Redundancy. A devastating bombshell or birth of opportunity?

Just another redundancy

It seems that more and more of us will encounter that defining call or conversation with ur manager at some point, to tell us that our role is at risk due to this restructure, or that cost saving.  Yesterday npower announced 2400 roles were to be made redundant over the next 18 months.  Sorry, let me rephrase that, 2400 lives will be impacted.  Sorry, I will correct myself again,  2400 households so many thousands of lives.

And even though the formal conversation may go, “your role is redundant”, actually what we hear is that “I am redundant”.  From this starting place it is difficult to remain positive and resilient when the first thing you hear is that “I am redundant”.  From this place, self-esteem, self-worth and self-doubt come out to attack.  It is important that employers remember that although they are thinking numbers and Opex, there are people and families at the heart of the process.  This is a people led process.

Your people are emotionally invested in your company.  They don’t come to work just for the money or the job.  Many come for the career when we think career we think future.  We emotionally invest in our companies when we agree to work late that night rather than going home to see loved ones.  We invest emotionally in our companies when we keep our phone turned on out of ours, or when we come in whilst feeling under the weather, or when we miss our childs school performance.   Each overnight trip we take is an emotional investment.  We buy our homes in places that are accessible for work.  We choose nurseries for our children that mean we can go to work.  We all invest emotionally in our employers.

Be patient

If you are going through the redundancy process, just remember that it can take some time to come to terms with.  For some, it is a blessing, for others it can feel devastating.  Try to track yourself through the DEJAC process.

D-Denial.  At first you may be in disbelief.  You may convince yourself that you will be unaffected, or that it isn’t that bad.  Denial is the brains way of processing what is going on.  Think of our old mammal brain going into stress mode.  You might fight, flight or freeze.  Freezing is a normal process that shows up as denial.  It’s a coping mechanism to get you through the shock.

E- Emotion.  Once you admit to yourself that it is really happening, you will most probably feel a rush of emotions, changing from minute to minute.  For some joy, others terror, anger, frustration, shame, guilt and more.  Again this is normal.  Making decisions from this emotional place is not advisable.  Take time to work through your emotions and be patient.  Employers, notice when you are talking to someones emotions and pause, listen, empathise.  Do not force a decision.

J- Justification.  This is when we start to make sense of what is happening.  The emotions are calming and you can start thinking logically.  You may start looking at options and different scenarios.   This is a good place to start having conversations about the future.

A – Acceptance.  From this place you have processed the emotion, you have rationalised what is happening and why, and now you accept the potion you are in.  You have let go of anger or shame, and you are ready to move on.

C- Change.  Now you are ready to move on.  You can look to the future and make a fresh start.  This is a positive place where possibilities can really happen.


Coaching is a powerful method of helping others through redundancy and life changes.

A professional coach will help you move through the DEJAC stages and get back on your feet following your redundancy. One-to-one sessions or group sessions will give you the space to explore your strengths, talents, opportunities and to make clear choices about your future.

    • Identifying your strengths and skills
    • Find your passions, aspirations and motivations and exploring how to apply these to future career paths
    • Identify positive actions and choices and new career option
    • Align your personal values and career goals
    • Practical guidance on how to adapt your CV and develop a presence online
    • Developing interviewing, presentation and job application skill
    • Increase confidence and self awareness
    • Build resilience

No matter where you are or how you are feeling about the redundancy bombshell, no that from the ashes you will rise.  Something will come.  How your employer handles it can help or hinder.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35751807How you approach it is fundamental to the success and outcome.