Staying mentally healthy if you’re facing redundancy

Many people are worried about the possibility of redundancy and equally daunting is the prospect of looking for a new job in recession.

It is important that those facing redundancy have a proper plan and ensuring that if and when it happens, they are in the right frame of mind mentally to move forward and have the best opportunity of finding a new role.

Mixed emotions

During redundancy people go through a wide range of emotions – bitterness, anger, resentment… why me? You question yourself and your confidence can take a hit. You may have worked long hours for the business with early starts, sacrificed family and home time and now you find yourself being made redundant – it doesn’t feel good.

In much the same way as people should grieve after a bereavement, people go through a form of grief after redundancy ad many people identify themselves by their job and worry about what people might think.

You need to come to terms with redundancy because if you are carrying your bitterness and resentment into your job search, it will drain your energy and adversely affect the way you are perceived at interview and your negativity will come across.

Careful who you upset on your way out

In many industries/ sectors, it is a small world out there when you’re looking for a new job and ideally, you want to be able to rely on a good reference if you have been made redundant. Slagging off your previous employer (or the name of your line manager in person) might make you feel better but it isn’t advisable.

So, however much you want to bad mouth your previous employer, think carefully…

Establish a routine

For many career orientated people, our job is our identity – it may even give us our standing in the neighbourhood or community – but it also gives us structure and routine. It disciplines us to get up in the morning, get out of the house and drive to work. Often, when you lose your job, you lose the sense of purpose in your routine, struggle with motivation and crave inter-action with people. You have a void to fill.

While many people will panic when they lose their job, it is necessary to take time to come to terms with the situation and establish a routine. Everyone is talking about mental health these days and it is important to look after both your mental and physical health so that you are in the “best place” to focus your energies on your job search process.

You want to be physically fit and healthy so that you can put all your energy into your new role.

Think positively

People are either glass “half full” or glass “half empty”. Although it may not seem like it at the time, redundancy can be a catalyst for personal change and may present an opportunity. Lots of people admit that they are unhappy in their job but lack the confidence or financial cushion to resign but with redundancy, the decision is made for you giving you the jolt you need.

Don’t panic – a common mistake made by people facing redundancy is to take the first job that comes along. Yes, it might be a job but it might not be the right job opportunity for you at the time in the wider context of your career development.

Some people may decide to do something different. Not everyone wants to be an employee – some may prefer a better life balance, look at self-employment, starting up a new business venture or just taking some time out (finances permitting).

Invest time in your CV and use LinkedIn

If you’re looking for another job, invest time in developing a compelling CV that will give you a competitive edge in the job search. Focus on achievements.

Employers will look quickly at a CV in the first instance so it is necessary to create a strong first impression and leave them thinking that they would like to invite you for an interview.

If you’re on LinkedIn, update your profile and photo. LinkedIn is intended as a professional networking site so ensure that your photo is suitable – avoid the holiday snaps you post on Facebook.

Prepare for Zoom or Teams interview

The likelihood is that if you are invited for an interview in the current climate, it will be via Zoom or Teams and this will be a new experience for many so it is necessary to take time to prepare and familiarise yourself with the technology. It is also possible that the person conducting the interview is inexperienced in Zoom/ Teams interviews!

Get help and advice

Although support from family and close friends is important, they are emotionally attached and may not be best placed to give honest advice and feedback.

You may need to invest in specialist advice from a career transition coach who can help with your search, hold you to account, challenge you to think differently, manage your expectations and be an excellent mentoring source of help and advice.


Adrian offers career transition coaching and if you are interested, please contact him on [email protected]

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