Redundancy and Resilience - My Story
Hello hello wonderful people!
It’s so lovely to see you here!
I am super grateful you are spending some of your precious time and energy with me today.
With everything happening in the world at the moment due to the global pandemic, and the impact on so many people's jobs and businesses, I thought it would be an apt time to share my experience of redundancy, the strength and skills I gained, and my journey to get there.
If you are one of the incredibly talented, kind and priceless people currently experiencing stand down, furlough, redundancy or any other type of job loss - you have got this (even if it doesn't feel that way - trust me!), take time to look after yourself, and one day you will look back on this as a positive learning experience.
Note - at the time of my experience, I had savings and no other humans dependent on my income, which was a blessing. I realise the current world leaves us all in some very different situations, and that your situation may be very different.
Where ever you are in your journey, I hope this brings some peace, comfort and joy.
So here we go....
My experience with redundancy happened last year, and came as quite a shock.
I was in a role I loved, leading an incredible team of people, and working with various parts of the business to overcome some challenges we faced in the changing environment we worked in.
One Monday, two senior figures in the business arrived and asked me to have a catch up with them. They then, kindly and professionally, broke the news that my role, and therefore I, was being made redundant.
What a shock.
They talked me through the process over the notice period, my rights and my options.
At the time I was overcome with shock and emotion, and was not able to even fully process what was happening. I was kindly offered, and accepted the next 2 working days as leave to process, and to plan.
I was convinced I had failed, I thought this might be the end of my career, I believed I had caused this, I worried other people would think the same.
How wrong I was.
Over the next few days as I broke the news to my personal and professional network, I was overwhelmed by the love and support I received. The wonderful people in my life sent flowers, books, and some incredible messages of encouragement.
When I look back now, I see the redundancy as a positive experience, and the quote which most resonates is:
"You were not being rejected, you were being redirected."
So how did I get there? Here are the 4 stages of my journey.
1 - It's Not Me
The most powerful thing which I heard, and which I often repeat to myself, is:
"You were not made redundant, the role was made redundant."
Jane Taylor (much more to come on this super woman!)
In other words, it was not me, it was the role.
I was (and still am) an incredible, talented, skilled, respected professional who any organisation would be lucky to work with.
Positively re-framing how I thought about the experience and the language I used, was unbelievably helpful - it separated me from the role I was in and allowed me to stop taking the experience so personally.
To this day, if anyone uses the phrase "When you were made redundant...", I will politely stop them and correct this to "When my role was made redundant".
So for everyone reading this:
It's not you. You are wonderful. Genuinely.
And if you don't believe me - ask a parent or grandparent, I guarantee they agree with me.
Especially at the moment - it's a global pandemic, having an unprecedented impact on thousands of roles, and definitely not you.
2 - Help!
I know asking for help can be so very difficult, but please do.
This is how I connected, and began working, with an absolutely amazing coach - Jane Taylor.
I owe Jane more than I could ever eloquently put into words.
As well as the positive re-framing I talked about above in stage 1, she coached me through rebuilding my confidence, finding my purpose and passion, being self compassionate, navigating future job applications and interviews, and ultimately seeing redundancy not as a barrier, but an opportunity.
The first time I spoke with Jane, I couldn't even say the word "redundancy" without tearing up and feeling ashamed. A few sessions later and I was powering ahead with the next stage of my career with confidence, commitment and courage.
I know I was privileged to be part of the incredible She Mentors community, and to have the time and funds for professional coaching.
Whether it's a certified coach, a friend, a mentor, a peer or a colleague, find your person and accept the help. Listen, learn and live their advice.
As I said above - you've got this - but it's so lovely to be surrounded by your own cheerleaders reinforcing this message!
3 - What It Does Not Impact
So once I realised it wasn't me, and was getting professional help, I began to realise there were actually several very important things which were not impacted by the big change the redundancy has brought to my life.
Change is scary right?
At first I thought everything would change after my role was made redundant, and felt I was standing on very shaky ground.
In fact, there are three major things which remained the same, and brought me great comfort and security.
Firstly - the experience did not impact any of the skills and talents I had spent my career learning and fine tuning. Was I still as organised, optimistic, inspiring, patient and resilient? Absolutely. If anything, I was more so.
Secondly - the experience did not impact the love and support I receive from my friends, my partner, and my family. Did my wonderful parents, my best friends and my other half think any less of me? Absolutely not. If anything, they loved me more for how I tackled this situation.
Thirdly - the experience did not impact the effect I have on the world. Can I still bring joy to those around me with my humour, my optimism, my anecdotes and my enthusiasm for life? Absolutely.
So, remember these things are not changing, and that's amazing:
1 - You are still a skilled, talented, valuable professional
2 - Your people love you just as fiercely
3 - You continue to have a great impact on the world.
4 - Not Rejected, Redirected
Here we are, at the quote I began this post with:
"You were not being rejected, you were being redirected."
So I know it's not me, I have got help, I have taken strength from the things which remain constant, now it's time to look forward.
I realised just how many amazing opportunities there are out there! I could do anything.
How did I find my new direction? I worked on my purpose, my why, and what my ideal next role and organisation might look like.
If you look carefully, I firmly believe you will find the end of one path leads to some unbelievable new potential directions.
I have redirected my career, my life's purpose and professional aspirations, all thanks to the experience of redundancy.
In the words of Jane Taylor, I have gained "a life upgrade".
Was this an easy journey? No. Was it worth all the energy, tears, time and faith? Of course it was.
So take a breath, take your time, and find the new direction that's right for you.
And celebrate when you find it!
So, if you are feeling defeated, lost and unsettled by the loss of a role, here's my advice in a nutshell:
1 - It's not you - you are wonderful
2 - Get help - it will be worth it
3 - Some big things are unchanged - take comfort in these
4 - Find your new direction
Thank you for reading, I do hope this has sparked a smile and some inspiration.
Would you love to work through these 4 steps too? To move from feeling challenged to feeling resilient more swiftly? Would you love expert help from someone specifically there to inspire and empower you?
That's where Career Coaching comes in!
You are your biggest, most valuable asset in business. You deserve to invest in yourself.
I would absolutely love to work with you.