With furlough having officially come to an end, and with so many industries affected by the ongoing pandemic, redundancies are an inevitable part of the changing employment landscape. If you find yourself facing this situation, you’re bound to experience a range of emotions affecting your mental health and wellbeing, including
- Low self-esteem
These feelings are absolutely normal, and you’re entitled to feel them.
It’s difficult not taking redundancy personally but it’s important to recognise that the ROLE has been made redundant, not YOU. This situation is not your fault. You have nothing to be ashamed of and you must not blame yourself.
This can be incredibly difficult to do though. Our jobs are a huge part of our identity. They give us a sense of purpose, a routine, an opportunity to meet people and socialise. A career also gives us security and feelings of belonging.
In this blog, I’d like to show you three ways to help manage your mental health as you navigate through this challenging period.
1. Take time to process
A major life event is taking place, so it’s important to give yourself time to feel and adjust.
Facing redundancy can feel like you’re going through a grieving process. One minute you may be feeling elated that you’re finally free; the next, you may be in a pit of despair.
To get a handle on your emotions and the situation you now find yourself in, it can help to talk through your feelings and worries with someone you trust and who may be able to help guide you.
Many of us experience redundancy at some point in our career, with some experiencing it more than once. Reaching out to friends, family, co-workers or your networks can help you put things in perspective. You may even discover some valuable tips for surviving redundancy and finding your next role.
If you don’t have anyone you can turn to, there are charities out there who can help, such as MIND.
2. Take time to reflect
“It’s not the load that breaks you; it’s the way you carry it.”
Redundancy allows us to step back and analyse our career so far. It’s helpful to give yourself plenty of time to reflect and ask yourself some of the following questions:
- What makes you happy and fulfilled?
- What skills do you have?
- What did you enjoy in your last role? What didn’t you enjoy?
- What are your ambitions?
Once you have a clearer idea of where you want to head in the future, it makes the idea of job hunting, re-training or creating your own business seems a lot less daunting.
Be on the lookout for the positives! It may not be easy but there will be some in there somewhere. For example, have you been unhappy in your role for some time or have you always dreamt of pursuing a different career path? Perhaps this is the gentle nudge you have needed to carve out a more rewarding career for yourself.
Remember to be kind to yourself. You’re going through an incredibly stressful time, so make sure you’re practicing self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating healthily, getting plenty of exercise and connecting with people. Searching for a new role can feel like a full-time job, so make sure you’re feeling ready for it and are mentally strong before you embark upon it.
3. Focus on what you can control
When redundancy strikes, it’s easy to feel like a rabbit in headlights, unsure which way to turn next. However, there are several things you can do to feel more in control of the situation.
If you’re worried about your financial position, sit down and look at your budget. Where can you cut back to make yourself feel more financially secure?
Spruce up the old CV! If it’s been a while since you last looked at it, it may be time to get back to basics and overhaul the whole thing. For more advice on creating an eye-catching CV, visit my previous blog for lots of hints and tips.
We spend a massive part of our lives working and it dictates much of our daily routine. Once this has disappeared, it’s easy to feel lost and unproductive. Create a new routine for yourself. This could be using your old working hours to devote to job searching, interview preparation, networking, or volunteering. Or it could be deciding to begin every day with some exercise to help boost serotonin levels and get fit. Avoid spending too much time on social media! This is both unproductive and may harm your mental well-being.
It’s easy to become isolated when redundancy strikes, so try to get out and socialise. If you’re anxious about money, socialising doesn’t have to be expensive. It could be a walk with a friend or a coffee and a chat. The important thing is finding opportunities to do something you enjoy.
Would you like some help to manage your mental health and wellbeing during redundancy?
As a qualified mental health first aider, I’m passionate about helping people whose mental health has been impacted through workplace stress, be that suffering from burnout or the effects of redundancy.
For more information about how I can support you, contact me to book a free, no-obligation 30-minute consultation.