You’ve been made redundant. What next?

This article is not about legal entitlements, income support, and how to find a new job after being made redundant. A good summary of resources on these topics has been ably provided by the Australian Department of Human Services and can be found here.

This is more about the mental, psychological, and emotional ramifications after you receive your notice.

What’s going on in your mind as soon as you know your days with your employer are numbered?

Do you view this development as an opportunity to write a new chapter, or as a crisis that needs fixing?

Your choice determines your attitude, your language, your self-perception, and how you will respond when someone innocently asks how work is going.

Here are three tips to ease yourself through this major career transition.

  • Give yourself time to grieve and adjust. Even when you know it wasn’t your fault, you may still experience emotions of loss, grief, and doubt about your abilities. This is normal and human. Allow yourself to feel all your emotions, and to be fully aware of them without judging them as good or bad.
  • Discover or revisit your values. Your values are the intangible things that are most important to you. Examples: Family. Money. Achievement. Helping others. Excellence. Knowing what your values are gives you immense clarity, because you now have an internal guidance system or inner GPS that can help you filter and prioritize all the information, opportunities, and demands on your time and attention.
  • Discover or reconnect with your life purpose. I believe that we all have some inkling of what we are here to do, but over the years, as we got busy with our careers and lives, we disconnected from that inner knowing. A defining moment like a redundancy can be an opportune time to ask ourselves, “What am I here to do in the world? What am I here to contribute? What is my legacy?” and then to work backwards and find meaningful ways to live and work so that we answer those questions in the most fulfilling ways possible.

Doing this deep work can be confronting, especially if you are doing it for the first time, so don’t go it alone. Reach out for support, whether from a trusted friend, spiritual buddy, or a professional career coach. Most of us are accustomed to burying our emotions and getting on with it. Just speaking out your feelings and feeling heard and supported can have a healing effect on your nerves and confidence.

A professional career coach is trained to hold the space for you to feel safe expressing your deepest doubts and fears, without judging you or over-analyzing past events to find out why things have happened the way they have. The focus is on what is in your highest interests now, and how to move you there from here. The coach facilitates the process of reconnecting you with your own inner reserves and resources, so that you emerge more empowered, confident, and clear about how you will write the next chapter of your professional and personal life.