportunities.
✔ Attend networking events, webinars and conferences both in-person and virtual, to expand your connections. Engage in discussions, ask questions, and connect with speakers and participants.
✔ Use platforms like LinkedIn or X [formerly Twitter] to engage with professionals in your industry. Share relevant content and comment on posts to feel connected as well as to expand your network.
✔ Look for temporary or freelance work, or part-time positions to generate income and maintain financial stability while searching for a longer-term role.
✔ Work with a Career or Leadership coach to work out your goals and to put an action plan together to achieve them.
✔ Invest time in updating your CV to contain all your relevant skills and experience and upskilling through online courses or workshops to increase your qualifications.
Seeing redundancy as an opportunity
While redundancy can be a daunting, overwhelming and an emotional experience, like with most challenges, it can also provide opportunities for growth and learning, as well as personal and professional development.
Managing the process successfully will involve you taking a proactive approach and making sure you consider what you need to support your emotional well-being and financial stability.
Taking action helps you feel a sense of control and empowerment as you navigate what will hopefully be a short-term transitional phase.
This is a one day bespoke 1:1 coaching programme that will support you to survive and thrive both during and after redundancy.
Because redundancy needn't be the end of the world. Sometimes, it can mean the start of a new one.