So, You Think You’re No Longer Needed.

Written by on 28/10/2019

One of the worst experiences of any persons career must be receiving the news that they are being made redundant.

As the initial shock turns into a nauseating kind of realisation that we need to tell loved ones, before evolving into the terror of working out how we will keep a roof over our head. It can feel a cold, lonely and frightening place.

Questions such as, How much do I owe?, How much have I got?, How long will it last? are quickly followed by Why me?, This is unfair!, I must be no good.

Thousands of words whizzing around inside our head that connect to form sentences which we apply our own, individual meaning to, and all this within a split second – they can serve more to paralyse than push us forward.

Remember this: our own response to the situation determines how much of our sanity remains intact when we get through this, and come out of it stronger on the other side.

There is a way, you can do it.

The following advice is offered from my own personal experience of consultation that resulted in me being without a job after 37 years of continuous employment. My intention being to give you some of the steps that helped me find a way through. I’m not claiming that it’s a full definitive list or that it will be plain sailing, although what following the steps in the list will do, is increase your chances of moving forward.

Depersonalise it

Get this in your head, now – The company is not making YOU redundant, it is making YOUR ROLE redundant.

YOU can never be redundant, not even when your time on this planet is up, because even then, YOU will still be inspiring those people who love YOU and admire YOU.

Tip

When you speak to people about it avoid saying “I’ve been made redundant”, replace it with “they’ve made my role redundant” or “they’ve made the whole team/dept redundant”

Remember: YOU are not redundant. YOU can never be redundant.

Your Cash

If you haven’t already done so, work out now, how much money you have and how long it will last you. Take everything into account. Your savings, your final payment, other income, and then have a look at your outgoings. Do you really need Amazon Prime, Sky Sports, a takeaway tonight? Drop anything that is not essential.

Setting a budget will help to put your mind at ease a little, and also give you some breathing space to think more clearly.

Tip

Using a spreadsheet or app to record everything. Update the information regularly.

MMEx is a good app and Piece of PC software to start recording your income and outgoings.

Your Mindset

Regardless of what you think of the situation you find yourself in, there is nothing you can do about it other than choose your reaction to it. Your reaction will determine how long it takes to get through this.

A very strong, very powerful part of your mind may want to complain about what you believe to be bad decisions made by the top brass, or the fact that you feel the decision is unfair and unjust – this isn’t going to help you if you allow it to take over your thoughts – by all means vent your frustrations, and when you do, make sure you:

  • Don’t offend anyone.
  • Keep your dignity.

Tip

If you find yourself wanting to scream:

  1. Grab a cushion and scream into it. Do this for as long as required (*17 mins max if in North Yorkshire).
  2. Learn how to silently scream inside. A useful skill that you can use in other areas of your life when this is over.

Afterwards you’re likely to laugh, cry or contemplate. Laughing and crying are great as a release, if you go for contemplation, make sure you guide your thoughts towards putting your focus on what you need to do to move yourself forward.

Remember: YOU are not redundant, YOU can never be redundant.

*It takes North Yorkshire Police 18 minutes to respond to a call of “there’s a man screaming into a cushion in York DFS”

Your Caché

A redundancy notice has a remarkable way of focusing your mind. Now’s the time to erase all those little niggles and petty arguments you’ve been carrying around in your head – clear your caché.

Focus on what’s important.

Tip

Every now and again, those little niggles can come back into your thoughts, if you find yourself in that space, switch off for ten minutes and listen to some feel good music.

A couple of favourites that might help

What’ll I Do by Lisa Hannigan – A foot tapper with a video that’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

Changing by Sigma ft Paloma Faith – Makes me want to dance.

Golden Age by TV on the Radio“…. now the hate is gone, I believe pollutes this space…” (still trying to work the video out on this one).

I Feel Love by The Blue Man Group ft Venus Hum – Play it loud and another video that’s got the happiest person on the planet singing.

Once you’ve had your ten minutes, go and do what you need to do, now that you’re not letting petty stuff poison your thoughts.

Your KASH (Knowledge, Attitude, Skills, Habits)

Define what you can offer any company. Clarify it in your mind and update your CV with it and send it to recruitment agencies.

The advice I was given at the time they made my role redundant, was to focus on a small number of key skills that would catch the eye of a recruiter looking through hundreds of CV’s.

Businesses don’t just want someone with the knowledge and skills to do a job. They’re looking for people that also have the right attitude and habits.

If you want to do something different, set up an account on vizualize.me and do your CV as an infographic.

Update and refresh your LinkedIn profile and information.

Tip

Knowledge – your certificates and qualifications: List these towards the end of your CV.

Attitude – use words and phrases like solution focused, positive approach, team orientated etc. – don’t overdo it. Be honest.

Skills – Your achievements. How have you used your knowledge to benefit the organisation? Increased sales by XX, reduced accidents by xx, increased return on investment by xx.

Habits – For this context, note some hobbies and interests at the end of your CV. 2 or 3 that tells people what you do outside of work – don’t overdo it. Be honest.

If you’re thinking of working for yourself, grab a copy of ‘Go it Alone’ by Geoff Burch. Some sound advice and some timeless old school sales techniques.

Maintain Your Relationships

That strong, powerful part of your mind may make you want to publicly attack your organisation, or some individuals within it – please refrain and maintain your dignity.

Whether justified or not, a public attack does no good for anyone. It can demotivate your friends who are still working there as well as running the risk of damaging your own reputation. There is nothing you can do about it so act on the things you can do something about. Your focus, your mindset, your dignity.

Tip

Don’t even go for the ‘little online dig’. Conserve every ounce of your energy for the tasks you need to do, to get you ‘right’ again.

Use Your Network

This is a real opportunity to find out just how great the human race is. Let everyone know that you’re looking for work, and use all available methods to do so.

After the initial shock of your notice period, finding out just how much people are willing to help you, can restore your faith in humanity and give you some much needed positivity.

It’s OK to ‘Fall’

If during this process you find that the situation is getting the better of you and you’re unsure if you can remain positive, that’s ok. In fact, it’s part and parcel of going through a redundancy, and is likely to show you’re getting a much needed release every now and again – I don’t know of anyone that can remain 100% positive throughout any situation, do you?

The important thing here is to make sure you bring yourself back round to focusing on what you need to do next, to get you where you need to be. All there ever is, is now, so do what you have to do.

Tip

Fall down seven times, stand up eight.

Good luck

Doing all of the above is not guaranteed to get you a job… but it dramatically increases the chances of it.

It’s a list of some of the things that got me through my own notice period and helped me to keep my sanity. I’m hoping it does the same for you if you need it.

Good luck in your search, someone out there needs you and what you can offer.

Remember: YOU are not redundant, YOU can never be redundant.

If you have any other advice that might help someone, please leave them in the comments below or send us an email and I’ll update this piece.


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