Redundancy: I Will Survive!

“Following the restructure of the department we cannot see a need for your role so unfortunately your job will be redundant at the end of April.”   

These words hit me like a bombshell  two weeks ago.   The firm is attempting to mitigate my redundancy by “redeployment” into one of a few internal vacancies which have to be kept open until March, when the final consultation period is finished and more staff are collateral damage  from the restructure.   Are you wondering why I was told weeks before the others, well I have asked that myself too, but no satisfactory answer has been offered.

Although everyone, from Human Resources, my Department Head, family and friends are  stressing  that redundancy is not personal it is a sad fact of the ever tightening financial purse, it jolly well does feel personal.

Phillip Hodson, a fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy  calls redundancy “a social invitation to depression”.    “We all project on to our work a sense of family feeling.  It’s difficult to isolate the rejection in a rational way as due to the western economic cycle, the bastard in charge of hiring and firing, or bad luck,” he says. “We tend to see this as overwhelming evidence of our own failure rather than seeing the context”.

My life at the moment is full of highs and lows.   I am swinging from being really positive and thinking of exciting ways forward to  very low moments with an overwhelming  sense of panic about the future.

Losing your job through redundancy, like any loss,  gives rise to a necessary process of grief.

Initially there is shock and panic “How am I going to pay the bills and the mortgage?”  and the reaction that I just wanted  to bolt for the door, followed closely by denial – “This can’t possibly happen to me!”

Then there is anger and hurt.  Anger at  being selected as someone they can do without, regardless of the fact I was told it is the job that has to go and it is not personal.  Anger with those who have made one of the biggest decisions about my life and changing the course of my future.   Hurt by the  rejection and that the loyalty,  the care and the hard work I have put into my job has counted for nothing.

Then there is acceptance – what has happened has happened and now I have to deal with it and move forward, find a new job, or discover of ways of setting up my own business.

The final stage is actually moving forward, with a positive outlook not finding objects to prevent me moving on to my new life.

I have read lots of supportive articles on “How to Deal with Redundancy”  and found several uplifting points to take on board:-

1.  Do not take the alternative job your company may offer simply because you feel you have to.  If the job is not right for you, then move on and find something else.

2.  Redundancy is not something to be ashamed of.

3.  Remember all the times you have heard people say “that was the best thing that ever happened to me”.

4.  Every cloud has a silver lining.

I will survive, because that is what I am, a survivor.  Despite how rough the sea is, I will rise above it just like the kite surfer.

“First I was afraid
I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live
without you by my side
But I spent so many nights
thinking how you did me wrong
I grew strong
I learned how to carry on…

…I know I will stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give
and I’ll survive
I will survive”   

–  Gloria Gaynor

28 thoughts on “Redundancy: I Will Survive!

  1. Sorry to read this… You will survive it and be stronger. It really isn’t personal, it’s the economy and will be fine. Stay strong and positive.

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  2. Sorry to hear about this. I think more and more of us will be facing redundancy. For many, it’ll be forced retirement without a pension.
    I hope your silver lining shines through quickly.

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  3. I am so sorry to hear this and totally agree that it is impossible not to take redundancy personally although you sound to be being very strong and positive. I left my job by my choice after what felt like years of agonising. It was a fabulous, well paid, lots of travel apparently glamorous job which I had loved for years but I wanted to have time for other things. I gave myself a year off after I stopped and I know I was lucky to be able to do that financially but it was a real help to let things settle and let new opportunities emerge.
    Good luck. I think you are going to be more than fine!

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  4. When my husband got rheumatoid arthritis, had to stop working – I went in search of work after 10 years of time out. I came to the shocking realisation that a casual Look for Work attitude was dead in the water. Our solution was to sell the house, and move to the country. Now I am poised somewhere unstable between unemployed and hurtling to retirement. In a new, quite different, and unexpected life. Ultimately happier!

    You are a strong and caring woman with valuable gifts and skills that shine out thru your blog. You will find your new niche, and soon I hope.

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  5. Oh Ronnie, I know you will survive this, even thrive on the changes it brings, but you are entitled to all those other complicated feelings you are having right now. Someone once told me that the greatest source of stress in anyone’s life is the sense of being out of control. As you said, when someone makes you redundant they make a decision about your life that will have profound effects on you and over which you have no control. Finding ways to seize back that control will hopefully help you deal with it all. Most of all I hope that you find something you can enjoy and feel committed to that also pays the bills and relieves you of any monetary stress. xx

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  6. Sorry to hear your news Ronnie, no matter how it comes, redundancy is always a shock.
    However, you seem to have a positive attitude and as you say, every cloud has a silver lining – perhaps this may open up other doors for you, who knows?
    I love Gloria Gaynor’s song “I Will Survive”, and the words have gotten me through a few tough times in my life!
    You WILL survive!

