Being made redundant can be difficult financially and emotionally. Some people may experience feelings of grief and loss, and worry about where to turn next. It’s also normal to feel a loss of control, which can be unsettling.
However, while it might not feel like it, redundancy can also be a blessing in disguise. As the saying goes, “when one door closes, another one opens,” and what lies behind that door could be more exciting than you might think.
If you’re facing redundancy, it’s important to remember that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Here are three reasons why…
Humans are creatures of habit, and it’s easy to become so used to living a certain way that we forget there could be other ways to do things.
This can apply to work. If you’ve been in a job role for many years, then it could’ve been a while since you considered whether there’s another job you could be happier doing or whether you’re learning as much as you’d like. Or even whether you actually enjoy your job or are just coasting along.
You might’ve also become set in your routines and behaviours in other aspects of life due to work. Perhaps you’re used to saying no to social plans because you’re too tired or busy. Or maybe standing squashed on a busy train for an hour every morning has become the norm.
When we get comfortable with our life setup, it can be easy to settle and avoid rocking the boat due to fear of the unknown. But that doesn’t mean that our situation is serving us as well as it could. And even if you like your job, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t an opportunity out there that could be even better.
Though redundancy can cause anxiety and uncertainty, it can also offer you a chance to reflect and ask yourself questions about where you’d like to take your life next – questions that you might never have asked otherwise. For example, could I be happier in a different career? What matters to me most? How can I try to make sure that my life aligns with my core values and beliefs?
Sometimes redundancy can prompt a positive change in life that we didn’t necessarily know we wanted or needed – such as retraining for a new career, swapping full-time for part-time work, or even setting up a business that aligns with your passions and interests.
Many people worry that finding new opportunities and adventures in your 60s and beyond isn’t possible. But more and more people are proving that this isn’t the case, and that it’s never too late to step outside of your comfort zone and do something completely different.
For example, in the UK, breast cancer survivor and mum-of-four Glaucia Sayers became a nanny at 60. 52-year-old Christine Rollinson also graduated with a university degree in criminology after leaving an unhappy relationship and finding herself with no job and no home just four years earlier.
And after her 60th birthday, Sue French decided to swap full-time employment for a part-time community-based role that gave her the work-life balance she’d been craving.
Though redundancy can be a devastating time, it can help to try and see it as the beginning rather than the end. Things might feel sad and hazy to start with, but there can be something liberating about being given the push you might’ve needed to challenge yourself and experience new growth. Yes, losing your job can be the end of an era, but it can also be the perfect time to reinvent yourself.
When we come out of long-term relationships, we often go through many emotions and realisations; a common one being that we’ve drifted away from friends (and possibly even family) over the years. This could be due to moving to live with a partner or because we just don’t have as much time as we did when we were single.
Jobs can work in much the same way and so when faced with redundancy, it’s not uncommon to see just how much long hours and work fatigue have distanced us from loved ones.
Though this can be a startling revelation, it can also be a chance to reconnect with friends, family, and acquaintances, and consider what sort of work-life balance you might like to achieve in your next opportunity.
Redundancy can be upsetting, and it’s perfectly okay to take some time to come to terms with the change and grieve the loss of that part of your life.
But try to remember that there will always be a better day and new, exciting chapters to be written, depending on what path you decide to take next.
As Socrates once said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”