7 Tips To Survive Redundancy

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash
I got made redundant in the summer of 2018.
Well ok, not me personally but my position, that said it felt very much like it was me.
It was a sucky time. I became super paranoid and suspicious of the new people that had joined the group. I also felt isolated, probably because I had retreated into my safe shell and when I did emerge, eek, I was horrific. My Chimp Brain was in total control and I was in a heightened state of fight or flight.
I understood why friends who had eagerly taken redundancy didn’t seem to be very happy about it at the time.

Here’s what I did to survive

  1. I asked for help. Many of us think we are a burden if we ask friends and family for help. We aren’t, so ask. I went out to my network and was introduced to an employment lawyer who helped me navigate the process. I was open with my personal trainer and she tailored our sessions to help me deal with my anxiety and anger.
  2. I went back to my therapist and she helped me to make sense of how I was feeling. Most organisations have an employee assistance scheme that is confidential, give them a call. It is an enormous relief to talk to someone who will just listen.
  3. I set up coffees with all of my friends at work so I could find out first hand what was happening and we could offer each other support. I also set up meetings with all my key contacts in the business so they knew what was going on and to set up catch ups for after I left.
  4. Knowing that my Chimp Brain was in control I made sure it did not make any decisions in the moment. I would attend each of my consultation meetings with a trusted friend who would also ask questions on my behalf if I was feeling too emotional. I always said that I needed to think over what had been said and come back with an answer.
  5. I was kind to myself. My anxiety levels were through the roof and sometimes all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and veg. I also knew I was struggling to control my emotions so I negotiated with my boss to work from home most days and that if I did come in I could work in the informal working spaces away from my team. In hindsight this was a selfish thing to do, as a senior member of my team I should have been there for them AND I knew I didn’t have the capacity to be.
  6. I only focused on the next stage in the process and on what I could control.
  7. I took a break. Actually my husband made me take a break, he said I needed some time to get bored so I could work out what next.

What it’s not me, it’s a friend or colleague?

  1. Ask how the experience is for them, not everyone has a horrible time going through redundancy.
  2. Listen, don’t fix, offer your support.
  3. Be kind and forgiving. Your friend or colleague may be acting differently to the way you usually experience them so cut them some slack. That said, absolutely call them out, in a caring way, if they are being horrible to you. You don’t deserve to be someone’s punching bag just because they are having a tough time.
  4. It’s normal to feel guilty if your position is safe. Notice how this might change your interactions with those leaving and ask yourself if that is how you want to say goodbye.
Ultimately, regardless of the role you play, remember to focus on what you can do and make kindness your buzz word. Looking back I’m grateful for the experience, it gave me the push I needed to stretch myself professionally and I’m now more passionate and in love with my career than ever.

PS: Weekly check-in – week 12

My concerns about be consistent in 3 things seem to be unfounded. I suppose it helps that one had already become a habit so I was only adding two more and it definitely helps having the visual reminder above my desk.

√ – exercise, any exercise no matter how small even it is just 5 minutes of yoga before bedtime. It’s about maintaining my identity of someone who exercises every week day.

Elephants  every day I either coach or facilitate I do a 6 minute reflection. This week my reflections turned to what captures my attention the most, making coaching simple for anyone to use. Stay tuned for a free workshop coming at the end of September.

62 the number of weeks in a row I have published a weekly letter – subscribe.

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