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How to Cope with Redundancy and Move Forward with Confidence

Posted on June 2023

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There have been a great deal of redundancies in the technology sector over the last year, as many large tech corporations let go of the additional hires they made to meet demand for online services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are now starting to see signs that this downturn is coming to an end, but that doesn’t change the fact that being made redundant can be a traumatic experience, leading to feelings of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. In addition to the emotional toll, the financial impact of a job loss can also be significant.

If you have recently been made redundant, or would like to support a friend or family member who has been, let us guide you through how to cope with being made redundant, manage stress, and move forward with confidence, with the help of Suzy Reading CPsychol, B Psych (Hons), M Psych., Chartered Psychologist and life coach, who specializes in wellbeing and stress management.

Coping with the Emotional Impact of Redundancy

Being made redundant can be an overwhelming and stressful experience of loss and change. “There are lots of normal, natural ways to respond to the news of losing one’s job,” Suzy Reading told us. “For some people, it could be a welcome relief from a difficult job situation or looked at as an opportunity for moving on in their life. But for others it can come as a deep shock and will have a significant emotional impact.”

Suzy noted that the sensation was akin to mourning and mentioned that the physical and psychological reactions were analogous to what one might experience while grieving. Although, since there are many different variables, reactions can vary greatly. When confronted with this type of situation, it is completely normal to experience any the following common responses:

Emotional ReactionsPhysical Manifestations
AnxietyFatigue
AngerHeadaches
FrustrationWeight Loss/Gain
SadnessSleep Disturbance
FearUpset Stomach
PanicMuscular Tension
OverwhelmNausea
GriefIncreased Heart Rate

​Before doing anything else, address how you are feeling. Whether it’s sadness, anxiety, anger – or, on the off chance, relief – recognize your emotions and reflect upon them.

Separating yourself from rejection is another important step. Even though your redundancy wasn’t personal, it can certainly feel that way, so it may take some time and practice to work through this mentality. Suzy adds: “There are so many highly skilled, capable, and resourceful people who are in the midst of flux in the workplace. It’s important to understand that you can be extremely good at your job and be immensely valuable, but no one is immune to redundancy because there are numerous factors involved.”

Journaling, practicing mindfulness, and speaking with trusted friends and relatives or a counselor can all help to nurture and support you through this period of transition.

Stress can also be effectively managed physically by incorporating exercise into your routine and receiving bodywork such as osteopathy to reduce physical tension. Additionally, mindful eating and consistent sleeping habits are crucial for ensuring you stay in peak condition.

Telling Your Friends and Family About Your Redundancy

The news of job loss can be difficult to process, often taking a while for the gravity of the situation to really sink in. But when you feel ready to discuss it with loved ones, it can be hard to know where to begin. So how do you go about opening up to friends or family members?

Suzy told us that it’s firstly important to think about who in your circle offers you a safe and compassionate place, but also the skills that they each have, because not everyone has the capacity to be the support you need in that moment. “You get those who play the devil’s advocate really well, and others who are the problem solvers – they immediately want to help to find solutions. That only works later down the line when you’re in a position to think about your next steps.”

Informing family members or partners of the news is difficult, as not only must you cope with your own emotions, but simultaneously help them process their reactions. For those on the receiving end of the news, Suzy advises that they ask what that person needs. Is it brainstorming? Is it to simply listen? Draw on the positives and help them identify their skills and strengths. “But there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach,” she went on to say.

Suzy did however stress the importance of tending to your own needs first, to process and digest your emotions, before sharing the news with others. To reach a place of assurance and take the next step confidently, the following tips may prove useful:

Assessing Your Finances After Redundancy

Once you feel you in an emotionally secure place, thoroughly assess your financial situation. Even if you are planning to return to work as soon as possible, it’s a good idea to examine all of your outgoings so you can prioritize your bills, inform your creditors and find out if any help is available, temporarily reduce unnecessary purchases or subscriptions, and check if you have any insurance policies that cover redundancies.

Understand Your Rights After Redundancy

After redundancy, understanding your rights will ensure that you receive any support and entitlements you are eligible for, but this will depend on your country, state, the number of redundancies your company is making, and your terms of employment.

Check your employment contract’s terms and conditions, including any clauses related to redundancy, notice periods, and severance packages, and familiarize yourself with the redundancy pay laws in your area.

If you have any concerns about your redundancy or think your rights have been violated, you may wish to seek legal guidance, as employment laws can be extremely complex.

Moving Forward: Keeping a Resilient and Positive Mindset

While it can be difficult to maintain a positive mindset after redundancy, especially when dealing with the shock, uncertainty, and stress of being without a job, it's important to remember that this period of change presents opportunities for growth and new beginnings. Focus on what you can control, such as your attitude and outlook. Remember that you can decide to stay positive and look for the opportunity in the situation.

Once you have come to terms with the emotions of redundancy, it is important to focus on the positives. This might include having more time for family and leisure, taking up a new skill or hobby, or getting involved in volunteer work. All of these activities can help to keep your spirits up and provide a sense of purpose during this difficult time.

Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, mentors, and fellow professionals who can provide encouragement, guidance, and perspective during this transition. Share your thoughts, aspirations, and concerns with them, and draw upon their wisdom and experiences. Connecting with individuals who have navigated similar challenges can also provide inspiration and remind you that you're not alone on this journey.

By shifting your perspective from loss to potential, you can open yourself up to exciting possibilities and maintain a positive outlook moving forward.

Decide Your Criteria for Your Next Career Move

Despite your redundancy, tech professionals are in demand in practically every industry, so it is essential to keep an open mind when considering your next options. Create a list of negotiable and non-negotiable components, including salary ranges, commute times, additional benefits, and any other details that are important to you.

Redundancy also brings you the opportunity to explore different career paths or industries - if you have been wanting to make a career change, now is a perfect time prepare for it. While many tech professionals are attracted to a career in financial technology, there are over half a million exciting roles available inmedical technology in the US[1]. The manufacturing, media and entertainment, transport, and Software as a Service (SaaS) industries are also experiencing rapid innovation in tech and are calling out for skilled professionals.

Consider taking advantage of online courses, workshops, or certifications to enhance your skills and position yourself with an in-demand, transferrable skill set.

Getting Back in the Game: Launch Your Job Search with Confidence

Once you have decided on the direction you want your career to take, start to update and optimize your resume and LinkedIn profile. Create an application goal to reach each day, and research various companies you are interested in working for. You can also sign up to a specialist talent partner like Glocomms, where our team can match you with suitable vacancies and support you throughout the hiring process.

Your resume is your elevator pitch, so it is essential to showcase your unique skill set in the most effective way. For advice on writing the perfect resume to help you land interviews, read our top tips blog here.

During the hiring process, prospective employers may inquire about the cause of your departure from your previous job. But this question, Suzy says, is “not a comment on who you are as a human being – it’s about saying ‘this experience has allowed me to embrace the next opportunity.’ Quite simply, focus on what you can bring to the table.”

How Glocomms Can Help You Meet Your Ultimate Career Goals

While losing your job can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, it also provides the opportunity for a fresh start. Tech professionals are in high demand, so grab this chance to take control of your career, explore new paths, and build a fulfilling future.

By signing up to an experienced technology talent partner like Glocomms, that has extensive global connections and deep market knowledge, we can provide advice on new opportunities and help you build your career to new heights.

Submit your resume today and kickstart your job search.

[1] Medical Device Industry Facts - Advanced Medical Technology Association