How do you support yourself during a difficult transition?

It can be a worrying time when you are facing redundancy.  Are you feeling the stress and anxiety that comes with being made redundant, particularly when you’re over 50 and may find it difficult to secure a new job or career path? You’re not alone. Many people find themselves in this position as they near retirement age, and it can be an overwhelming experience.

Redundancy can feel like a failure, particularly if you’ve been a loyal and hardworking employee for many years. The loss of steady income and security can lead to uncertainty, doubt, and a sense of helplessness. However, it is essential to remember that redundancy is not your fault, and you’re not alone in your struggles. Here are some tips on how to cope with redundancy and support yourself during this difficult transition.

1. Take Care of Your Emotions

The first step in coping with redundancy is to take care of your emotional well-being. It’s natural to feel sadness, despair, anger or self-blame. Suppressing these emotions can lead to serious consequences such as depression, anxiety, or physical symptoms like headaches and stomach aches.

Carve out time each day to process your emotions. Talk to friends and family or seek professional help to work through these issues. You may also find it helpful to keep a journal or join a support group with others who share your experience.

2. Get Professional Advice

Redundancy involves complex legal and financial implications. It’s always best to get advice as soon as possible, particularly if you’re over 50 and need to consider retirement options or use any redundancy pay to set up a new business or career direction.

Your Human Resources Department should be consulting with you at every stage and letting you know what you are entitled to receive.  The company may have also commissioned an outplacement company to support its employees to transition. 

Outplacement services help with a range of emotional and practical support.  I’ve worked in this industry for the last 20 years.  I have also supported thousands of people to find their next job. If your company has not appointed an outplacement organization, you may be entitled to a pot of money to source the support yourself.  Ask your HR department. 

You can consult with a career coach, a financial advisor, or an employment advisor to review your options and help you develop a plan that works best for you. They can offer guidance on creating a CV, job search techniques, LinkedIn setup, job interview tips, and much more.

3. Take Time to Re-Evaluate Your Life Purpose

This transitional period can be an opportunity to re-evaluate your goals, values, and aspirations. Ask yourself what your ‘ideal life’ looks like, including your work and personal life. What type of work brings you joy, meaning, and fulfilment? Are there other paths or opportunities that align with your interests and passions?

With some reflection and planning, redundancy can open up new and exciting possibilities that could ultimately lead to a more satisfying and rewarding life.

4. Build Relationships

When you’re facing redundancy, it’s crucial to maintain a positive outlook and build relationships with people who can support you. Seek out colleagues, friends and family members for social support or professional network connections. Attend job fairs, join online job search sites that cater to your field of experience, and other industry groups.

Meeting new people with similar interests or skills can also provide valuable advice and insight into your next career moves.

5. Take Care of Yourself

Finally, it’s important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Take time for exercise, eat a balanced diet, and engage in self-care activities such as meditation, mindfulness and yoga. These practices help manage stress and increase resilience, making it easier to cope with the uncertainty of the future.

In conclusion, redundancy can be a challenging process, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Lean on yourself, friends, and family for emotional support, and seek professional advice to navigate the transition process. View this as an opportunity to re-evaluate your life purpose, reconnect with colleagues and loved ones, and persevere as you move forward. Remember, your future is what you make it, and change can lead to growth and new possibilities!