How you cope with redundancy is not as easy as most of us imagine. The initial feeling of freedom can quickly turn into stress induced depression, anxiety, loss of contact with people, loss of daily structure, and loss of sustainability. If you have been employed with the same company for a long time, you may find yourself suddenly in control of your every move, and have little idea on how to manage that.
How to cope with redundancy
But don’t despair, redundancy can offer you many new opportunities, or provide you with the time and resources to start a project or new career you always dreamed about. Here are our top 10 tips on how to cope with redundancy:
#1. Take time out
To figure out what you really want to do: go back to the same type of career, take a career break, change careers, start your own business, become self-employed?
This is the perfect opportunity to look at your career now that you are not inside it. Really take stock and decide if more needs to be done before you move on to the next phase of your life.
#2. Count your blessings
You may not have a job right now, but you may still have your health, a roof over your head, your family and friends supporting you. You may still have one income in the household. Remember that your career is only one aspect of your whole life. If you find yourself becoming stressed, or feeling down, focus on the positive aspects of your life. Working is not the BE all of living.
#3. Be patient
Mostly with yourself! Your job was made redundant – NOT YOU!! Don’t take it personally or it will tear you apart. Be practical about the reality of what has happened. An organisation cannot maintain their workforce, they did not decide to be rid of you personally. You are now provided with options, and you need time to explore them
#4. Spend your redundancy pay wisely
If you’re thinking about setting up your own business, you can use the money to buy the things you’ll need like a car and a computer. Otherwise, spend something immediately on a treat for yourself. It is your reward for managing so well, and you were probably looking forward to something before this all happened anyway, right? Spend as much as you need to sort yourself out with interview clothes. The rest could be invested (wisely) or put into a building society account, preferably one of those that requires notice of withdrawals and save it for emergencies.
#5. Keep busy
If you immediately take a vacation, or embark on a long trip – have something specific planned for your return, as you can become easily discouraged on your return. Once over the break you planned, make sure you keep busy and maintain your health. Take walks if you don’t want to spend money on a gym membership, make sure you get outdoors in the fresh air.
Make it your day job to search for work. Assign so many hours each day to the task and avail of the many websites and other resources to help you in your quest to find work. Re-educate yourself on CV writing and interview techniques of the 21st Century.
#6. Beware of aimless social networking
Watch the TOP 100 funny videos of last year. Look at the top 5 cute cat videos. Take the personality and ‘How good is your grammar?’ tests. Get it out of your system. Have a good giggle, and then LEAVE THEM ALONE. Social networking can run you into a tunnel of despair and loneliness, if you let it. You should be using the sites by now solely to get yourself “out there” and seen to be looking for work/opportunities/connections, not blandly surfing the net for no reason. Ensure your time online is constructive. Use social networks wisely to maintain your CV (linkedIn), reconnect with colleagues and peers (Twitter, FB), or build relationships for future endeavours (G+).
#7. Actively seek assistance and help
Claim unemployment benefits if you are entitled to them to help fund your work search/break. Let your friends and family know you are available for work if you plan to re-enter the workplace. Feel proud of your new direction, it is such a positive time in your lifeHire the services of a Career Coach if you need some help with direction and decisions.
#8. Offer your services
Offer your services to charity or the disadvantaged to keep busy or to keep your skills up to date. This can also be very rewarding as well as provide the missing routine you had when working. It is a noble and rewarding way to spend your time, and a perfect way to give something back to the society that supports you.
#9. Catalyst for personal growth
Redundancy can be used as a catalyst for personal growth. If you have been in a career for 15-20 years, it may well be time to consider your options, or take time out to learn something completely new (or maybe not so new, something you always wanted to try out).
#10. Remember that you are not alone!
We have all heard the statistics over the past months. But we have survived recessions before and will experience them again. This has not only happened to you and is not a time for self-indulgence and self-pity. If you find the media depressing, stop watching the news, and don’t get dragged into negative conversations at social events or down the pub!
We all know the reality and don’t need to be reminded every minute of the day – there are enough folks out there to do the worrying. Look after yourself in the short-term with a view to long-term sustainability. And don’t forget to have some fun!!!
If you are considering a new direction, including starting your own business, have a look at our fantastic information-packed eBook on why and how you can very quickly be setting up in business.