how to turn redundancy into your best opportunity yet
“You’re kidding,” I hear you say. You’d seen it coming for months, it was only a matter of time. When you’re sitting in front of your boss hearing the words, “I’m sorry, we have to let you go,” the reality is you’ve been sacked and lost your job.
Everything familiar has just evaporated – security, certainty, self confidence, your work, your work friends and the regular pay packet have all evaporated.
Before you sink into the depths of despair, fear and self-doubt, press pause….
As you move past the shock and potential anger, you’re actually at a crossroads with two choices:
- Be a Victim – allow your self-confidence to nose-dive; hang onto anger and fear and wait for your next job to find you. Often at the mercy of outplacement or recruitment agencies, you wait for the phone to ring and eventually can’t even be bothered getting out of bed in the morning.
- Reinvent Yourself! What if this was the best thing that ever happened to you? Rather than being the end of the world, maybe this is the start of your real life, where you are the master of your own destiny. How about standing out from the crowd and using it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be who you really are and do what you’ve always dreamt of doing?
Redundancy provides space to take stock of what’s important, identify how you want to live and work and go for it! Even if your redundancy package was less than generous, there are many ways to redesign your life, do what you want, where you want and love it.
Still not sure? Before you put a tentative toe in the life redesign water, consider the realities:
1. You are now competing for a shrinking number of jobs against many others who have also been made redundant.
2. Even if you are lucky enough to get another job quickly, there are no guarantees of job security in the current economic climate – you could be made redundant again.
3. To get more work quickly, many fear driven people take the first job that comes along, without considering it carefully. While it may provide a regular pay packet, the new job could be worse than the one you’ve just left and you’re trapped. Better to have a lousy job than no job at all, right? Wrong!
Once the first 6 weeks of a new job have passed, you’re often left with that sinking feeling that you’ve jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. Now you’re really stuck doing something you simply don’t enjoy.
4. Redundancy no longer has a negative stigma. It happens to the best people in many professions and is often outside your control. If it isn’t a problem for you, it won’t be for potential future employers. In fact many of my clients have successfully negotiated a redundancy to create the financial means and time required for a complete career change.
How to Get Back on Track and Find a Job You Love
Before you join the ever-increasing queue frantically updating your CV, shooting off hundreds of futile emails to recruiters, networking old contacts or surfing Seek and CareerOne, take a few moments to ask yourself:
1. What am I passionate about – what’s important and what do I truly care about?
2. If money wasn’t an issue and I had no fear, what would I really love to do?
3. What would that give me that I don’t have today?
4. What skills, talents and knowledge do I have that I could use and develop?
5. What skills, experience and knowledge would I need for my ideal career?
6. Given the choice of where and how would I like to live, what would I choose?
7. What would it take to turn the possibility into a reality?
The prospect of redesigning your career and life may feel concurrently exciting and daunting. If so, feel the fear, take a deep breath and grab that pink slip!
Life’s too short to be stuck in a rut and there’s never been a better time to take the plunge into doing something you’ll love.
If you’ve been made redundant and converted it into the best thing that ever happened to you, I’d love to hear your experience. Please share your story and tips in a comment below.