It wasn’t so long ago that being made redundant was a cause for major trauma. Apart from losing a regular income people often felt a real loss of identity and felt that there was a stigma attached to the whole issue of redundancy.
Although redundancy can still cause people a lot of distress and personal worry, there is little or no stigma attached to it today as we all appreciate these days that there are very few ‘jobs for life’.
The important aspect of dealing with redundancy is to have adopted a well-established attitude to the world of work in the 21st century and, perhaps, to view work and your role within the workplace very differently to how your parents might have viewed it 20 or so years ago.
It’s the Job That’s Redundant, Not You!
Today’s business world moves extremely fast and it’s not uncommon for skills that were in demand a few years ago to be of little use today. More often than not, employers will realise the benefits of updating the skills of their existing pool of staff in order to retain the best people, even if that means a valued member of staff perhaps changing jobs and roles frequently within the same organisation. However, for those where their skills are no longer needed, the fact of the matter is that it’s those skills and not the person themselves that are being made redundant and, if you adopt that attitude, you’ll rid yourself of any notion of feeling stigmatised if you are made redundant.
Accumulate Many Skills as You Go
Although you may be ‘on staff’, another healthy attitude to adopt towards work is to think of yourself as a contractor to the company. In other words, they are paying you for the skills that you use within the company. At some point, you may need to take those skills elsewhere but use the opportunity to amass as many different skills as you can so that you are armed and equipped to move on to perhaps better things, should you be made redundant. Keep an eye on employment trends and take the opportunity to update your skills where necessary. Unless you’re involved in something highly technical and specialised, most skills you’ll require in the workplace can be easily transferred to another job and not necessarily exactly the same job as you have now so if you are made redundant you’ll feel equipped and ready to move on to the next challenge armed with a relevant and up to date set of skills.
Opportunity for Change and Personal Growth
Once you’ve got over any initial shock of being told that you are to be made redundant, look at it as an opportunity for personal growth. The time could be spent at looking at the skills you have and the kind of job you want to do next. Perhaps you’re even fed up with the kind of work you do and want to try something else that you’d enjoy more. Previously, you might have been so busy simply doing your existing job that you didn’t have time to fully explore other avenues so perhaps now’s the time? Redundancy offers you the chance to re-evaluate your life, your finances, your ambitions, your dreams and, even though times may be tough financially at first, it can provide the catalyst for the instigating the next stage of your life and many people often look back later and say that it was the best thing that ever happened to them.
Redundancy can also test your resilience and strength of character but with a positive attitude and a determination to succeed, it’s not the end of the world, and can often open new doors to new experiences and once you’ve emerged from the other side, you’ll feel more confident about yourself and your ability to survive. It will also boost your self-esteem as you successfully negotiate another of life’s obstacles.
It’s important to remember that many people have done the same job for years and years because they’ve had little choice yet they’ve never thought about doing something else that would give them more pleasure so seize upon redundancy and the opportunities it offers you.
So, if you are facing redundancy, see the possibilities and potential for change as exciting rather than daunting. A new job, re-skilling yourself to do something new and better, returning to full or part time higher education or even working for yourself are just some of the possibilities that may be open to you. The important thing is to use the time productively, remain positive, seek out opportunities and see it as just another challenge that you’ll get over and also as a chance to open some new doors.