Life After Redundancy
The impact of the recession is taking its toll, reducing job opportunities so greatly that many people are now in a place of uncertainty and despair.
Just recently I came across the following stats:
- More than 530 Britons are losing their jobs every DAY
- More than a million women are now unemployed in this country
- Britain’s overall jobless rate of 8.4% is worst since 1995
- Around 1 million people have lost their job since the credit crunch in August 2007, and face a battle against other desperate jobseekers to find another one
- The resulting clamour for employment means there is an average of almost six people chasing each job vacancy, with record numbers forced to accept pat-time work because the could not find a full-time job
[Stats from http://www.Dailymail.co.uk - UK Unemployment Article]
It doesn’t make for great reading and who knows when it’s going to get better.
What I want to do is give you room for hope. It's been eight years since my redundancy and I am truly happier in my life.
What I won’t do is tell you redundancy is no big deal; it is. Even though my redundancy pleased me in many ways (I was bored, unchallenged and ready to move on) it also made me question my ability, my skills… me.
Here are some steps I took that not only changed the way I viewed myself, they also gave me the confidence to build my own business, one step at a time.
- Instead of focusing on ‘why’ I lost my job I focused on my life as a whole. I took a step back to look at where I’d been, what I had accomplished, the highs and lows in my life, what I had enjoyed and what I hadn’t. My ‘I’ story helped me to get some clarity on how I ended up where I was and what I needed to do to create the life I wanted.
Redundancy provides you with a partial picture of your life. What have been the lessons across your life as a whole?
- Having received 3 months pay I made an agreement with myself to have 1½ to 2 months off so that I could give myself some time to discover what was important to me. This included some personal development work (an investment that I am forever thankful for) that challenged my way of thinking and encouraged me to look at my behaviours. Whilst I considered myself to be a very positive person and had received comments to support that through my working life, I definitely had ‘doubt’ issues, most of which came from previous experiences in my life that I had not dealt with and therefore penalized myself for. Taking time to review and change my thinking paid dividends and opened me up to the opportunities and possibilities around me.
What thoughts from your past might be holding you back? Do you have thoughts that support you or that beat you up? What will it take for you to see the opportunities around you?
Even if you’re the type of person that wants to get straight back out there make sure you approach potential employers with a positive mindset; they won’t want to hear negativity regardless of understanding the emotional impact redundancy brings.
- As part of my personal development I spent some time assessing my skills, my preferred work environments, how I’d like to work (remotely, Monday to Friday, shifts, etc), what I wanted for my life (lifestyle) and what type of work would fit the lifestyle I desired.
It is too easy to choose a job and then try to fit the rest of your life around it. What difference might it make to you if you decide on the lifestyle you want first and then identify the kind of work that supports it along with the skills you wish to utilize and develop? What do you care about and what are you good at?
- Goal setting! I set myself goals for both my personal life and work life. On the back of the points above writing my goals with clarity was easy, it just took time. This was not an overnight process but it was worth it.
Are you setting goals for the different areas of your life? Are the goals SMART and are you making them achievable by chunking down the things that need to be done to achieve them?
- Getting my finances in order; not something I had spent nearly enough time focusing on when I was in employment. It was painful to realize all the things I hadn’t done like save, invest, create an emergency pot of funds, but as with so many things, crisis forced me to take a good look! For the first time ever I created a written budget (as oppose to the one in my head that clearly hadn’t worked) and painfully worked at putting it into action. It was not an immediate success (I resisted for a while) but perseverance and common sense got me there.
What have you put in place to create a financial safety net for your worse case scenario? Do you have a written budget or is there one in your head? Have you saved or invested?
This took over one year to work through and I temped, taking short term contract work to meet my financial obligations. However by the time I started my business I had a vision of what my life was going to look like going forward; that was all I needed to keep me in action, to keep me taking steps everyday and keep me motivated.
Fast forward eight years, I am an award winning trainer, helping women create the life they deserve, passionate about my work, loving life and working smarter not harder.
Redundancy turned out to be a true blessing even though I didn’t know it at the time. It may not feel or seem that way if you are faced with it now but don’t give up hope, your dream may be but a few steps away…