Redundancy: Punishment or opportunity?

Last updated 14:50 07/05/2013

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Job cuts: Have you been affected?

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Redundancy is a funny thing. After finding myself faced with two jobs, I accepted this one, as I thought it offered more "stability" as a multi national company. Oh the irony.

Up until the very end, I really thought that I was safe. The power of positive thinking and all that. At the end of the day, it came down to "last in, first out". Not that I was ever told that.

Not being a crier I was shocked to find myself waking up in the middle of the night sobbing my heart out. It wasn't fair. Why didn't they warn me? I can do the job better than my counterparts. They didn't give me a chance - at the time of redundancy I will have been employed for just under a year. Having my workmates tell me that I shouldn't have been the one to go, although nice to hear, was not helpful. If I shouldn't have been the one to go, why am I?

For those of you who haven't ever been made redundant, it takes about a week. A week for the shock, the rejection, the fear, the anguish, the worry, to ease a little so you can move on. A friend asked me to describe it to her, the only way I can is to compare it to being married to someone for a couple of years and they turn around one day and tell you they don't need you anymore, and you have a month to get out. It's not nice. But I can honestly say that I am glad I'm leaving now.

There are some people who have been made redundant after five, 10, 20 years of service. These are the people who I really feel for, the people who take no sick leave, will always help you, will do overtime, who will give you parental advice on your tea break - the people who make a company what it is, and are old school enough to dedicate a huge chunk of their working lives to one business. I worry about these people, they are fabulously qualified, gifted and will be loyal, but employers can't look past the age thing.

For me, I'm trained in several different fields, I have the work experience and the life experience to back myself up, but I have still have found it painfully hard, not to mention demoralising, to get knocked back over and over again. You can either be down and out, or you can look it at in one of two ways: you've lost your job, or you have gained a new opportunity to do something you love, enjoy, or even a new career path, which is what I am going to do.

If it ever happens to you - and I sincerely wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy - take a break. Don't rush straight head long into job hunting. Your brain will be like a box of broken biscuits. Regroup first. Talk to your family, friends and most importantly, your significant other. Have a plan in place, and know how long you can last without you working. Tell them how your feeling. Cry/talk/hug/whatever. They will be your biggest supporter and motivator, and also a good job networking source.

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Don't blame yourself. The company's loss, is somebody else's gain.

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