Redundancy can be a stressful and upsetting time for everyone. Even if you’ve seen it coming, it’s often a shock. You may feel anger, disbelief, embarrassment, anxiety, guilt, or that you've been unfairly treated.

It's important not to deny these feelings, as they are perfectly normal. They can manifest themselves in different ways such as tension, lethargy, irritability, anxiety and a change in eating habits.

If you’ve recently lost your job, or are worried about being made redundant, here are 5 top tips to help you prepare yourself for your next chapter.

1. Talk about your situation

For many people, work is more than just an income. It offers status, a daily routine and a sense of purpose, together with an interesting and challenging activity. For some, their social life can also revolve around work colleagues. This is a lot to lose.

If you’re stressed or in despair, it’s so important to talk about how your feel with other people, such as your colleagues, family and friends. Sharing your thoughts and feeling with others will allow you to process your emotions and come to terms with what’s happened. As research professor Dr Brené Brown says, shame cannot survive empathy. So, by leaning on the support from those around you, and allowing them to be there for you, you’re bound to feel a sense of release.

2. Establish a new routine

People who’ve been made redundant say they find it helpful to establish a regular daily routine. This often means getting up as if you’re going to work, getting dressed and focusing on finding new paid employment. Having some structure to your day will help keep you positive and enable you to keep track of what you've done today and what you need to do tomorrow.

For some ideas on how to bring some structure to your day, check out our coping with redundancy guide which contains some handy tips.

3. Don’t take it personally 

Redundancies are rarely, if ever, personal. But sometimes it’s hard not to take it that way. As someone who’s being made redundant, you might feel undervalued and overlooked, which can affect the way you view yourself as a professional. A diminished sense of self-worth can have a big impact on how you tackle the next stage, as you may feel like you’re not good or skilled enough to apply for positions at a similar or higher level.

This is why it’s so important to practice self-compassion as this will help you to re-build your confidence. Reminding yourself of all you’ve achieved so far and remembering that you’ve got plenty of moves left to play. Don’t leave it too long before you start looking at what’s next - whether that’s applying for your next job, or, if finances allow, taking some time out to think about how you might use this as an opportunity to realign yourself with your life goals.

4. Re-invent yourself 

When we’re young and still in school, we sometimes feel as if the whole world is open to us and that we can pursue any profession. This feeling of possibility tends to lessen the older we get as the number of financial and personal obligations we have grows. However, don’t forget that it’s never too late to re-invent yourself.

No matter what age you are, redundancy can actually be an opportunity for you to take a positive step forwards in your career, whether this means applying for a similar role but for a company that better aligns with your values, or going down a completely different path and exploring another sector completely.
 
For those wondering what their next move is, we offer career and personal and professional coaching services as well as personal and professional development courses. Contact us today to find out more.

5. Tend to your financial wellbeing

Losing a job can do terrible things to our financial wellbeing. You might be worried about how you’re going to pay your bills this month or if you’ll have enough money to look after your family. These feelings often weigh heavy on us, making us feel caged in and like we are running out of options.

Much of this is down to feeling like you don’t have any ownership of your future. Remember, financial wellbeing is about control - control over your day-to-day decisions and long-term goals. While you may feel like you’re at a loss of what to do when you’ve been made redundant, there are ways of regaining a sense of agency.

The first thing to do is to take stock of your finances and create a budget. One you’ve got a better idea of what you’ve got coming in and out of your accounts, it’s easier to make rational decisions that will positively impact your situation.

You should also look into what help is out there for you, as there are many support services in place for people who are experiencing financial difficulties. CABA offers a range of financial services to its members and their families, including financial assistance, debt management advice and benefits counsel.

The importance of perspective

Staying hopeful is all about perspective. It may seem devastating and scary right now, but it will pass and things will get better.

And remember, you don’t have to struggle alone. Contact CABA today.   

CABA provides free lifelong support to past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, ICAEW staff, and their close family members.

If you’re worried about the impact of the pandemic on you and your family, find out how CABA can support you.