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.
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…
- 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…
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”