Even if you have seen it coming, redundancy is 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, which are perfectly normal. They can manifest themselves in different ways, such as tension, lethargy, irritability, apathy, anxiety, depression, loss of appetite or over-eating, excessive smoking, drinking or using non-prescription drugs.

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. This is a lot to lose. For some, their social life can also revolve around work colleagues.

Many people find it helpful to talk about their situation and find it a relief to share their feelings with colleagues, family and friends to cope emotionally and come to terms with what has happened.

You also need to have an understanding of the impact your feelings have on immediate family. Stress levels are likely to be high within the household and it’s helpful to think of ways to ease the strain for you and everyone around you.

Establish a new routine

People who have been made redundant say they find it helpful to establish a regular daily routine; get up as if you are going to work, get dressed and focus 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.

Ways to bring structure to your day

  1. Get up at the same time
    Start the day off by getting up at the same time every day, even if you don't have plans to go anywhere
  2. Take care of your health
    Eat sensibly and take regular exercise to ensure that you stay healthy. Regular exercise may prevent you getting depressed too - and it needn't be expensive. Your exercise could include cycling, walking in the park or swimming
  3. Maintain your social circles
    Stay in touch with friends, colleagues and other people in your field through phone calls, emails, texts, and make time for networking
  4. Make time for your job search
    Set aside regular time for job-hunting. Organise your search like a business project and try to take a couple of steps towards finding a job every day
  5. Evaluate your skills
    Evaluate your skills and experience and tailor your applications accordingly. If you were employed at a senior level, consider whether you ought to lower your sights to obtain another job
  6. Update your CV
    Update your CV and review your interview techniques, particularly if you haven’t applied for a job in some years
  7. Register with recruitment agencies
    Register with specialist recruitment agencies and look for jobs on the internet i.e. ICAEW website
  8. Consider your options
    Look at all of the options available to you. Have you considered setting up your own practice? Or maybe an entirely new business? If you're unemployed or are facing redundancy, you could qualify for CABA’s business start-up support, including a fund of up to £2,000
  9. Keep your skills up to date
    Do not lose touch; keep your skills up to date through voluntary work, reading or by attending a free CABA course
  10. Leave time for you
    It's important to have balance. Take breaks from job hunting to devote time to other aspects of your life

If you've been made redundant or are facing redundancy, CABA has an extensive range of career development services that can smooth your return to work. These services are available to ICAEW members, ACA students and their families.

How CABA can help

CABA supports the wellbeing of past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and their spouses, partners and children up to the age of 25. For advice, information and support please: