Coping With Redundancy

When you first find out that you are going to be made redundant, it’s not uncommon to experience a number of emotions. You might feel shock and fear as to what’s going to happen to you. You’ll feel loss and perhaps start doubting your self-worth. You might be angry and ask “Why me?”

These are all quite natural emotions to feel and are only to be expected. In the early stages, talking to your family and friends will be very important. It can help, psychologically, if you tell people that the job has been made redundant as opposed to saying, “I’ve been made redundant”. The end result is the same but by keeping that distinction from the beginning, you prevent feeling as though you’ve become a victim. It’s also important to remember that there is no longer a stigma attached to being made redundant. We live in an age where no job is for life anymore and people will often have several job or career changes before they reach retirement age. Think of it as a new chapter and an opportunity to find something better.

Financial Adjustments

One of the most stressful things that result from Redundancy is the need to re-organise your finances. It’s important to ensure that you have received all you are entitled to from the company and also visit your local benefit office as soon as you are out of work to claim any benefits that you’re entitled to.

Make sure you are getting all the financial help the state provides. Some people are too proud to ask for state help, especially if they’ve been working for a long time and have never claimed state benefits. However, you’re entitled to help. If you think of how much tax and national insurance you have paid over the years to help others in a similar situation, then you should not feel any guilt about claiming benefit. Remember, every penny helps.

Once you know how much you have coming in, you need to sit down and work out what adjustments you need to make to your financial outgoings. It may mean having to eliminate that Friday evening meal out in your local restaurant and cutting down the nights at the pub, but you will need to reduce your outgoings wherever possible or you’ll find that you cannot meet your essential bills for things like gas, electric and water.

Time on Your Hands

Money may be tight but one thing you’ll find that you do have an abundance of is time…and lots of it. Initially you may welcome the fact that you don’t have to get up quite so early and if you’ve received a decent redundancy package, it may be that you decide to take a week or two’s holiday to get over the stress and to build up to the challenges ahead.

However, most people just want to throw themselves into searching for a new job. One of the best ways of approaching this is to stick to a set regime in terms of managing your time. With all the will in the world, people who tend to stick to a 9 to 5 regime in their job hunting can soon become disillusioned if the right job offer doesn’t materialise quickly. It’s far better to look for work, say, from 9am until 1pm each day then have the afternoon off to take your mind off solely job hunting. Maybe in the afternoon you can take a walk, or cycle or swim. Do some decorating or gardening, it may not be work as you’re used to but it can be therapeutic. However, everyone’s different and you may have your own thoughts on how best to fill your days.

Your prime objective should be to balance your time with job searching with taking your mind off it occasionally so that you remain diligent in your pursuit of a new job but don’t overdo it and burn out which could demoralise you even more.

Job Hunting

Before you start job hunting, you should first ask yourself “do I want to continue in my current career or do I want a complete change?” If you were happy in your former career or role then go ahead with your job search but if you want a career change, it may be worth thinking about enrolling on a part-time college course to gain additional appropriate qualifications. Your local Jobcentre Plus can give you plenty of useful advice on courses and actions that could be suitable for you.

Spend some time polishing up your CV and make sure it accurately portrays you and entices the reader to select you for a Job Interview. Once again, your local Jobcentre Plus can assist you with this if necessary as well as coaching you in effective interviewing skills. Make sure you have access to a computer and lots of writing paper and envelopes. Then, plan a campaign about how you will go about your job hunting. What publications would be best to read, should you register with an employment agency, what about contacting people you know who work in the industry you wish to work in. Could they help you?

Lastly, be active. A job isn’t going to come looking for you. If you’re not sending out job application letters most days or making the relevant phone calls or doing your research, you’re not trying hard enough! Remember, every week you waste effectively means the loss of a week’s potential income.

With some help and advice from careers professionals, alongside the support of family and friends and your own determination, it shouldn’t be too long before you find suitable work and embark on a new beginning.

Last Updated on 25 May 2021

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