Surviving Redundancy, and Avoiding the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

When first notified that your role is at risk for redundancy, your first feelings are an equal mixture of disbelief and panic. This fades into being upset, then angry, then numb.

This is almost identical to breaking up with a boyfriend/girlfriend, though I have to assume a lot less kissing and hugging had been previously involved.

You may even try to work something out with your employer; apply for other jobs internally, write long rambling documents about what you COULD do, and how you could help if you stayed. It’s only natural to try everything.

But you have to ask yourself some VERY hard questions, and you may not like the answers; Did this happen to just you, or was your layoff one of many? Do their reasons make sense? Your introspection will pay off eventually, and allow you to move on much faster than if you hold on to your pain, and/or sense of injustice.

Besides, it may well be redundancy was their way of being NICE, they can always fire you…

The longer you have been in an organisation, the harder this is, and it’s natural to feel a little bitter and resentful. Venting to your friends is one thing, it’s even healthy in small doses, but venting to everyone you talk to, or in writing, or worse, in your next interview, will do nothing but hurt you.

Don’t do it.

You will be asked about why you left your previous employer, and because redundancy is a part of business, don’t raise any red flags by being derogatory or negative. Nor do you have to go the other way and say how much you enjoyed the previous job, that just makes your interviewer feel as though he/she is your second choice.

Be factual, and move on.

Once your redundancy has been finalised, and you have accepted the reality of it, get busy. Revamp your CV (which should always be up to date), revamp your LinkedIn profile, and start calling people. It’s not until something like this happens that you realise just how many people you know out there, and just how many will bend over backwards to help you. Reconnect, find a recruiter you trust, and see what’s out there.

There seems to be equal opinions on whether you should take some time off (if you can afford to), or jump right back on the saddle. Ignore everyone (except your spouse, that’s a bad idea) and do what’s right for you.

You can also try blogging, even if it’s just for a while, there is nothing quite like writing things down to put clarity into your thoughts. You will also find that it helps crystallise in your mind what you want to do next. Have a read of this post again, and bear it in mind when choosing your next adventure; Never Follow The Money

But what happens when your company is in the middle of laying people off, and you think you may be next?

You have to be even more careful, as you may just put yourself in a position to BE laid off that you were not in before! You are worried, so your motivation and morale slip, then your attention slips, closely followed by loss of productivity. This will be noticed, and you have now put yourself firmly in their radar in a negative way.

I’m not saying don’t start looking around for something else, in fact you should ALWAYS be open to opportunity, but you still have a job to do, so do it well.

I don’t know what the statistics are, it’s too nice outside to bother with research, but I’d say over the course of your careers you will be fired once, and laid-off once. So assume it will happen to you at some point and be ready for it.

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