“ When I was a young manager I lost my job. The loss of self esteem for anybody losing their job – and a lot of people are going to experience that in the next months, sadly – is a huge blow. You don’t know how to talk to your family about it. You walk down the street and assume people are looking at you. The inner voice in your head, which is such a key to everybody’s wellbeing, is running away with itself and catastrophising” Gareth Southgate’s comment in the Daily Telegraph talking about losing his job as Middlesbrough Manager
Losing one’s job can lead to feelings of embarrassment and shame, or the fear that other people might see us as unsuccessful. It is the time to talk things through, not bottle it up. We need to grieve the loss of our normal routines, friends, and colleagues in the workplace. Sharing your feelings is central to grieving. If you employ a coach, this could be the start of your transition before beginning to think of what comes next.
With redundancy, people normally have a little time to think, but too often look for a similar job to what they have already
I suffered these feelings 3 times in ten years, the first time being the worst. The company I had worked for went into liquidation owing to Directors misguided actions and although I wasn’t in the top tier, I still felt responsible. It took me about 3 months to crawl out from under my stone and another 3 months before I realised it wasn’t my fault and most people were very supportive.
How do people feel when they are made redundant?
Is there any difference when the individual opts for redundancy, as against being made redundant? For those that are made redundant, it often means a cycle of grief including shock, denial, anger, guilt, despair, depression and finally acceptance. Everybody reacts differently and as soon as the person looks forward and not back, the more likelihood of success. Even where individuals opt for redundancy, it can create doubts and worry and most often find it easier to jump into the next job, (maybe not so easy in 2020) rather than assessing and planning for what they would really like to do.
With redundancy, people normally have a little time to think, but too often look for a similar job to what they have already. In today’s environment those similar jobs may not exist. What transferable skills do you have for a job in another sector? Take some time to consider what you have enjoyed in your previous job.
On the other hand, how will a prospective employer see you. Will they believe you have transferable skills? Do you need to get additional training to fill in any gaps? Does your CV need changes to bring out your best experience and skills to fit what the employer is looking for? When is the last time you had an interview? How confident do you feel, would some practice be useful? A dummy run with me is normally a lot more difficult than the real thing! It will also give you confidence and mean you are ready for the real thing.
Many of us could be made redundant at any time, so it is important how you recover from this that matters. It normally comes back to positive thinking and setting goals. The accountability and responsibility are yours alone but there is no harm in getting impartial, confidential support during this time, rather than struggle through on your own.
So, redundancy can be the most miserable time of your life, or it might take some time to become your biggest opportunity. Gareth Southgate learnt from his experiences and is now England football manager, where do you want to get to?
If this happens to you, will you make it an opportunity?