Mind & Body

Redundancy can be a difficult pill to swallow, here’s how to thrive after it


Author and recruitment powerhouse Roxanne Calder shares her insights about being made redundant.

Redundancy can be a difficult pill to swallow. Sadly, redundancy does not just affect the person being made redundant, but also the families and those closely connected.

It goes straight to the core of insecurity–financial and personal. If you feel affected by your redundancy, your feelings are legitimate and should not be marginalised.

Redundancy can feel like losing your identity and, in extreme situations, lead to feelings of isolation and even depression. And that’s even if you had a ‘say’ and took voluntary redundancy. The ‘role’ our job plays in our lives and the link to many other important facets is often underestimated.

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For some lucky individuals, redundancy is a gift if you worked in a job you didn’t like and felt unfulfilled! But, it can happen to anyone, and most people do not discuss it.

According to LinkedIn research, one in ten hide their redundancies, even from their families and friends, due to embarrassment. This is incredibly sad, but the harsh reality of the impact redundancies can have on people.

There should be no stigma of being made redundant

COVID brought the reality of how fragile our jobs are to the forefront of our thinking. We became familiar with the situation, accustomed to it, and if it was the ‘black sheep’ on your resume before COVID, it is now just the ‘new black’. Hiring managers and employers are highly sensitive to the current environment and will be sympathetic and understanding. And the good news, you are still highly employable–if you allow yourself to be!

Do not let redundancy ‘own’ or define you. You have transferable skills to consider alternate career options, and an additional or heightened skill you may not realise– a unique and acquired awareness of our new ‘surroundings’. Do not underestimate what you have absorbed in emotional awareness and understanding of our new world. These human skills and sensitivities are in demand in all industries and job clusters.

The downside of redundancy is the toll and impact on your self-esteem and self-confidence. It is unfortunate as they are two crucial elements in successfully securing a new job! Very few of us escape a redundancy unscathed. There are bound to be some scars–but turn these to your advantage. Work on these ‘wounds’, just like any other injury, and be stronger, fitter and better than pre-redundancy!

Another feather in the cap

With your existing, transferable skills and deeper understanding of the sensitivities of the workplace environment, you have earned the rare chance to bring forth new opportunities.

I am sure you have dealt with life’s unpredictabilities before. Recall how you managed to overcome them in the past. Bring that feeling forward in adopting a victorious and positive mindset.

People often confuse being employed with being employable–it is just not the case! We should all work on our employability factor, even and especially while being gainfully employed. Your employability is not based on set, static, defined ‘skills of the day’. This is a mistake often made by those employed.

Being employable is how you morph, adjust, and change, alongside your technical and human skills. If you have been made redundant, use this time and reflect in strengthening your skills–upskill and reskill. Package it with your optimism and self-confidence as you look for a new job.

The outlook post COVID

If you are a female and were made redundant, there is further good news. So far, the market recovery has favoured women, which is a surprising outcome, given what was referred to as the ‘pink-tinged recession’ last year.

Amid COVID, women were indeed worse off, with a reduction of 471,000 jobs versus the decrease of 401,000 for men. However, by March 2021, women were ahead with 74,940 more jobs than before the recession and men being 650 worse off.

It is imperative to believe in yourself beyond job security. Place belief in your values, skills and confidence, in assigning the power to where it belongs. While jobs can be ‘taken’ away, the investment in yourself always stays with you.

Nurturing your investment mindfully will assist you in successfully moving forward. Insecurity and self-doubt will be put at bay and assurance of your employability and a sense of freedom takes its place. When you have confidence in your employability you will rise above any other career setbacks, be it redundancies or something else. Make this your new beginning.

Roxanne Calder, author of ‘Employable – 7 Attributes to Assuring Your Working Future’ (Major Street $29.95), is the founder and managing director of EST10 – one of Sydney’s most successful administration recruitment agencies. Roxanne is passionate about uncovering people’s potential and watching their careers soar. For more information on how Roxanne can assist you in your career visit www.est10.com.au