No matter how seriously you prepare or carefully you plan, experiencing redundancy is never easy. There’s no two ways about it. It just feels wrong. So much of who we are is tied up with our career identities. A pink slip saying you are no longer needed can feel like a personal rejection rather than an occupational one. But with companies experiencing global downsizing shifts and major financial restructuring, redundancy is becoming more and more common. What do you do when it happens to you? Staying positive after redundancy is possible. There are some simple things you can do to maintain a positive outlook after your redundancy experience.
Separate Yourself From Rejection
Studies show that men often have a more difficult time with redundancy. One of the chief reasons is because so many men tie their personal identities with their professional image. That’s not to say it’s not difficult for both men and women. Both sexes can be career driven and have a lot invested in their current professions. The first step in staying positive after redundancy is to separate yourself from rejection. This will take some discipline and you may have to do mentally focus often at first. Understand that you have not been personally rejected. A redundancy isn’t personal, despite that fact that it does affect you personally. It’s your conceived skill set that has been made redundant. But, just as you acquired knowledge that was previously in demand, you can do so again. Even though you suffered the redundancy, you still have important viable knowledge. The challenge now is to make it marketable and current. Refuse to feel rejected by a redundancy. You are more than your career. Refuse to be defined by an employer, committee or board. This is your chance to move with a new current in your field. Don’t drown in some perceived failure. You are not your job title.
Assess Your Position
The next step in staying positive after redundancy is making this key decision. Do you want to remain in your current field or move into a different area? You might consider working with a Career Change Coach or Redundancy Coach. There are many qualified coaches available that can assist you in redefining your skill set. They can help you hone your current skills to a marketable level and help you get a birds eye view of the playing field in front of you. Assess your position with a positive attitude. Look at it this way. You are already have x amount of years experience. That speaks well on a CV. Acquiring some new skills to add to your years of experience will only make you appear more promising to future employers. Avoid naysayers during this time of self assessment. Make sure you give yourself a true appraisal of your knowledge. Don’t be negative. Don’t compare yourself to others or what your current employer had to say. Then, put your assessment to good use.
Career Change Support and Networking
With so many others experiencing the same time of career conflicts, Career Change Support is available online and probably even in your city. Be choosy about which group you become involved with. You want to find a positive, active Career Change group that helps its members in actively seeking new career opportunities and education. Don’t become involved in a Career Group that allows alot of time for members to vent frustrations publicly. These groups are more for emotional support. You want a well rounded group that allows some emotional support, but mainly offers real advice and ideas on getting a leg up on your new career. Also the group should allow and hold some networking events that could help you meet new people in related fields. Also, don’t pay high fees to become part of a group without getting some real ideal of what is in it for you. You don’t want to make a year long commitment when you expect your career transition length to only be a few weeks or months.
After the Axe
Even when you do your best to stay ahead of the stream like taking classes to pre-empt your company’s swinging axe, sometimes redundancy is just unavoidable. Once your name has been entered in the column, it’s usually in pen and not easily erased. For your own personal health, it is very important that after the anger subsides you refuse to become bitter. One of the best ways to do that is to allow some healing time to pass before mixing and mingling with former work friends and employees. Then after your season of healing, you can meet those former work friends with a positive attitude. Don’t burn your bridges! You may find your new employer in business with your previous one. Or a thousand other situations could occur that you would possibly want to avoid if you let the redundancy experience turn ugly. Be careful about trashing your former boss. Resist the urge to blog about your redundancy but if you must keep it general. Don’t use names, pseudonyms or bad language. Keep your integrity and your reputation intact. It’s simply not worth losing great future opportunities just because ‘you lost it’.
What Tomorrow Holds
Yes, you’ve just experienced a significant loss. There’s no argument there. But it’s truly not the end of the world. Stay positive by focusing on the future. No matter your age, sex or position, it’s never too late to redefine a career. You may find tomorrow, that experiencing redundancy pushed you into new and exciting directions that otherwise you may have never ventured into. Take the time to meditate on things that are really important to you and your family. Re-evaluate and adjust your career standards if you need to. Do you really need to work more hours in this new career? Are you asking for enough money and benefits?
Don’t Be Reactionary, Be Positive!
Don’t take any job that comes along. Be positive and responsive without being reactionary. Falling into a convenient position may seem like a good idea, but is it really what you want tomorrow to look like? Stay positive about your future after redundancy by maintaining your right to be selective. You may be job looking, but your certainly not desperate. Take the bull by the horns and give yourself options.
Stay positive and be future minded. Do this and you’ll leave redundancy far behind.