Redundancy: 5 ways to survive and thrive

Having a job is a little bit like being in a relationship: there are bad ones, good ones, and fabulous ones. And when a relationship (or job) ends suddenly — even the bad ones, it’s not uncommon to feel shocked, sad, devastated, hurt, and empty. And then there is a tendency to ruminate, go over the past and doubting your past achievements, asking endless questions:

  • What did I do wrong?
  • Why don’t they need me anymore?
  • What could I have done differently?
  • Was this my fault?
  • What if….?

And the big one — What will I do now?

Before you go and lose yourself in a large tub of ice-cream (which is ok to do too, right?) we’re here to tell you that breaking up with one job, isn’t the end of the world.  You are not you’re job and there is a life after this job.

Bottom Line: You’re not alone

While it may feel that no one quite understands what you’re going through, redundancies in Australia are quite common. Latest statistics indicate that just over 381,000 Australians lose their job through retrenchment or redundancies in any given year.

So, what’s the best way to deal with a redundancy? Here are our top tips.

  1. Remember: It’s not you….it’s them
    Unlike a relationship break-up, a retrenchment or redundancy isn’t a personal attack on you, and nor is it personal rejection; it’s just an unfortunate part of business. So, don’t focus on why you lost your job or what you could have done differently and don’t beat yourself up that you’ve lost your job.  It happens to lots of people, what you do next is what’s important.
  1. Don’t lose sight of your worth
    Losing your job doesn’t mean you’re a failure, or that the work you have done didn’t count or the skills you have are no worth anything.  Don’t let your job status define who you are — as an individual, or as a potential employee for someone else.  Avoid comparing yourself with others in the workforce.  Instead, think about your strengths, your skills and your achievements.  See yourself as a having a marketable skillset that another employer will want.
  1. Take action
    Don’t wallow on the couch reflecting on what’s happened.  Focus on the future and take action to get there by:
  • Ensuring you receive your entitlements as per your redundancy package
  • Spreading the word that you’re looking for a new job
  • Volunteering to extend your networks or gain experience
  • Being more proactive about networking.
  • Starting your job search
  1. Undergo a ‘career’ health check
    This is the perfect time to update your CV, identify job trends and seek out career opportunities.  Set some career goals and decide the types of jobs that match your skills and aspirations.  Identify knowledge or skill gaps, and upskill to ensure the best chance at being re-employed in a job that will be challenging and enjoyable. 
  1. Seek support and good advice
    Now, we’re not talking about getting together at the pub with your fellow-redundant colleagues — although a last drink together may help give you closure. We’re talking about networking to identify opportunities and enlisting the help of a qualified careers coach who can provide proper support and excellent advice during this difficult time. A career coach can:
  • clarify what type of role you’re really after
  • help you explore career options
  • identify transferrable skills
  • assist you in updating your CV
  • help you identify networking opportunities
  • create a long-term career plan
  • prepare you for going for a job

Surviving a redundancy can be one of the biggest career challenges. And while you probably don’t have ‘be made redundant’ on your career bucket-list, if you focus forward and take action, you can get through it and come out the other side quickly and often with a clearer sense of career direction.