Can you see what’s wrong with this statement? “I was made redundant”
Redundancy is a difficult subject to address, but right now it’s a fact of life for so many people, so it is important to know that there are things that you can do to help yourself through the turbulence of redundancy.
Recently a LinkedIn article asked if the stigma attached to redundancy was reducing as time went by, and the general consensus seemed to be that it was - 75% said yes and 25% said no.
However, that wasn’t what made me so concerned. What genuinely shocked me was the replies that came in- and there were hundreds of them. So many contained the words “I was made redundant” that I felt compelled to respond.
What was so interesting was that while the respondents were talking about redundancy, they themselves were falling into the classic trap of “owning” the redundancy itself. Which reminds us how powerful are the words we use about ourselves.
Although we all understand that a person is referring to their job and not themselves, the fact that so many people still say “I was made redundant” suggests a tangled emotional ownership which is unhelpful and needs to be resolved before they can move on positively. It’s so important to remember that redundancy happens to jobs, not people.
The use of the term “I was made redundant”, as opposed to the more accurate “My job was made redundant” also reminds us all that too often we feel defined by our jobs, when we are clearly so much more.
If someone is still attached to their old job when, frankly, it is time to put that job down and focus on the job-search ahead, then that job-search, their outlook and their energy levels will often be hampered. We have to “dis-own” redundancy in order to stop it “owning” us.
It is perfectly understandable that many (perhaps most) people need to go through a grieving process for the “loss” of an integral part of their working life. Thankfully, many good employers have helpful programs in place to help with the emotional and practical aspects of redundancy; however, each person must play their own part in mentally “releasing themselves” from their old job before they can search for their new one.
They can help themselves to do this by mentally closing a life chapter, reminding themselves of their major strengths and achievements (to be captured for their CV), and then focus their energies on looking forward to their next challenge with optimism. If there is anger at the loss, then that must also be dealt with before the person can move on.
If you find that your job is being made redundant, whether right now or recently, my heartfelt thoughts are with you (it has happened in our house twice already). You are not alone.
You can really help yourself by reframing your vocabulary and beliefs - this can bring positive benefits to your job-search and your feelings about the future. While no one is under any illusions about how hard jobsearch can be, especially in the current Covid climate, it’s often much less stressful with a positive attitude, a well-written CV and friends, ex-colleagues and family rooting for you.
May I sincerely wish everyone job-searching right now success in finding the next role in their careers.