You Just Got Made Redundant – WTF!

man in blue and brown plaid dress shirt touching his hair

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Bang!

Your boss has come up to you and told you they are in the “consulting Stage” about your role, as you have been earmarked for redundancy and they want to “consult” with you about what happens next.

You need to know this, it is very unlikely anything will change and you will soon be told you have been made redundant. And unless you have some sort of amazing magic rabbit in your pocket, your will be asked to leave.

First thing in your head is probably something like “WTF”, “Holy shit” or some other incredulous superlative. Then you may go into a mind-numbing downward spiral. Meanwhile, your boss is still talking to you. They saying something like, it is the current economic situation or a strategic reshuffle was necessary, etc, etc. and now you are just trying to hold it together.

The news is still raw and your mind goes into overdrive attempting to figure out what to do, you begin packing up your stuff, others (if they are aware) are concerned about you and asking how they can help, all the while they are thinking “OMG, am I next” – some may even be thinking “OMG, I just dodged a bullet”.

Is this happening to you? With COVID-19 its happening a LOT and it’s pretty typical, I believe I have a little experience here after having been through three of my own redundancies, the last time = 3 DAYS ago.  At some stage you will be thinking “why me” and then you will have many reasons why it should not have been you; you could even justify why it should have been someone else. Then, you go to the next stage, how do I tell my family.

Why do most people feel like this? A number of things get triggered internally, there is the self-preservation, ego, self-esteem, image, etc. This is the emotional aspect and none of these are comfortable feelings. They may even lead to feelings of panic – or worse.

After having been through a few, I want to tell you what I have learnt about redundancy and its affects and hopefully how to pull through. I do this as I am tired of reading ‘advice’ from others who are on a different planet or have never known the experience and the feelings themselves.

What the hell DO you do?

There are plenty of site on the internet giving advice, some being very applicable while some give the impression all you need to do is pick yourself and just grab that next opportunity. They are right but it will not be as easy as waking up to a new, great world.

Everyone is different on how they react, their circumstances and the working environment they are within.

Hopefully I have listed below something that can help you. Remember I am not a psychologist or an “advisor” who has never been made redundant and still wants to give you’re their advice. These are just suggestions and ideas from someone who has felt the pain…

The Summary:

  • Don’t make it personal
  • Don’t get stuck on it, get into action
  • Contacts – family, friends and others
  • Plan and use your finances wisely
  • Getting a job, is now your job
  • Information is power
  • Leave your baggage at home
  • What I did/am doing

Over next eight days I will add to this post the detail for each.

Next instalment will be Part-2 Don’t get Stuck on it – Get Into ACTION…

The Detail:

1-               Don’t make it personal

Yes, it may hurt and there is a big chance you will either blame it on yourself or try to figure out ‘why me’, or even start thinking about the “fairness”.   Remember, companies will go through the pros and cons of making roles redundant, it is in their own interest to make the right decision and it is not about any individual (usually). In all likelihood, your skills could have been underutilised, unnecessary, unappreciated or just unrealised (they did not know your potential) but this is not about “fairness” or whether this person deserves it as opposed to another. This is rarely in the decision-making process, it is all about the ROLE.

We can all agree, you have just received some tough news, so avoid making it even harder by making it personal as this ties up all your resources and drains you of your energy (which is not a good thing – for you). However hard it may, especially the first time it happens, remember it was the ROLE that was made redundant – you just happened to have that role, at that time, in that company.

Often people need to grieve over this, really. It can be traumatic, especially if it’s your first redundancy. If it helps you get through, let it be personal – but no more than a few days, allow yourself to go through the range of emotions, feel sad, feel angry, vent to someone who will listen (but will NOT collude with you). Don’t hold it in and don’t make it a blame game – that will bring in more “players” and even harder to work on.

Note: if it feels insurmountable and you are absolutely devastated, make sure you talk to others; family, friends, Doctor or therapist. This is serious stuff, do not hold it in and pretend you are ok, or let it overwhelm you. This is not just about getting a job; this is also about your health. Your mental health is just the same as your physical health, if you have a broken tooth, you go to the dentist you don’t ‘wait it out’ or do it yourself.

There will be some who look forward to redundancy – they didn’t like the job or they wanted something different plus they get a payout, but they too need to get the emotion out. Everyone will get affected somehow, until you have had a couple goes at redundancy and you learn how to handle it.

Keep heart, maintain your confidence, your self-esteem and your self-respect. Ok, so you’ve re-composed yourself and you acknowledge it is not personal. Now you need to move on and starting things happening, so read part-2 “Don’t Get Stuck on it, Move into Action”

2–               Don’t Get Stuck on it – coming tomorrow…

“Normality” post COVID-19

What ever was ‘normal’? It will more then likely depend on your definition of the word, but typically it meant whatever was happening most regularly. For example,  we all know that it is not normal from a health or even human perspective to be overweight but as society has become more psychologically reliant on food and we now have such a high percentage of our pollination being overweight THIS is considered normal.

So, normal for some was affluence, even avarice and without care or concern of others, for some it was abject poverty and disrepair, yet for many of us it was on the scale in between these two extremes.

So should we even be contemplating returning to the old normal? No!

Thinking about returning to an old normal would be a complete waste of time and energy. It would be like trying to turn back time. Things HAVE changed, attitudes have changed, along with fear and anxiety as will as the opportunities that have appeared and the lessons we have learnt – as individuals, groups, cultures and as humanity.

Humans have culturally evolved to acquire knowledge and beliefs through copying others. Although advances in science, religion and society is usually by invention (by looking at the evidence and deciding for ourselves), few people are inclined to this way of thinking, much of the time these same people are ostracised until the majority eventually realise “oh-ah that’s a good idea”.

Plus, we cannot rely on the misinformation and disinformation drafted and distributed by those with a political or self-financial agenda (the trick here is: if you start saying “oh its the XXXX, who are being political, not my team” then you ARE being seduced and deluded). And this is why the “news” can also have such a negative affect on each of us and all of us. Try this to see whether you are like most people or one of the enlightened, intuitive ones: part one – turn on your favourite news channel and then try to DISAGREE with everything they present, part two – now turn on a channel you actually dislike and try to find a way to AGREE with everything they present.

The critical question here is, are you able to use critical thinking and decipher what is actually news (information) form BOTH channels or do you struggle and go back to preferring your original channel because it supports/reinforces your perception of the world without thought or consideration?

Now back to the point, Normality. So the challenge is to make the New Normal better than it was. Keep that which did work for our (humanity’s) benefit and let go of that which added no value or was detrimental. This is an opportunity that only comes around after a major catastrophe, so we need to make the most of  THIS opportunity and not squander it, for we certainly do not want another catastrophe.

Nearly every century there has been a major event that changed the way humanity behaved and progressed – sometimes this was a regression (backwards) as with the ‘Dark Ages” beginning around the 5th century. It is now OUR time to move forward, learn the lessons and become better at being human.

This challenge for the “new”  will rely of ALL of us to step up. Are you up for the challenge or will you sit back, look back and wait for someone else to decide your fate.

 

Other light reading. Some of which I agree with, some not, some is just information: