Redundancy. Just the word can be terrifying. Our professional positions often define us and provide for us and losing that is intimidating. Especially in the uncertain economic times we’re all experiencing. Statistically, we will all at one stage in our careers, experience being made redundant. In that way it’s a very normal part of adult life. But normal or not, it provokes a lot of fear and anxiety. From financial insecurity to a shift in how we see ourselves professionally. However taking a step back from our instinct to fear redundancy, there can actually be some very positive things that come out of it. Hard to believe? Keep reading, it’s all a question of perspective.
Take Your Time
The shock of being made redundant can make you feel like you need to make immediate plans, find a new job, retrain, all right away. Resist the urge. A redundancy notice period provides you with a very unusual gap of time to stop and take stock. Reflect on the job you’ve just come from. What did you enjoy, what did you least like? Dig deep into what it is you would like to move on to do professionally. Many of us find ourselves in positions for years without realising how much time is passing and it’s a gift to reevaluate where we want to see ourselves and what changes we’d like to make. Maybe now is the time to retrain for the role you really see yourself in? Or set up the small business you have been quietly thinking about for years? Use your time to really be honest with your goals, financial needs, and your work-life requirements. Researching and planning here will put you on the path for a far more fulfilling professional next step.
When we’re employed, the requirements of our job come first and it’s easy to feel a little like you don’t have choice in your days and weeks. Now you do. You can learn from your past positions and use your experiences to inform your next steps. If your family set-up has changed, perhaps you want to be able to work more flexibility from home from now on? Or maybe your commute was becoming increasingly problematic and ideally you want to avoid that? It’s unlikely you could make these changes from inside your role so now there is a forced change of circumstances it’s important to take back the control you can and make choices that serve you better going forward.
Have The Right Attitude
Redundancy is a time of upheaval and flux in particular when you’ve been in your position for many years, but try to be as positive as possible about it. You now have the chance to shape your professional future in the way you want and this could be the motivation that you need to get out of your work rut. Looking for your next position or setting up as a freelancer or the owner of a small business, all require a positive, can-do attitude. Opportunity is not going to come knocking, you need to be proactive, focused and open to what’s ahead. Pour any frustration you have into researching the business you’d like to grow or networking in the industry you would like to move into. Redirecting negative feelings into positive action is the way forward.
Use Your Network
We are constantly building up our networks, professionally and personally. And after years in one position, you may not even realise how broad and useful your networks are. Now is the time to make use of them. Start putting feelers out among friends and colleagues, chat to people, let them know what you’re looking to do and what steps you’re interested in. You’ll be amazed at how helpful people are, we’ve all been in the same boat and most of us are very happy to connect and advise when possible. Make use of online networks like LinkedIn and depending on your industry, Twitter and Instagram. Then there are local organisations you can lean into. Find industry groups or new business guidance and develop networks in the area that really interests you. [link to Go For It] Connection comes in many shapes these days and there are fewer barriers to reaching out and asking for counsel, so do as much of this as you can.
Build Yourself Up
Your skills weren’t made redundant, in fact your employability, experience and potential are more valuable since your time in that role. Focus on that. Know that you came out of your job with a set of skills and experience and now if you choose to, you can build on those. Perhaps that means retraining completely? Or building up the skills in your area to allow you to apply for more senior or specialised roles? Maybe that means researching a business plan [link] and finding an industry mentor for advice. Or it could be finding work experience in an area you’re curious about but have no experience in? Whatever the direction for you, expanding your professional expertise and horizons is always time well spent.
Experiencing redundancy is undoubtedly a challenging time. Personally and professionally. But knowing that after that initial shock, it can also present you with unexpected opportunities and the chance for growth in all areas of your life, it can be an incredibly positive experience.
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