Is there life after redundancy?

Being made redundant is a terrible experience but un-fortunately all too common these days but when it happens to you it feels totally personal. Many people say that the experience is one of the most traumatic experiences of their lives.

One day life is full of certainties. You can plan ahead. You can budget. You can look forward. You feel skilful, knowledgeable and needed. Relationships and families are safe and secure. And then everything changes.

There is much written and recognised about the role that work takes in our lives and how important it is in developing our self esteem, sense of purpose and resilience.

Our work gives us social standing – something to talk about – a reason for relaxing at weekends, a reason for playing hard! The sense that you are helpless and a victim is all too easy to understand.

Then again, some people don’t seem to be as badly affected by it all. Wonder why that is? Perhaps they just don’t care that much! Perhaps they weren’t that badly affected? So what’s so special about them and what can protect you from the overwhelming affects experienced with loosing your job?

What was your plan when you took the job in the first place? Where did it fit into your broader ambitions for yourself? If your plan was to get the job and stay there for the rest of your career you were giving control of a huge amount of your destiny to others who really have no reason whatsoever to care themselves about you. This is where a huge number of people come unstuck and then become vulnerable as a result.

The difference between two people both loosing their job and one taking it in their stride and the other feeling as if their world has fallen apart is that one has a plan which is independent of employer and the other had a plan with far fewer options.

I know, I’ve learned the hard way the difference between these two positions. Having an outlook on life which limits your option is dangerous. Just think for a moment where your thinking can take you when you feel you have no choices in life…..

So if you feel like you’ve got no options think about the question I was asked when I thought I had none.

‘What’s the worst thing that can happen?

No really, what’s the worst thing that can happen?

Right Here Right Now?’

No one will ever be the first person ever to lose their job, Millions of people do this all the time. Some choose to make this an opportunity to re-invent themselves, to experience new people places and skills. They find another job, re-train, downsize and chill out, emigrate, start their own business, discover what they really want to do in life and get on with it. They can do this because, and I use these words carefully, they choose to frame the loss in this way, they choose to see opportunities, decisions and changes. They know the next steps to take and the direction in which to move in because they have a plan which is bigger then the job they had. IN fact they only chose to work where they did. They didn’t have to work there –  it was a choice which fitted in with their values and life plan – whether they knew this or not that’s the difference.

Its too easy and glib to spout nonsense like you’ll find something else if your life view was tied to a particular job or place of work and you have always felt this was the only thing you could do.

That’s just a limiting belief. And a belief is just a set of thoughts about something which hasn’t happened yet. Beliefs, believe it or not are really easy to change.

Here’s some practical steps you can take right now.

Write your CV – in full – every skill, experience , capability ever and just take note of the breadth and depth of your experience.

Identify times when you have been totally in flow – that experience of being totally absorbed in whatever you are doing to the point you happily pay to do it al day and every day – that’s where you find the most satisfaction and is a great source of happiness for you.

What did you always want to be or do? Is this your chance to get there now?

Write down your plan for where you want to be in life five years from now. Imagine yourself there – what will you see, hear, feel, where will you be , what will be around you?

Think in terms of you old job as something you merely chose to do – what will you choose to do next?

Who are your best friends now? You’ve just found your real friends!

Remember in five years from now this will seem so different.

If this was the best thing that could have ever happened what would you do next?


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