Surviving redundancy can bring positive outcomes

My experiences of redundancy – part 2

So I left you in my last blog  about my experiences of redundancy, which you can read here, working as a temp, being a mum and completing my undergraduate psychology/biology degree.

The experiences of redundancy I’d had up to then had come as great shocks and caused me a lot of painful emotional turmoil.  I felt guilty about losing my jobs and so being unable to contribute financially to my family. I also questioned whether or not I was any good at the work I’d done.  I’d made being made redundant about a failure in myself rather than unfortunate financial circumstances for the firms I worked in.

BUT, I’d also learned how to take a positive approach and learn from these experiences. Including that it was possible to take action even at a time of feeling ‘knocked back’.

The work I did on and about my situation raised my belief in my abilities. I was an excellent employee and I had excellent working skills.  My truly believing this ultimately left me feeling in better control about my finances and my future career pathway choices.

I will now continue on with more redundancy situations I found myself in. These times with rather more positive emotions throughout both experiences.

I truly hope that you will find something helpful  in this blog should you find yourself in a similar position.

Redundancy experience Number 3

Having achieved my degree it became clear that in order to follow my chosen career pathway, psychology, I needed more qualifications. And so I continued on at university to take an MSc in Health Psychology, over two years this time. I also continued in my full time work role.

But, sad to say, yet again, redundancy loomed.  This time the large, national, firm I worked for was bought out by another company which resulted in a major relocation.  I was offered the choice of relocating or taking redundancy.

I thought long and hard about things.   The plus points were that if I wanted to make that location move I had a good, reliable job. They were also offering some financial help in order to make things a bit easier.

The negative points were that, because I’d only been there for 2 years I would have very little redundancy pay. The relocation would make traveling to work very difficult. A lot of train commuting would be required and so fitting in mother role and studying would be problematic. This was made even more difficult because at that time I had a very sick son who needed me to take him to a lot of hospital visits and my husband was very involved in caring for his aging parents.

It was not easy to make a decision and I was in turmoil.  However, I sought to aim for the best balance for my family as a whole.  Money was important, of course, we needed to be able to pay all our bills. But also important was available time to meet all our family commitments. And, selfishly perhaps, I really wanted to finish my MSc.

A Positive Outcome…

As an outcome of all my thinking and discussions with my husband, I took redundancy. I looked for a role closer to home that would also use my degree and almost completed masters.

This was my first truly positive experience of redundancy.  I had chosen to take it and find new opportunities rather than stay in my current role and struggling.

I had a two month period in which I was released to attend interviews etc. This is something you might wish to check out if you are in a similar position.

I quickly found what seemed to me to be my perfect role at the time, quality improvement in the NHS.

Redundancy experience Number 4

And there I stayed for 13 years.  I progressed in my area of work to finally become a Head of Department for an NHS Mental Health Trust. I had my career at last!

But guess what? Yep, major budgetary cuts required in the NHS meant that at my Trust a tranche of middle managers were at risk and my role was being made redundant.

Roles were being merged and locations majorly changed requiring long hours commuting.  There was also a climate within the Trust where people with clinical qualifications tended to be seen as more valuable than those with other skills. Even though my psychology degrees were mental health related they were not clinical. So again I was feeling a bit ‘useless’. I fought this view of myself and looked for options, trying to find a work around.

But, sadly, in 2015 I was made redundant again. However, this was for the last time… and it will not be happening again!

I have to say that this was my best experience of redundancy! I believe that was because I had seen the writing on the wall and knew that I was at risk. So, months before the redundancy consultation period started, I had been thinking about how I would like things to pan out. Inside or outside of the Trust.

The consultation period lasted for 3 months because it was such a large restructure and so I had the gift of time to make some plans, which I did, and which I will tell you about in a future blog…

Quick takeaways!

As with my previous blog here are some bullet points that you might find of use and mean that you don’t need to trawl through my experiences above.

  • Taken from my first blog and overall my key message – Remember that being made redundant says nothing about you or your capabilities. It is a consequence of the situation your firm finds itself in.
  • Hard as it might be try not to bury your head in the sand if you think your firm is going to be making redundancies. It is better to be prepared then have it come as a shock.
  • Try to find out how much redundancy pay you might be entitled to. This can help you make decisions about what to do should the situation arise to make a choice.
  • Explore whether there is another role within your firm that you would want.
  • Look at your finances, is it possible to cut your hours or take a reduced seniority role to stay with your firm, assuming that you want to stay with them.
  • If you want to make a move start exploring job opportunities that you might move into.
  • Think about retraining/education. Investigate options to fund this.
  • Think about starting your own business.
  • Believe there are possibilities. Things could well turn out better than you could have imagined.

You will get through this…

I hope that you have found this blog useful.  If you are in a redundancy situation then please know that I really feel for you.  Nothing I have written above is meant to reduce what you might be thinking and experiencing. I truly have been there!  But I also know that redundancy can bring opportunities.

If you feel I can be of help to you during this time of change do please get in touch.

Until the next time sending virtual hugs

Maggie

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