How to survive redundancy

Until fairly recently many of us in the western world (particularly those of us in the professions)  had something called job security. However, since the recent  economic melt down and subsequent recession,  this  is now a thing of the past and  more people are having to face redundancy. This happened to me when I was 54. Not a great time you might think to be thrown onto the job's market. However, it came as a blessing in disguise and I'd like to share the experience with you.

It is said that redundancy can be likened to a divorce and that's certainly how it felt for me. It's a particularly hard blow if you've been with the employer a long time and have developed a long established relationship. So, allow yourself time to get over the emotional roller coaster that goes with it all. Fortunately, as part of the redundancy deal, I had a few months salary which bought me a bit of time. So,  if this is the same for you, use this time  to your advantage. Don't rush it as it's  a unique  opportunity for you to create the life that you've always wanted.  Think about which way you want the next phase of your life to go. However, most of all, draw  a line under that  phase  of your life and move on. Hanging onto  negative emotions will only hamper your recovery and will not serve your best interests.

So, depending on your age, commitments, financial circumstances, health and so much else  you may want to ask yourself -

Do I need to go back to paid employment?
Is it time for retirement?
What about voluntary work?
What about going self employed?
What about retraining or developing new skills?
How's about a combination of all of these choices?

Don't restrict yourself . Deciding the way forward can be a tricky business and it's worth  taking your time to get the best possible outcome.

As for myself, when choosing the way forward, I did actually ask myself all of these questions. In the end I decided that, for all sorts of reasons, I wanted to remain in paid employment. So, I updated my CV and applied for a few suitable jobs. As it happened, within 3 months of being made redundant, I secured what turned out to be the best job of my career. However, before returning to the world of paid employment, I spent some time getting a qualification in life coaching - which is something that had been on the back burner for a while. Being made redundant provided me with both  time and money to make this choice. In the UK it's maybe worth noting that certain types of courses are available free to those on Job Seeker's Allowance. So, if you've been made redundant, you might want to explore this route.  A cautionary note here is that this  may not the preferred route if you want things to happened quickly. Because of this  I decided to access a course directly with a training provider and paid for the course out of my redundancy money. The important thing to remember is that, irrespective of your circumstances, there are always options.

As things are now  change is happening all the time. Since being back in paid employment I've been working on developing a better work/life balance and continue to acquire  new skills for the future. Preparing my self for a time when I may want to become self employed and/or do some voluntary work puts me in the driver's seat. Overall though, as with so much else in life, it's all about asking the right questions. By getting  clear about what you want and where you want to be will enable you to  make the most out of being made redundant and create the life that's right for you. Change can be a perfect gift. So make it work for you.