Dealing With Redundancy
You’ve most likely heard the phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen”. When it comes to the workplace, the proper term is redundancy, and it’s one of an employee’s worst fears. If you or your department have been made redundant, these tips will help you through the tough transition period so that you can deal with redundancy in a positive way.
What is Redundancy?
Redundancy is when an employee or employees have their work hours reduced or they are relieved of duty because they are no longer needed. This can be due to downsizing, outsourcing or having too many employees doing the same job. Imagine that you have a project and a set amount of tasks.
However, you have more people than tasks, so some project members won’t have anything to do. The reality of the workplace is that you can’t pay someone to do very little to nothing. You may be forced to work less or find another job because the company doesn’t have enough work for you, but some workers can qualify for redundancy pay.
Coping with redundancy
Dealing with redundancy is tough. The feeling of no longer being needed hits us on a personal note, but coping with redundancy starts with positive thinking.
Keep calm and carry on
Don’t panic! The best redundancy advice we can give is to stay calm. Don’t make any rash decisions. It’s tough to wrap your head around being made redundant, but no good ever came out of a snap career decision in this type of situation. Ask your employer what your options are. They most likely have suggestions and helpful tips for making your next career move. Remember: they don’t like redundancy any more than you do.
It’s tempting to look back on every moment of your work life and try to see where you went wrong. Could you have prevented this from happening? Was there something you could have done to avoid becoming redundant? Instead of getting stuck in the past, look forward to the future. Concentrate on where you’re going from here on out. Make a plan. Take some time off if you need to. There’s no time like the present.
Change is good
You might have felt it building up for some time – boredom. Your 9-5 has become a dead-end job that doesn’t make you satisfied like it used to. Whether you’re ready for it or not, redundancy makes your situation ripe for a change in your career path. Yes, it can be stressful, and the thought of not having a steady paycheck for some time is enough to make anyone cringe. On the other hand, this may just be the boost you need to find a job that’s fulfilling and, dare we say it… fun.
Lean on a few shoulders
All those feelings bundled up inside you aren’t going to settle themselves, and no amount of positive thinking will completely eliminate anxiety. That’s why it’s a good idea to talk to family and friends about your situation. Coping with redundancy is a lot easier when you have a shoulder (or several) to lean on and a listening ear. We’re not saying you have to make your family member or friend your therapist, but airing out those emotions is good for you.
Weigh your options
Your boss may have a career help centre set up for employees who are victims of redundancy, but it all boils down to a choice that you have to make. What are your options? Should you take a lesser workload in order to stay with the company, hoping things get better? Should you start filling out resumes? Should you take a break from work and take a much-needed vacation before jetting off to another career? Take a good look around at your options, weigh them, and make the decision that’s best for you.
Remember that it’s not your fault
Redundancy isn’t discriminatory; it happens to even the best workers, and it can happen to you. If it does, remember that it’s not your fault. Economic conditions and other factors play a huge role in the fluctuation of employee numbers, and it may have just been your company’s time to bite the bullet. Hang in there! Don’t harbour resentment towards your boss or co-workers; chances are, they’re just as bummed out about the job shift as you are.
How to Cope
We asked a number of leading businesswomen how they coped with being made redundant - here are their stories:
“I was made redundant from my role in an internal recruitment team for one of New Zealand’s largest and most well know companies. Ironically my role was delivering outplacement programs for employees within the business whose roles had been disestablished and had managed several large restructures across the business on a national basis.
Then our team went through it’s own restructure. Although I (and the outplacement program I’d put together) survived the first restructure, we ended up with a new Recruitment Manager who had been appointed externally. His approach was different and he wanted the team to focus solely on recruitment and to outsource things like the psychometric testing and the outplacement (both of which were the main components of my role). My role and one or two others were disestablished.
Although it was a shock initially, I quickly realised that it was actually a great opportunity for me. Not only did it give me a taste of what my own outplacement clients went through during a restructure but it also meant I had an outplacement program in place to launch my own business with a ready made client and a couple of projects about to kick off. Two and a half years on, I’m still in business and have not only retained a great connection with my former company but I have several new clients.” - Ali Hunter, Career Insights
“In May 2015, I lost my job at a multinational corporation I’d been working at for 4 years when the position was relocated to India as part of a global cost-cutting exercise. I was in a senior Accounting role successfully climbing the corporate ladder. Feeling a little lost, I decided to focus on growing a small consultancy I’d established (more or less like a hobby).
I invested some of my redundancy payout into the business – Financially Empowered – to set up systems, developed a website and marketing strategy and gave the business my all. Financially Empowered aims to empower women in small business with skills to understand and manage their financials. Through Financially Empowered, I also provide financial literacy workshops for various not for profits, private sector organisations and government agencies.
Since being in business a number of my clients have been women whose roles were also made redundant. They are all have fantastic technical skills when it comes to their business but require my support in setting up good financial systems, learning how to do their bookkeeping and ensuring that they are complying with tax legislation.
Running my business and assisting women in business has by far been my most fulfilling role. The redundancy is one of the best things that happened to me. I am now living my life’s purpose of empowering other women.” - Grace Mugabe, Financially Empowered
Help Dealing with Redundancy is on the Horizon
Don’t feel like you have to go through this yourself, or that you have to rush to find a new job. If you need a helping hand, contact Double C Coaching today to see how we can help you. We’ll be your listening ear and guide during this difficult life situation.