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How to Cope After Being Made Redundant

Have you just been made redundant and struggling to cope? Losing your job can be a huge adjustment. 

You’re likely experiencing many mixed emotions from shock to anger, resentment and even uncertainty. These feelings are completely normal. Whether being made redundant was something you expected or came completely out of the blue it can be an extremely stressful experience. We’ve put together a list of ways to help you cope after being made redundant:

1. Understand Your Rights

If you’ve been made redundant, understanding your rights is crucial. You need to ensure redundancy has been chosen fairly. This means it can’t be based on your mental health status (if you have disclosed this with your employer), disability, gender, ethnicity or age. If you are legally considered an employee with over two years’ service, you have rights related to being made redundant and unfair dismissal. You can visit ACAS for more information.

2. Don’t Panic

We understand that this one is easier said than done, but try not to panic. Stay calm and think about your options. Where possible lean on your family, friends and partner/spouse for support. Keep calm and think about your next steps. 

3. Organise Your Finances

Money can contribute a great deal to feeling under pressure, stressed and worried. Because of this, it’s important to think about your finances when you’ve been made redundant. First things first, you should contact the JobCentre for support. They will be able to provide you with information of any benefits you may be entitled to. They can also help you to:

After you’ve been made redundant, you’ll likely have less money available to what you’re used to. This is where budgeting is a must! Write a list of all your outgoings to ensure you leave yourself with enough money to pay your bills. The Money Saving Expert can help you with this.

4. Express Your Feelings

Give yourself space and time to think. Express your feelings and make sure you discuss these thoughts and feelings with family and friends. Being made redundant can feel like an extremely challenging time. You may experience feelings of loneliness or shame, and low self-esteem however, please believe us when we say you have nothing to feel ashamed of. 

Your job was a large part of your identity and it’s ok not to feel ok. Reach out for support, use this time for self-reflection and ask yourself: ‘what do I want to do next?’

Perhaps you loved your job and want to find one similar? Maybe you’re looking for a whole new career path? Or do you like the sound of setting up your own business? There is a whole wealth of opportunities waiting for you.

We spend so much time at work, so ask yourself, ‘what makes me happy? What gives me purpose in a career?’ You might find writing a list of all your skills and what you enjoy will help you to decide your next steps.

5. Give Your CV a Refresh

If you’ve recently been made redundant, it’s likely that you haven’t even considered updating your CV. Make sure you add all your work history and update your key skills to be in with a better shot of securing an interview. If you feel your CV needs an extra boost, there is so much you can do. For instance, volunteering or undertaking a course. 

6. Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an incredibly useful tool. After being made redundant, you should create a LinkedIn account or update your profile if you already have one and let hiring managers know that you’re looking for work.  

7. Start Looking for a New Job

When you’re ready and in the right frame of mind, you can start looking for new jobs. Try to figure out what careers you’re interested in and make sure you set up job alerts on Careermap and register an account so you can receive tailored jobs in an industry you want to work in, near you. 

8. Don’t Burn Your Bridges

Never leave things on bad terms with your previous employer. Yes, it may hurt right now and you might feel angry and resentment towards them but you never know when you might need them as a reference in the future.

9. Look After Yourself

Looking after yourself after being made redundant is ever so important. You should try to live a healthy lifestyle, this means eating the right food, getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly and practicing good hygiene. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when you don’t have to get up to go into work in the morning but where possible, stick to a routine. You’ll feel much better for it. 

10. Know When to Get Help

If negative thoughts start to take over then it might be time to speak out. Remember, it’s normal to feel upset after being made redundant but if it begins to impact your day to day life, it’s ok to ask for help. There are lots of charities out there that can help including:

Mind

Your GP

A trained therapist

Samaritans

Finally, try to stay positive. Uncertainty about the future can feel overwhelming and finding a new job might feel like an uphill battle but remember, better days are coming.

Believe in yourself and your capabilities. 

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