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  • Redundancy – expectations and experiences? Share your stories and support

    Sadly, there is no avoiding the press’ prediction of a likely rise in redundancy levels as we venture out of lock down. Speaking with our members, redundancy is something many of you have already experienced during your careers – sometimes multiple times.

    We already have a comprehensive Redundancy Resources section on the website, which we plan to continue updating through this next phase.

    To help us support you best, we’d love to hear from you:

    • Are you on furlough and concerned about possible redundancy?
    • Have you already experienced recent redundancy?
    • Have you bounced back from redundancy to a better place (happier, calmer, more fulfilled, better paid)
    • Can you share any ‘I wish I’d known…’ facts or tips for others facing redundancy

    Our strength is in community, so the more we can share and support each other, the better it will be.

    Thank you all!

     

     

     

    Posted by Helen Burns
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    • Reply by terrymssilvers

      I have gone through redundancy multiple times and been let go from organisations in my fifties. I am 57 now. Mostly these distressing events happened in my fifties. I think it occurred mostly due to austerity, working for very political organisations where my face did not fit and good old fashioned ageism. I reacted very differently to the same thing happening again and again – sometimes with great anger and sometimes with great consideration towards those making the decision. In retrospect my positive or negative response were both inappropriate. The best and most practical thing I did was to turn myself in to a legal expertise by accident on U.K. redundancy laws. No one looks after your own interests better than you. The odd times unions were involved I found them to be too time pressured and lacking in an understanding of the context. The bigger issue was that I was vulnerable to redundancy because over the years lack of career advise and self knowledge had meant that I had put myself into jobs and careers which did not best match my strengths. Low self esteem had meant I had taken short term decisions to accept job offers to get money now rather than have the courage to really think about what I wanted to do and create the right opportunities for myself. If I could go back to my twenty or thirty something self I would want to give them a kicking for some of the poor career decisions I made. It does get more difficult to make changes when you are in your fifties but it’s not impossible. I have been mostly self employed for the last few years which is a much better fit for me – I should have made this move to working like this several decades ago. I am also when the virus is not pausing matters enjoying what I am doing work wise!  So I would say the best advice re redundancy is to know yourself and don’t take if at all possible the easy path to money now. Better to really know what u want and work toward it – the money will then follow!

    • Reply by mark-e-mark

      I’ve been made redundant twice in the last 3-4 years. Firstly because I was working for a department in a larger company that got dissolved, a year or two later when I was part of a startup that pivoted and my remit was no longer required.

      Firstly, of course it’s unsettling – especially when it first dawns on you that it’s happening. There was a long lead-up to the first one, so I knew it was coming – and that meant that I was a little more mentally prepared than if it had been a cold surprise, and had already started to think about what I’d do. It was in fact one of the best things that happened to me in my career. Forced into a situation like that, you have to think creatively and go into the mode of making new opportunities for yourself. You have to start to hustle a bit – for me, my break was when I booked a meeting with the very senior person who was part of the decision to dissolve the department and pitched to him why I thought they needed to keep it running. Whilst he didn’t change his mind, he was impressed by me in that meeting and he created a new role for me on the smaller team that replaced the department.

      That experience was a lesson – I can create opportunities for myself and my skillset has value. So I felt much better about things the second time it happened. So long as you are proactive in finding new doors and knocking on them – eventually you will find one that opens.

      What I found most strange about both experiences is that I somehow ended up enjoying them. The first moments are difficult because you haven’t had chance to do anything about your situation yet, so the mountain has just appeared an you haven’t started to climb it. My advice would be to straight away start taking positive action and make those first few steps – if you feel like you are making progress, it gives you a bit of a thrill and your outlook changes.

      I had knock-backs along the way. I didn’t get a job I’d put so much effort into applying and interviewing for, which knocked my confidence for a day or two. However – it’s important to remember that it’s not your “fault” if you haven’t got the job, especially if you’ve given it your best shot. Sometimes it comes down to fine margins and individual preferences of the hiring manager. I learned a lot from that “failure” – and now in hindsight, I’m glad I had that experience.

      Sorry if this seems all overly positive, but that was my experience – perhaps I was lucky (apart from the two redundancies so close together!). But if it helps anyone else – I’d say just get started taking action, even if it’s just building up a list of jobs you find on the internet. Then send off applications for a couple. Take it step-by-step, forget the mountain, and do something positive each day – even if it’s something small.

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