Surviving through redundancy

18 Jul 2020
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Getting your head in the right place will help you reach for your next role

Thanks but you’re no longer needed…

Losing your job is huge, emotionally and financially. No matter how pragmatic you are or whether you knew it was coming, it still hurts to be told that you’re surplus to requirements.

And financially, it can cause a big strain, affecting your ability to pay important bills like your mortgage, forcing you into re-evaluating your budgets and facing up to making some pretty stringent cut backs to your standard of living.
Then there’s the stress of telling people around you that you’ve been let go, the sense of failure and worry about an uncertain future. It doesn’t help to know that you are one of thousands in the same position as we feel the far-reaching effects of the Pandemic. It’s natural to feel a slew of negative emotions but it is important not to let them overwhelm you to the point that you can’t think straight or see the wood for the trees.
There are important steps you can take to keep you on the right track for your next job…
Here are some tips that might help you stay on track to be in the best position for your next challenge:
  1. Try not to get stuck in negative thoughts – it’s natural to focus on the negatives, to worry about an uncertain future. Take time to process the information being given to you (our stress response system is designed to spotlight the danger but it’s not always helpful especially when you need a clear head at the moment)
  2. Lay out what’s in front of you – Make sure you know what your costs are and find out if you can take any mortgage holidays, speak to credit card companies to see if you can postpone or reduce payments. Have a clear picture of any commitments in the immediate, and those coming in the future (we worry more about the unknowns than what’s actually in front of us)
  3. Get planning – Block out part of the day to spend on your search, let people around you know (that includes friends and family), they’re all your network of supporters and you never know who they know or talk to – a job might come at you sideways
  4. Speak to your family – Get them onside, explain the situation in a calm way without making it big and scary but let them know you need their support – with kids, it’s lots of hugs and kisses, playing nicely so you’re in a really good environment, older kids can help around the house keeping it tidy, etc (it’s about sharing the load, not offloading the burden – that’s not to make them worry but you won’t be doing yourself any favours if you’re trying to keep things quiet and not worry them)
  5. Think about the jobs you want, and the ones you would be prepared to do – it doesn’t have to be forever. If that’s not an option, really think about the role you want and get yourself in front of those companies through direct approach and recruitment companies. There’s nothing wrong in sending speculative applications to your preferred employers, the worst is you hear nothing or a negative response – or you might be just what they need
  6. Look after yourself – Have a routine, it will help to keep you balanced
  7. Look after your health – eat, sleep, exercise, and try to relax. You need to be in top shape to ride this challenge – that’s not easy when you’re worried, but use things like movement and exercise, connect with others, go for a walk, change your outlook
  8. Practise breathing exercises every day – breathing helps to promote mental wellbeing. Breathe in slowly through your nose counting to 7, pause, breathe out slowly through your mouth counting to 11, pause – and repeat 6-7 times. It takes around 2 minutes
  9. Look after your emotional and mental health – give yourself a break, make sure you have some gaps in your day when you’re not thinking about the future, finances or finding a job, fill it with joy, whatever you love to do. A little happiness every day will ensure that your chemical balances are maintained
  10. Notice the good things, be kind to yourself and appreciate your efforts – that all helps to cap your thoughts spiralling out of control (when we over-worry we release cortisol which keeps us fixed on the problem, you might notice your heart rate increases, feeling panicked etc. That isn’t helpful. Instead, when you focus on the positives you release serotonin, which keeps you on an even keel, helps to keep your head clear and you’re better able to cope and make good decisions)
And finally, remember that this is a moment in time, maintaining a sense of optimism will help you weather through the stormier days and help you to be in the right place to see opportunities when they arrive – and you’ll be better placed to accept them.
Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye and say “I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.”
Then repeat to yourself the most comforting of all words, “This too shall pass.”
– Ann Landers
If you are having to make people redundant at your workplace and would like to support them through this stressful time, whether they are the employees being made redundant and helping those who remain in work through these difficult times, get in touch. We offer talks and training on managing mental health and stress, so that everyone can ride the waves and come out the other side with enthusiasm and in a positive mental state to tackle the new challenges we all face.
Drop me an email to see how we can help:

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