Being made redundant can feel like the end of the world when it’s happening but with time, it can be an opportunity for the change you never knew you needed
Losing your job or being made redundant is a significant life event which can cause huge stress and anxiety. If you have recently been made redundant, it’s completely normal to be feeling a whole range of emotions.
However, according to Susan Dwyer (pictured below), co-founder of Rise Up – a private membership network focused on connecting and supporting women leaders – the most important thing to remember is that there are simple steps you can take to gain back control and rebuild your resilience.
Here are her top tips for getting back on your feet after being made redundant:
1. Be kind to yourself
Some of us have a higher tolerance for times of uncertainty than others because of our different lived experiences so don’t beat yourself up if you think you are struggling to cope more than your peers. Comparison is the thief of joy, avoid it at all costs. Instead, try reflecting on all of the difficult life events you have overcome in the past – and survived. This is a great reminder that you have always managed to get through tough times and are much more resilient than you give yourself credit for.
2. Take time to reflect
If you don’t own a journal, now is the perfect time to go and buy yourself one. Use this precious time to take a step back from the ‘busyness’ and reflect on how you are feeling, what emotions are coming up for you and revisit your career and life goals. Sometimes we can get so focused on working on our employers goals, that we forget about our own. Ask yourself questions like: What have I learned? What am I most proud of? What parts of my old job gave me energy and what parts left me feeling drained? What do I actually enjoy doing? Who are the types of people I enjoy working with? This will all be key information for determining your next move.
3. Develop new skills
Build confidence by getting out of your comfort zone. Look at your existing routine – is there anything you can do to shake things up? What is something new you could try that would open you up to learning? What are the things you would like to do but you choose not to because they make you feel uncomfortable? It could be something like getting up earlier, reading, calling a friend, posting on social media. Start with simple things. Write an uncomfortable list and pick things from it every day. Slowly but surely you will get comfortable being uncomfortable and this is your window of opportunity for developing new skills.
4. Connect with people
Forget about the word networking and focus on connecting with people. Write a list of people in your network, start with family, friends, colleagues, ex-colleagues, old school/ college contacts, neighbours, club members, etc. Make contact, let them know you are looking for a new opportunity. Be specific about what kind of work you are looking for and ask them if they have any information or know anyone in a relevant field. Never assume that certain people won’t be able to help you – you may be surprised by who they know. The important thing is don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember that it feels good to help others and that most people will gladly assist you if they can.
5. Work on your personal brand
Whether we like it or not, we all have a personal brand and with the world being more digital than ever before – it’s so important to invest time into your online profile if you want to stand out to future employers. Think of it as marketing yourself and your career expertise. If a hiring manager is to google your name, what comes up? Is it an accurate, up-to-date reflection of who you are and all your accomplishments to date? If you are not sure where to start I would suggest starting with your LinkedIn profile. There are so many ways to promote yourself here and it’s all free!
6. Remember, you are not your job
Your job is not your identity and while work is important, never let it become your everything. In the end, our lives are so much richer than just what we do for eight hours a day. We all have significant relationships, things we’re passionate about and unique personality traits that can’t be encompassed by a job. Challenging times like this one ultimately make you stronger so keep showing up and never stop believing in yourself. The best is yet to come.