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  7. Thank you Richard for your kind comments. This is the first time I have ever mean made redundant and I had to wait to get to 60 before that happened. Tough especially when I have a good few more years ahead of me and have to work to pay the mortgage. I will survive however.

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  8. I am sure I can think of a few platitudes of my own to add if I tried to think hard enough, but although I have held several different jobs to date I have never been made redundant. Your blog really says it all, especially the four points you have posted, which covers the ground very neatly. I have no doubt you WILL survive and quite likely enjoy whatever you take on from now.
    Regards..

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  9. It does come as a shock when something like this happens – my husband and I met at work and when he left to go to a rival company they sacked me, just in case I would pass on information to him (a spy in other words). Can you believe it. Shock, horror and disbelief followed – then I found the best job I have ever had – I was straight with them (they too were a rival company) but they gave me a chance, for which I am ever grateful.

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  10. That is an awful thing to hear. I think you have the right attitude. You are feeling the feelings of fear and dealing with them, and, yet, envisioning a new future, new opportunities. You are a survivor, and the best is yet to come…

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  11. Of course you feel it’s personal! Of course! You will be the one not going to work and not having the pay and missing your colleagues and all that. I don’t know what the rest of the letter was like but the bit you quote is horrid. I wouldn’t like to be the person who has to make people redundant. That too must be a ghastly role. Hope it all works out – that what you do next will be just as rewarding – only MORE so!

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    1. You are quite right, it is leaving friends, who are more than just colleagues, behind. We were such a happy band, were being the operative word. However we have all decided that as we are friends it doesn’t take a job to keep us together. If all else fails I will have the summer to work in the garden 🙂

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  12. I know how you feel, it happened to me too a few years back. I think the main thing for me was detaching emotionally because I had given my heart and soul in a way. Later I got my old job back, twice the work for half the pay, I kid you not!!

    But now I am not emotionally attached and believe that I am more, much more than my job. I see it only as part of who I am…..so now I work a few less hours, take home a lot less pay, and I feel healthier and happier.

    I still play the “what is the very least amount of money I can survive on” game……I will get chickens, a pig, buy in lots of rice…….I agree with you…..we will all survive this horrible depression just like our wonderful parents and grandparents did too …………life is too short….

    My heart goes out to you, you are a wonderful strong creative woman, you will be snapped up!!!

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  13. Sorry to hear about this uncertain time in your life, though it sounds like you have a wise attitude about this unpleasant surprise. I’ve been through many corporate downsizings where I was the one person left, and watched people who were let go find much better positions. You never know how this might turn out. I’m hoping for the best outcome possible for you!

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    1. Hi Karen – thank you for leaving such a kind comment. Almost everyone who has been there before me says it frequently turned out the best thing that ever happened to them. I have several ideas I am working on, but I am dependant on a regular income so it will be a bit difficult to start with.

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  14. I am sorry to hear your news. I faced a similar issue back in 2008 when the job I had been seconded to was advertised. I was interviewed and got the job. That was in June. Then just before the secondment ended and my new permanent role I was informed that the job had been pulled. Would they have treated an external candidate differently I wondered? I then said I would like to return to my original job as technically I was still on secondment. No, my original job had disappeared from under me. I then asked for a list of current vacancies and my redundancy package. I made a few calls – initially to my old boss and I accepted a post with him. A year later he left the company and I spent the next 18 months existing and feeling sick to my stomach every morning as I went to work to a job I hated. I finally left in Jan 2011 and it was the best thing I could have done.

    What I will say is don’t fight it. You will make yourself ill if you do, I did! Think of this as a new A4 piece of paper. Chance to continue in a new place with the same profession or to move to a new profession. There will be worries and stresses about money I am sure, but all the worrying in the world will not change the financials! Feel the emotions in the circle of change and take the positive from it all.

    …and when things feel really pants – we are all hear to read, comment and blog support.

    Chin up!

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    1. Hi Julie – thank you for your supportive words. This is almost exactly what happened to me. I got through one round of redundancies 2 years ago by taking a secondment in another office. When that was over I came back and as there wasn’t a job they made a new post for me. That was last year and it is this job they have pulled now due to the restructure. As one door closes another opens…. watch this space 🙂

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  15. Oh Ronnie I know exactly how you feel…my job was cut to part time which I could not survive on so I had to find a new job…it was not a nice place as far as bosses but I loved the work..so I now work an hour from home somewhere a bit better for people who actually appreciate all I do. I was told by a dear friend, when I was trying to deal with the news of being cut, that I was being given a gift…and you know once I saw it from that view my world changed for the best…the stress is less and my health is better and I sang that same song, “I will survive”. You know you will and a new door is about to open…still it stings for a bit….I wish you the best as the new path is unfolding in front of you…

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