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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tips to help us survive redundancy

Downsizing, rightsizing, call it what you may, many businesses are taking steps to prevent themselves from capsizing. The world is in turmoil and there is no longer any safe haven. Here in NEW YORK, we are also waking up, almost every morning, to learn of another company embarking on a redundancy exercise
Here are some tips to help us survive redundancy:
1. No job for life.
The modern workplace is unlike the one in which our parents worked. They worked in an era when an individual could have one job for a lifetime. In the modern workplace things change rapidly. A business is here today and gone tomorrow. No employer can guarantee a job for life but they can give us an opportunity to work at one job. Acquire new skills, experience and opportunities which can be used to keep us employed for life.

2. Acquire many skills.
The reality is that many of us will change jobs several times over a lifetime and, in the process, we might go through redundancy exercises. We all need to acquire many skills in the modern workplace to make ourselves marketable. Those who will survive the current crisis are those with several skills which are relevant and marketable.

3. The job is redundant, not you.
It is important to remind yourself that it is the job that was made redundant, not you. As long as you make yourself marketable, you can never be made redundant.

4. Your feelings are real.
When an organization embarks on a redundancy exercise, workers are overcome by feelings of uncertainty, fear, anger and other emotional distress. Recognize that these feelings are real. A badly handled redundancy exercise can impact on staff morale and negatively affect the culture of the organization. Many organizations have never been able to rebuild trust due to poorly handled redundancy exercises. It is important that companies put measures in place to provide emotional support for their workers to reduce the psychological distress and to prevent those who remain behind from becoming cynical and demoralized, as a result of their feeling of upset at the manner in which the redundancy exercise was handled.

5. Deal with losses.
Redundancy is associated with multiple losses. Loss of regular income, loss of friends as we become separated from the organization, loss of routine as you no longer have a job to go to and a structured day, loss of status and function. We all go through grieving as we deal with any loss in our lives. It is important to understand the stages of grieving. The first stage, denial ('This will not affect me'; 'God will not allow this to happen to me'); the second stage, anger ('How could this happen to me'; 'This is how they have treated me after so many years'); the third stage, depression (during this stage many people become sad, they may even need medical treatment) and finally, the stage of acceptance ('I will move on').

6. Know your benefits.
If your job is made redundant, ensure that you are aware of your benefits and take full advantage of them. Redundancy can be overwhelming and sometimes we become so angry and bitter that we become blinded and we do not think logically.

7. Seek professional help.
You may need professional help to work through your emotional distress and to help to plan your life. Many of us will need financial advice to make appropriate decisions as to how to handle our money, especially if we receive redundancy payments.

8. Take difficult decisions.
Don't be afraid to make those tough and difficult decisions. You might have to sell your car. You might have to move out of your house and rent it in order to ensure that the mortgage is paid. You might have to move in with family or you might have to change your children's schools. Sometimes, we just have to make painful decisions in order to survive.

9. We will survive.
Most people survive redundancies. It can be an opportunity for you to reflect on your life; to make critical decisions; to re-tool and re-school yourself and to change careers.

10. This too will pass.
Your job has been made redundant and you are going through emotional pain, this too will pass. Life is 10 per cent what happens to us and 90 per cent how we respond to it.ALL THE BEST


OmegaRadium said...

Great advice at a very opportune moment! What goes up must come down, and I can't wait for this economy to start skyrocketing again.

~*Miss A*~ said...

Really good advice honestly. My job made several people redundant in the last couple of weeks. It's really sad and a bit frustrating, because if the economy doesn't pick up, I could be in that situation. So while my consulting job is really freakin awesome, I could be unemployed in no time depending on the economy. I agree with OmegaRadium, I can't wait for the economy to pickup!