Redundancy and transformation: why it is the perfect opportunity for change
Redundancy can be a shock. Even if you secretly hated your job, the feelings redundancy can throw up can be surprising. We have heard many stories about how people have been thrown, even when they guessed it might be coming. Once the initial feelings have been allowed to calm down, however, there is a gift in redundancy. That is the gift of change.
That time after redundancy is the perfect opportunity for you to take a step back and consider what it is you really want. Hopefully, you are lucky enough not to have to throw yourself full pelt into getting a job straight away. Perhaps you have had a redundancy payment, or are able to dip into your savings? Even if you have neither of these, and are relying on benefits to help you until you get back on your feet, what you may have is some time.
Using redundancy to aid transition
Time is not to be underestimated. Use it wisely. I advise my redundancy coaching clients to take some time out every day to consider next steps. It doesn’t matter whether it is first thing in the morning a coffee, or on an afternoon walk. Use this regular time to ponder what comes next. Questions you might to ask yourself are:
How did my last job fit with how I see myself?
What bits would I want to keep?
Do I know what would I like to leave behind?
What, in my heart, do I really want to do?
Who do I want to spend working time with on a daily basis (and it’s okay to say no one!)
Do I really want to start at the bottom to do something new?
Could I retrain? Do I have the time and the money to do so?
What support do I have around me and how can I access it?
What do I see my new identity in the future?
How can my job or career contribute to that?
While many coaches suggest asking yourself these questions in one session, I am a believer in spreading them out. I also suggest revisiting them on more than one occasion. You may find that you will feel differently about something from day to day. You may also find it useful if, on one occasion at least, to get someone else to ask you the questions and probe your answers too.
Over time, a clear picture of what you really do want will emerge. It may look very different to how you imagined when you first heard the news about your redundancy. Yes, redundancy can be a period of intense stress, but it can also promote the most surprising and fulfilling transformations. It can really be an opportunity to change your life for the better.
Paula Gardner is a career psychologist and redundancy coach and the founder of The Redundancy Recovery Hub.