So you’ve just been made redundant. If you’re like most people, you’re probably a fair few spoonfuls deep into a tub Haagen-Dazs.
That’s fine–take your time. But here’s what to do next.
Recognise the mental effects of redundancy
“The effects of a redundancy can vary from person to person,” says psychologist Dr. David Anthony, Mantle Co-Founder & CEO.
“Generally, the effects of redundancy on mental health are a lot like the prospects of loss, whether a person is prepared for redundancy or not.
If someone is aware of it before it happens, they are more likely to move through the redundancy more effectively whereas if it comes as a surprise, the prospect can be a lot more difficult, depending on how they see their role in regards to their identity.”
Anthony says the prospect of loss is more significant if a person’s job is closely tied to their sense of self.
“If it’s ‘just a job’, and you have a lot of balance in your life across family, social, and physical wellbeing, then the prospect of a job loss is much less significant.”
Face your new normal
Redundancy isn’t always a bad thing. For some, moving on from it can be difficult when retraining or moving into a new career direction. For others, redundancy provides the push they needed to begin a new journey.
It might be tempting to begin your funemployment spending your lump sum (if you get one) at Dan Murphy’s, but getting a good plan in place for your future security is fairly crucial: how you choose to handle this money matters.
You may benefit from speaking to a financial planner or advisor about where to next, or receiving some financial counselling if your recent redundancy has you feeling overwhelmed about your financial future.
Find your balance
“Seeking out balance in your life, through spending time on yourself, with family, socially with friends, maintaining your physical health with good diet and exercise, will always help to ensure good mental health,” says Anthony.
The period of adjustment following a redundancy, says Anthony, should involve seeking support from others both personally and professionally.
“Going from a redundancy straight into a new role isn’t always the best practice,” he says.
“There are two pathways here: if you have the space and financial capacity to work through that period of adjustment, before jumping into a new position, then that would be best.
If that isn’t an option and you need to get back into the workforce for financial reasons— and that’s more of a stress for you than acknowledging you are going through the process of loss during that period—then it would be advisable to start looking at other job opportunities that are available.”
“But it is always preferable to ensure you have balance and seek fulfillment outside of your job too,” he says.
Invest, in yourself
This is a period of time you’ll want to spend being as kind to yourself as you can. You can also practice kindness toward yourself by maximising your chances of a successful job hunt.
Is your CV up to scratch? Could your Linkedin do with some brushing up? Could you be networking?
Take this time to consider your qualifications and training: could you use this time to upskill or learn a new trade?
“We sometimes forget how adaptable we are as humans: it’s only when we spend too much time thinking about things and getting in our own head, that we start to experience difficulty,” Anthony says.
“When we get out of our own way, we are much more able to move through the process of change and adjustment. We do that best by engaging in other important aspects of our lives, and through talking with the people around us, and professional support services where possible to process the experience.”
Give yourself credit where it’s due though; as Kris Jenner once said, “you’re doing amazing, sweetie”.