How to survive redundancy with minimal financial and psychological damage

How to survive redundancy with minimal financial and psychological damage

| Editor-in-Chief's Column

Eventually, the unpleasant moment arrives in everyone's life – you get fired.

Even if you loathed your job and were going to change it, your boss just got there first - you have to admit, the event is still traumatic. However, no matter how insulting it may be, no one is immune from being made redundant, even if they are the most productive and efficient professionals out there, with hundreds of skills in their portfolio. On average, we change our jobs about five times during our lifetime. In fact, at least once, it happens against our will. This occurred even to me, and not because I failed at something. It was just more profitable for the company as it had to relocate and go through restructuring. Therefore, today we will not discuss how to avoid dismissal (we have already talked about this here), but how to survive it.

Tip 1. Do not make sudden changes

As a rule, after being fired, we are seized by panic, and terrifying images immediately pop up in our imagination, like we'll have to live in a box from under the refrigerator. It seems like our entire world has collapsed. But I am telling you to stop panicking because your life has not halted! After the first dismissal, I did not give myself enough time to mentally recover or to reflect on what had just happened. Then I stifled all my negative emotions and urgently started looking for a new job to restore my normal routine as quickly as possible. Although in the end, this behaviour just gave rise to my disappointment lasting even longer than it should have taken.

In a period of instability and confusion, it is far more important to pause and assess the situation with a sound mind. Firstly, focus on your feelings and identify them. You may feel pain, resentment, injustice, anger, or aggression. The vital thing is to realise that all these feelings are an entirely normal stress reaction, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Instead, accept the fact that negative emotions are an equally valuable and vital part of our lives from which there is no escape.

Tip 2. Examine the situation and work on the mistakes

Examine the situation and work on the mistakes

There are numerous reasons for dismissal, and the problem is not always down to you. Perhaps the company is trying to avoid a crisis, improve their procedures, or reduce costs. However, it must be acknowledged that, more often than not, the employee does not really manage the tasks they are given, systematically violates corporate ethics, or does not have a good relationship with their colleagues. This does, in fact, lead to a decrease in the overall productivity of the company. Suppose your boss is a true professional in their field and a competent boss. If this is the case, they will explain why they fired you. As I said, there are a few options: either you were unsuitable for your position, or your dismissal is linked to the company's interests. However, you do not need to blame yourself for either one. Instead, recognise one simple truth: the job market is incredibly volatile, and you must change to fit in. Think of the dismissal as a trigger for those changes you have lacked.

In any case, sum up the results of your work in a particular organisation: outline the pros and cons, organise your developed skills, and keep in mind all the problems you encountered in the workplace. That is, perform "correction work". The key is to do it honestly and without bias. Be grateful for the experience, do not try to justify yourself or blame someone else for your failures. If the redundancy was due to your professional level, find out what tasks and assignments have been difficult for you, what your weaknesses are and how you can work on them. Look for a direct approach to problem-solving, including getting fired. Furthermore, if you now eliminate your knowledge gaps and level up, you will not only prevent such events from happening in future, but you will also be able to request a higher job position.

Tip 3. Make time for yourself

The world is moving fast; therefore, we live in an endless, never-ending race - that is a fact. However, once you can take a breather, please do not pass it up! When else can you take care of your mental health? No, this does not mean you can fall into melancholy and not leave your house for days. Surely, you have hobbies and interests - so indulge yourself. Complete the household chores, sort through your wardrobe, visit your grandmother in the village, get out of town for the weekend - in a word, do whatever you used to put off. Moreover, ensure that you exercise. It is the best way to eliminate the effects of stress and strengthen the body! Especially if your professional background is connected with intellectual activity, the brain is constantly tense. Active rest perfectly resets the mind. And then, when you reboot…

Tip 4. Be careful with your finances!

Be careful with your finances

A vital rule of financial literacy is to set aside 10% of your monthly earnings in an emergency reserve. If you have been successful, now you do not have to worry about money and can wait awhile before looking for a new job. However, suppose you did not think about savings or security in case of an emergency. In that case, I am afraid you will have a tough time. Although, there is a way out: you need to optimise your costs! This can be done by giving up anything unnecessary. So often, we spend money on something out of habit, even though this or that purchase is useless. So, I advise you to evaluate your expenses and figure out what you can live without and what stays essential. For example, why not stop buying cappuccinos in the morning and learn how to make homemade Turkish coffee instead? It is definitely not only cheaper but also tastier!

Another equally important and much more enjoyable way to stay afloat for the first time after losing your job is to monetise your hobby. It is nice to do what you love, to be appreciated and at least make some money. For example, if you are fond of needlework and create knitted, woven or embroidered masterpieces, please share your creativity! Start a separate social media page and post photos of your work. Someone will certainly be interested in your work and want to buy something from you. Over time, you will get more customers, and your efforts will pay off. Most importantly, do not forget to believe in yourself!

Suppose you already have a well-loved and promoted profile on social media. In that case, attempt to start blogging at a professional level. Share useful information, discuss what interests you, and do networking with your hobby. Then, one day you can make money by placing ads or receiving donations on different platforms, such as Patreon.

Perhaps you will find a new calling in life, thanks to a more attentive attitude to your hobbies. However, if you are used to regularly going to the office, exposing your life to certain rules, and having a particular daily routine, whilst receiving a normal wage, then freelancing might disappoint you. In that case, participate in a monetised hobby until you feel the moral strength to move on and climb the career ladder again. When this moment arrives, Lectera courses and I will certainly help you!

How to find a new job

First, I advise you to blow the dust off your notebook and ask all your friends and colleagues from previous jobs about suitable vacancies. If you still have a good relationship with a former manager, do not hesitate to ask them for help. It also happens that big bosses recommend certain professionals to each other. Therefore, I always talk about how important it is to maintain a friendly relationship with managers, even in the event of a dismissal or disagreement. Perhaps former acquaintances will help you find a new, more promising, highly paid job that you could only dream of.

However, you need to act immediately on all fronts! Update your CV and post it on different job search platforms, such as:

  • LinkedIn

  • Glassdoor

  • Indeed

Job fairs are also extremely helpful. These are offline events where various companies place their stands, talk about themselves, and make business acquaintances. You can instantly find out about the employer's requirements, speak with company representatives, and clarify any questions you are interested in.

The most indispensable thing in business is to be self-confident and remember that any event in our lives, even if it is not the most enjoyable, opens up new opportunities for career growth! Only then will you succeed in your profession and find personal happiness.

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