How to handle redunancy

How to handle redunancy

Any form of job loss, particularly in the current job market, is a challenge for any individual. Whether a highly educated senior executive, or a trainee, being advised that you no longer have ongoing employment is a shock to the system.


We work with many individuals that are facing redundancy, or have been made redundant. Many of these individuals go through the traditional stages of grief; however some have proven to be slightly more resilient throughout the process. These individuals have helped us to determine what it is that helps an individual move faster through the stages of grief following redundancy, and what attitude supported their own development.



First thing is first, what is a redundancy?

The most important fact is to remember is that a bone fide redundancy is not a reflection of an individual’s capabilities or work abilities. A redundancy is purely an organisation needing to assess the ongoing employment structure in line with direction and strategy.



Stages of grief


We work with the ‘Dancing with Sarah’ model of grief and transition. This is a very effective model to help individuals step through their feelings and emotions following events such as a redundancy. Dancing with Sarah stages include:

  • Shock
  • Anger
  • Resistance
  • Acceptance
  • Help


Traditionally, an individual will work through these stages at varying pace and will move backwards and forwards before reaching ‘Acceptance’ and ‘Help’. A lot of individuals will remain in the ‘Anger’ and ‘Resistance’ stages longer than the others and will transition with more difficulty before moving into acceptance.


When an individual is able to identify and categorise the emotions that they are feeling more effectively, they have a greater result in proactively seeking possible alternative employment opportunities.

  “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” ~Alexander Graham Bell



Remain Positive


As difficult and as daunting as a redundancy is for everybody, remaining positive is absolutely necessary. Without a positive attitude, individuals are unable to seek future work opportunities effectively and will in turn spend more time holding onto a “Why Me” attitude rather than a “what’s next” attitude. Some key statement to support you in your positive thinking includes:

  • It was part of a strategic plan for the organisation, not a reflection on my individual capabilities.
  • I contributed positively throughout the process by accepting the need for redundancies to occur
  • I have been provided a payment to allow me to consider a new challenge with possibly more financial benefit and growth
  • I have developed additional professional skills by now having been through a redundancy within an organisation
  • I am employable and have numerous skills and capabilities


It is imperative however that following a redundancy you do not sit back for the entire period that was covered by any severance pay. Individuals that immediately start to seek employment, and are able to obtain a new role within this period, also receive the additional benefit of saving any remaining pay for their own personal use. Individuals that wait until they have used up any financial gain from their redundancy before seeking employment have been proven to increase their stress throughout the period which has had a negative impact on the application process.


Understanding redundancy and the stages and emotions that you will go through throughout this period will support any individual when faced with a redundancy. Looking at a redundancy as a benefit to open your eyes to new opportunities, rather than a job loss, will ensure that you get the most out of the situation. Many individuals use this time as an opportunity to look for their ideal career and how to transition across utilising their existing skills. When remaining positive and looking at all options as a result of the redundancy will ensure that you get the greatest and most suitable result for yourself and your career.



“Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.” ~ Oprah

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Copyright 2016 - Rebecca Fraser