Being made redundant

Being made redundantI am hearing a lot of people talking about being made redundant.

I was twice made redundant. The first time was after 9/11 and the American company I was working for slashed the department budget from $60mil to $10mil. This meant that most of the UK project was closed down.

The second time was when a company had not invested in its people, services, or client relationships. As a result, the company collapsed and we were all made redundant.

People react differently to being outplaced. The first-time people felt as though they were losing their family. They had worked in the company for 10 – 15 years and had got to know each other really well; understood the company business; believed in their work; what they were doing; and in themselves. There was a great feeling of “we are in this together”. Most people got a really good redundancy package.

The second time people were very angry that the greedy of some people had led to the collapse of a company; the loss of jobs and income. They did not get a good pay out and some people were never paid their expenses and other costs.

For both groups, this was personal. They worried about how they would explain what had happened to their family; would they get another job; how would they pay their mortgage; would people think they were “no good”; how would they explain at the next job interview why they were out of work.

When the initial anger and pain eased up, it was interesting to see how people pulled together, started to support each other, share ideas. They realised, that while the impact of the redundancy was unique to each person, there was a common bond, they were not alone.

Some people decided to:

  • Have a break from work
  • Did something they had always wanted to do
  • Totally changed they career
  • Studying
  • Pay off some of the mortgage
  • Retired
  • Immediately look for a new job.

Everyone’s experience of being made redundant and how they handle it, will be unique to them.

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