Redundancy can stop even the most resilient of us dead in our tracks. It’s a moment no-one ever wants to confront in their working lives. After the initial shock thoughts turn to how we’re going to tell family and friends, the questions start flooding in. What kind of package will we get? How long can we wait to find a new position before we’re in crisis? What are the career implications? It can be a traumatic experience, lit up with all manner of anxieties. But maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how you can turn this sudden halt to one chapter of our working life towards a positive pivot to the next.
Look for the hidden message
Think of redundancy as a message. Perhaps it’s a sign it’s time to get a new job or to pursue something you’ve always dreamed of doing like starting your own business. Perhaps it’s a sign to retrain or study. Or it may simply be a sign to take some time out or travel. And just to help you on your way, you’re being given a lump sum of money as you head out one door and into a new one.
Create a plan
If you do take time out of the workforce, the reality is that eventually you’ll probably need to find another job. Fortunately right now unemployment is relatively low and most redundancy survivors find themselves back in paid employment. If you’ve looked after your finances appropriately before and during your redundancy, then the real issue becomes working out just how long you’ve got with your pipe dreams before you need to get another job.
Seize the day
Leaving a secure job to start a new project can be a difficult thing to do. But if it is forced on you through redundancy then the leap is already made and there’s less to lose. You can’t control what has happened, but you can control how you respond to it. So rather than focus on the negative implications, try to see the positive opportunities redundancy brings.
Get your finances in order now
If you find yourself at the point of redundancy with major debts and little in the way of savings, then you may be facing difficult time. So if you’re reading this and you’re not redundant, now is the time to balance the desire for a new car, a larger house or an extended holiday against the need to put your finances on a secure footing. In the worst of circumstances, the redundancy payout will help you deal with some of those problem areas on your balance sheet. If on the other hand you arrive at redundancy with your finances well in order, then you’re even further out in front.