How to Deal with Redundancy
Updated: Jun 8
It’s one of those words that tends to make everyone do a little shudder. But the truth is that redundancy itself isn’t what worries us. What worries us is that everything we thought we knew about our professional abilities is called into question. Are we not good enough? Have we not been making the right sort of progress? Redundancy can really impact our career confidence, and that’s why we have this sort of reaction.
Having worked alongside newly redundant people for many years, what I’ve seen is that there’s a trend to look at redundancy from the wrong perspective. Guess what...
... It’s not about us.
It’s Not Personal
Unlike being fired, being made redundant isn’t connected to our performance or our ability to bring value to the organisation. Instead, it’s a direct result of businesses down-scaling or shrinking their services. Consider HSBC, for example. Earlier this year, it was announced that a whopping 35,000 jobs were at risk across the word. It’s a huge number, and it’s created a tough situation for many. But it’s not personal. With plans to shut operations on the US West Coast and throughout much of Europe, this is simply a case of the organisation no longer having the needs for such a large, skilled workforce.
Tesco too has announced plans to make 1,800 people in its in-store bakeries redundant after saying that falling demand for bread means less baking will take place. This isn’t a result of the bakers doing a bad job, it’s simply that shopping habits and diets have changed.
Going Through the Motions
If you are told that your services are no longer required and you’re made redundant, try to remember that how you react to the situation can make a big difference in how you handle the situation. Here are 3 tips for dealing responsibly with redundancy:
1. Remain Calm
It’s natural to want to get angry about losing your job, especially when you start asking ‘what if’ questions. What if… I don’t get another job? What if… I can’t pay the bills? But perhaps one of the most important things you can do in this situation is to try and react calmly to the news. Don’t burn bridges. An ability to remain calm under challenging circumstances is an in-demand characteristic that recruiters are always looking for.
2. Take it Slow
There’s often a financial urgency with redundancy that can make you want to apply for all sorts of jobs in quick succession. But if your confidence has been shaken as a result of redundancy, this can come across in interviews. Instead, it’s worth stepping back for a moment and working on rebuilding your professional confidence. Working with a coach can help you become clear on what it is you can bring to a new table.
3. Look at it From a Different Perspective
Perhaps redundancy isn’t about losing a job. Perhaps it’s about being placed into a position where you can take a step further towards what it is you really want to do. Redundancy is as much an opportunity as it is an inconvenience. If you look at it in the right way, it’s a chance to reassess your skills, to think about your passions, and to move into a new industry or sector… it’s not a position that everyone is lucky enough to be in.
It’s OK to Feel Blue
I know what you’re thinking. It’s easy to look at the other side of redundancy when I’m not the one in the thick of it. And you’re right. I’ve worked closely enough with many people over the years to see that redundancy can be devastating, and it’s OK to feel sad, or lost, or hurt, or worried. But feelings of anger and haste and negativity don’t help. These feelings only extend the grieving period. By reacting calmly and slowly, and by considering all angles, we’re giving ourselves the tools we need to get through it.
I’d love to help. Get in touch to find out more.