Even if you saw it coming, even if it was voluntary, going through a redundancy process can be stressful and wearing. It can leave you questioning who you are, where you want your career to go and what your priorities are.
Put simply, in order to get through redundancy and come out feeling positive for the future, you need to address the way this process has affected your identity. The truth is that work is part of our identity, whether we like it or not. We compare ourselves to colleagues and define ourselves by the job we do because, unless we work on an extremely part-time basis, we spend a huge amount of time at work and often we’ve worked hard to get to where we are in our career.
Redundancy can present many challenges; professional, personal and logistical. Here are some of the most common and how to deal with them.
Losing your job can hit your confidence hard.
Our levels of confidence are tied up with our identity and our identity often becomes inextricably linked with our work. Losing your job can feel like you’re losing a little bit of ‘you’. How will you introduce yourself to someone you don’t know, how will you structure your day, how will you know how to pitch yourself at an interview (the latter feels much easier when you can describe what you are working on right now)?
There is also a stigma associated with redundancy - one we often carry ourselves. Even though we know that it rarely has anything to do with us, it’s hard not to take it all personally.
There is no ‘silver bullet’ when it comes to regaining confidence but understanding a bit more about how confidence works and how to cultivate it more generally could help. Have a read of this blog to find out more.
When you're thinking about how you feel now, try to draw out some of the specifics. How exactly do you feel about your redundancy? Which parts of your identity feel different? How would you introduce yourself to someone new now that you can’t fall back on ‘what’ you do?
What did you enjoy about your job? What would you like to have more of in your next role?
Going through this process can, ultimately, help you to feel more comfortable and confident with yourself as a person, not just a worker. Tapping into what intrinsically makes you who you are rather than relying on what you do can give you a refreshing perspective that could rub off on other people too.
Work gives you a purpose; a reason to get up in the morning and a way to structure your day. When you lose your job, your purpose changes. You may have family, friends and other responsibilities, but work takes up so much of your time that it can be hard to reconnect to your purpose when you’re in between jobs.
You might be about to go through a redundancy process and want to avoid having any time between jobs and find a new one right away. In either of these situations, it’s important to use this as an opportunity to reassess your work life and make sure that where you are going next is where you want to be. Have a read of this blog on finding your purpose to help you start that journey.
One of the biggest challenges you will face is knowing what to do next. What’s expected of you in the redundancy process? How do you go about looking for a new job? What support will you get from your company?
Your Voco partnership will give you an important opportunity to discuss things you may not feel comfortable talking to your current employer about. Use your conversations to help each other work out what’s important to you in this process.
If you haven’t received enough information from your employer about the support you will receive, don’t be afraid to ask for it. You should find that there is a good amount of support on offer and all you need to do is decide if you want to take it.
Work out what support is on offer and what support you think you will need. Share your challenges and concerns with your Voco match and make your time together a safe space.
Use the redundancy process as a vehicle to take stock of what you are good at, what you want out of your career going forward and what you want to let go of.