These are uncertain times and I know many people are facing the prospect of redundancies. This uncertainty can feel disorientating and overwhelming and I want to share a story with you about my own experience when I was made redundant.
It was almost 8 years ago to the day and it was my first day back in the office. I’d just returned from a trip to Tanzania, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and I was on a high. I felt invincible. Then Steven (my manager) called me into a meeting room.
Now Steven was a great guy and I could immediately sense his discomfort. He proceeded to explain the restructure and that I’d been made redundant as part of the process. I was flawed.
I don’t really remember what else happened that day other than walking around the block trying to process the information – I’d been made redundant?! WFT!
The next few weeks were a mixed bag of emotions. One moment I was excited, ready to take on the world and fulfil my wildest dreams. Then suddenly I’d feel overwhelmed with disappointment, embarrassment and disbelief. It was unnerving.
I received a modest payout (enough to get me through a few months) but not enough to not have to worry about money. But despite my pragmatic nature, I felt like I needed to finish up before I could start looking for a new job.
Then in my last week before wrapping up, an opportunity presented itself. I was doing a handover with a client and explaining their new point of contact moving forward. A few days later the client reached out to ask if I’d be interested in a role with their them. It was a dream come true. And after a rather lengthy interview process, I landed the job.
Now I know that sounds like the best possible outcome and believe me, it was.
But it only happened because I opened up about my situation. I had the uncomfortable, vulnerable conversation with my client explaining my redundancy, which ended up leading to a great opportunity.
So if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being made redundant, I’d recommend being open about your situation and remember that you never know where opportunities might present themselves.
Practical tips for dealing with redundancy
Know your rights
Check out resources like the FairWork Ombudsman and get advice and clarification on your rights. Do not assume everything will correct. Double-check your payout and entitlements and raise any concerns you have a soon as possible.
Sort out your finances
Work out how far your redundancy payout will go. Find out how you’ll be taxed and review your options to pause your mortgage and access benefits. See how you can reduce your cost of living if need be.
By knowing how far your money will go it’ll give you more peace of mind.
Give yourself time to adjust
Being made redundant is a shock to the system and it’s useful to give yourself time to grieve and adjust. Depending on how you feel and your financial position, decide how long you’ll allow yourself to process this information. It could be a weekend, a few weeks or even a few months but do not let yourself dwell indefinitely.
Once the period is over it’s time to dust yourself off, get back into a routine and commit to finding your next adventure (and paycheque!).
See the redundancy as an opportunity
If you loved your line of work or you know exactly what you want to do next then go for it! Here are some ideas to get you started.
But if you’ve left a job you weren’t mad about or if you’ve been thinking about doing something else – this is the time to explore the possibilities. Invest in working out what you really want to do and to find your purpose. Talk to people, use your network and allow yourself to explore different paths for yourself and start something new.
A final thought on redundancy
There will no doubt be a rollercoaster of emotion during this time, and that is perfectly normal. But please remember this – being made redundant is it not a reflection on your abilities or your value. It is circumstantial, and it can be an opportunity. Use it to your advantage and get help if you need it.
I help professional women get clarity on their dreams and give them the confidence and strategies to unashamedly make them a reality.
If you’d like to know if coaching might be for you then let’s chat.