How can you make redundancy an opportunity?

I wrote the basis of this article in 2010 when times were tough but not as tough as they are going to be over the next few months. The coronavirus pandemic is affecting some sectors a lot more than others which means that a lot of employees are going to have to think outside the box.

When I started my career, as long as you were qualified and “kept your nose clean”, effectively you had a job for life.

Today, many people are made redundant and some people have been made redundant on more than one occasion. I was made redundant 3 times in ten years so I think I can understand how people feel.

How do people feel when they are made redundant? Is there any difference when the individual opts for redundancy, as against being made redundant? For those that are made redundant, it often means a cycle of grief including shock, denial, anger, guilt, despair, depression and finally acceptance. Everybody reacts differently and as soon as the person looks forward and not back, the more likelihood of success. Even where individuals opt for redundancy, it can create doubts and worry and most often find it easier to jump into the next job, (maybe not so easy in 2020) rather than assessing and planning for what they would really like to do.

With redundancy, people normally have a little time to think, but too often look for a similar job to what they have already. In today’s environment those similar jobs may not exist. What transferable skills do you have for a job in another sector? Take some time to consider what you have enjoyed in your previous job.

Losing one’s job can lead to feelings of embarrassment and shame, or the fear that other people might see us as unsuccessful. It is the time to talk things through, not bottle it up. We need to grieve the loss of our normal routines, friends, and colleagues in the workplace. Sharing your feelings is central to grieving. If you employ a coach, this could be the start of your transition before beginning to think of what comes next.

This is an ideal time to speak to a coach to assess what possibilities really lie ahead. By being coached over a few weeks, it is likely that you will know exactly what to look for, what suits your personality, lifestyle, family and your financial requirements.

My coaching programmes take between 3 and 6 months which gives coachees time to change their mindsets, becoming positive after clearing out the old from their heads, ready for the new, whatever that turns out to be. The coaching programme helps you decide what you are going to look for in a job, what suits your personality, behavioural strengths, (includes a Prism Profile )lifestyle, family and your financial requirements.

Many of us could be made redundant at any time, so it is important how you recover from this that matters. It normally comes back to positive thinking and setting goals. The accountability and responsibility are yours alone but there is no harm in getting impartial, confidential support during this time, rather than struggle through on your own.

So, redundancy can be the most miserable time of your life, or it might take some time to become your biggest opportunity.

If this happens to you, will you make it an opportunity?

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