As someone who was made redundant after working for an organisation for 23 years, I can relate to the emotions associated with the news of a redundancy. For many, this is perceived as a possible end to their career guidance because having to tell people ‘I was made redundant’ or ‘they got rid of me’ is the same as experiencing a significant loss. There is shock and there is anger.

In my experience coaching many people through their redundancy planning, there is a period of time when the dust starts to settle, and you start to consider your options. The three most likely ways people navigate their redundancy include:

  1. OMG! I’ve been made redundant and want to get a new role. ASAP.
  1. This change triggers a desire to want to explore other options. What do I want from my life?
    In these cases, the individual may still go back to a 9 to 5 role, but they are more likely to consider roles or opportunities that are more left field than they previously considered. While they are still looking for a job, they are seeking greater satisfaction in the work that they do.
  1. I want to work for myself. I always said so, and now I am going to do it!

How you navigate your redundancy is also influenced by your stage in life. In your 30s your career is still vital and you have an attachment to the next step. This is an opportunity to pay off some debts and then get back on board the corporate train and keep riding.

If you are in your 40s, you may have a mortgage and small family and have to work. Again, you may need to get back on the job train ASAP.

 Dealing with the Emotions

“A bad job is like eating too much sugar. You know it’s not good for you, but you cant stop it”.

With the benefit of hindsight, I now view my redundancy as a healthy turning point for me. While my journey through leaving a role I had known for so long was not an easy ride, I realise that it was my experience with this change in my career direction that has formed who I am today and the services I offer to my own clients.

After taking a break, I came back and started applying for jobs and was shortlisted for most of them. I was 45 and was starting to think – do I really want to go back to a 9-5 role and be super stressed? I wanted more work life balance. I wanted to be able to dictate my own terms.

While I still work long hours now, I love it and am doing it for myself. No office politics. No boss. No one telling me what to do. I am in the driver’s seat and am creating my own destiny. I would not have it any other way!

My Suggestions for Redundancy Planning

For those of you who are not in a position to start your own business, retire early, or take a 12 month sabbatical think carefully about how you use your redundancy payment. If you do wish to continue full time work and would perhaps like to consider roles outside of your industry or opportunities that are slightly left of centre of what you are currently doing, this can take some time.

I’m not suggesting you don’t take holidays, pay off your mortgage or renovate your home, but if you are going to be  out of work for an extended period after being made redundant, here are some tips to help plan, from Bravo’s pre-redundancy career strategies –

  • Be proactive by always thinking ahead, and take the time to research other career options.
  • Consider engaging a good career coach who can work with you to explore your personal needs, skills, interests and values and define what your options are for new employment.
  • Keep developing your professional network, focussing in on people who are working in the industry you are targeting.
  • Ask your contacts for advice on how to break into the industry and what skills and qualifications are prerequisite for entry into that sector.
  • Undertake regular online research and leverage tools like LinkedIn to see who is doing what.
  • Make the time to attend events or conferences in the sectors that interest you and establish new contacts.

In my experience it is those people who have a plan and take the time to consider their options who are the best placed to make a decision during times of change.

And remember, I am here to help!

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