No matter which way you look at it, its and unsettling word.
Experiencing it is even more so. Both my son and I have experienced redundancy in the last 10 months and both of us at very different stages of life.
For both of us there is no doubt the experience was incredibly stressful and filled with uncertainty because of the nature of our work.
Something that contributed to the difficulty was that we both worked in the same place and the day my son was made redundant was hard. As I walked into work that morning, I knew why he and his supervisor were sitting outside of HR.
Being me, I had to stop for a chat. I checked in with my boy and I could see the discomfort of the experience in his supervisors eyes. Even though the nature of the work meant that we knew the project would come to an end, there was always hope that there would be a smooth transition into another project.
Redundancy is not easy for anyone and it is important to acknowledge the impact the process has on leadership
Understanding the very real possibility of redundancy in the industry we were in, we had both had the conversation between ourselves, our families and colleagues for support. And had thought about a plan of action.
I have to say that even though you understand the circumstance it doesn’t take away that feeling, I would liken to ending a relationship.
My son is a tradesman and very quickly found work.
For me the experience of being called to an office to say that your role was at risk and being put on 2 weeks’ notice was unexpected and out of the blue at the time.
The difficulty of the process is feeling so isolated because, people avoid you, not knowing what to say. You don’t know what to do with your work because potentially you won’t have a job in 2 weeks and it feels like no one knows what is going on.
And then, there you are, as if drifting in the ocean with nothing to cling to as the reality hits and it all starts to sink in.
The first week was good and to tell you the truth, it’s a bit of a blur and by the second week I was sick in bed.
There was a period of grief and a real desire to want to take care of everyone else in the same situation.
What really helped was speaking to others who had experienced redundancy before. Hearing their story was confirmation that what I was experiencing was a relatively normal part of the process and gave a sense of hope and a feeling like I wasn’t alone.
Many people said “take your time to absorb the situation and not rush to make the next move”. I have to admit the sense of urgency to find my place again was greater than the message. And I soon learned for myself that this time is necessary to absorb the situation, to accept the reality and begin to refocus.
Here’s what has helped me through redundancy.
Don't be afraid to seek the guidance of a professional. During the redundancy process, workplaces provide details for their Employee Assistance Program (EAP), see your Dr who can assist with a mental health care plan or seek out a mentor as these resources are valuable for travelling this road.
Wishing you Wellbeing