How to manage the redundancy process

Colin Lloyd, Regional Director of Personal Career Management in Leeds gives his top tips on managing redundancy.

It is unlikely that we will go through our careers without the dreaded R word appearing somewhere along the way. We can expect to change jobs 10-15 times and career shift 3-4 times over our ever lengthening working lives. Mostly these career changes will be made on our terms and whilst stressful we will retain control of the when, where and how we make the change.

We are all aware of how the world of work is changing: longer hours, longer working lives, less job security. Jobs will be more transient as business looks for a more agile workforce to keep pace with the rate of change. Redundancy will feature in this process – it’s not inevitable but if it does happen then here are some ideas and tips of how to manage the situation:

It’s nothing personal

The role has been redundant, not you, the role you did no longer exists. You have done nothing wrong, it’s important to avoid thinking in terms of not being good enough. Find a way to positively describe your situation and keep repeating it.

Don’t panic

Redundancy can come as a shock and your initial reaction can be to panic. Try hard to fight this and keep calm, hasty decisions now may not be the best strategy in the long term. Give yourself time to get a handle on the situation before making any important decisions.

You don’t need to deal with it on your own

There is plenty of help available, you can start by asking your employer to consider funding an outplacement programme for you to help you get back into work quicker. Double check what your entitlements are, organisations like ACAS Citizens Advice can provide help and information. Also talking to your Union or an employment lawyer can be useful.

Don’t become a recluse

Look after yourself, take exercise, eat healthy and don’t let your life stop whilst you are looking for your new role. Make time for friends and family and to enjoy yourself and keep a positive outlook.

However you are feeling right now – it’s normal

It is entirely normal to have a rollercoaster of emotions following redundancy, anxiety, happiness, denial, fear, guilt, hostility, sometimes you can experience all of these in just one day. The good news is that over time they will pass and be replaced by a feeling of acceptance and moving forward. Again it’s normal for these thoughts to bounce round and to feel that you aren’t making progress but it will pass.

Have a plan

In fact have several plans, one for anything which is on your mind – sitting down and working through a household budget plan will focus you on your financial situation and cash flow. A job search plan will give you structure and help you make measured decisions. Breaking the whole redundancy thing into manageable chunks will help with the feeling of being overwhelmed with the enormity of it all. Including action points in your plan will stop you drifting into inactivity and sharing your plans with those close to you will keep them involved and will help spread the load.

It might be an opportunity in disguise

It might not seem it at the time but it could be the impetus to do something different and more rewarding, use redundancy as a springboard to do something you dreamed of and but would never have given up your current role to do.

Personal Career Management support individuals who are facing redundancy or have already been made redundant. For advice on settlement agreements or for information on our outplacement services please contact our Head Office on 01753 888995 or fill in our online contact form.

We also provide career coaching and outplacement programmes ideal for those at Director level