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Redundancy Stress: 9 strategies for turning job loss fear into positive action

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Redundancy is stressful: positive action is crucial

As the impact of the global pandemic continues and the UK officially enters recession for the first time in over a decade, we’re seeing and hearing redundancy announcements on a daily basis. Most people know someone who has been impacted by a company making the tough decision to downsize or reduce costs in some way, or even close the doors for good.

Whether you’ve experienced redundancy, know someone who has, are on furlough and are worried about whether your job will still be there for you, have been asked to reduce your hours, or some other permutation of job uncertainty, these strategies are written for you.



Stress-Inducing Changes

Change, particularly change that is unexpected and imposed, is stressful. And that’s what we’re all dealing with right now. The virus, restrictions, and changes to the way we live and work, along with sudden changes to job status, are all changes that we haven’t planned and are needing to constantly respond to.

They are all stressors – something that causes a state of stress or tension – and we have to keep adapting and working out how to deal with each one. And this is in addition to the typical stressors that we deal with day-to-day.

Job and income loss, for any reason, are major stressors. There are many implications besides the financial aspect. Work gives us routine, a sense of identity, connection with others, and a purpose. All things which are critical for our wellbeing.



Stress is an energy-drainer

It’s important to recognise that stress is exhausting. It consumes a lot of mental and physical energy and can result in sleep being affected, not being able to think clearly, tempers becoming frayed, reduced thinking power, and many more symptoms. Left unchecked, this ongoing stress can lead to burnout.

Whilst all that might leave you feeling low, the purpose of sharing all this is to make it clear that ‘it’s OK not to be OK’ in situations like these. Don’t’ give yourself a hard time because you’re feeling challenged.

But there is good news. There are things we can do to help ourselves be our best, and to reduce the effects of stress. Thank goodness.



9 Strategies For Positive Action

In my work I help people with stress, burnout, leaving jobs, and finding jobs all of the time. But I’m not a career adviser, HR professional or recruitment agent. I’m a coach focused on helping people to know what they want, to be resilient, and to be able to enjoy life and work as much as possible. So what I’m sharing is focused on helping you achieve just that, rather than advise on how to write your CV and prepare for an interview.


#1 Prioritise Your Wellbeing

If you are not operating at your best you won’t have the energy and tenacity needed for a job search, nor will you be presenting the best version of yourself online or in an interview. Putting your mental and physical health at the top of the to-do list might not seem easy or natural, but it is a necessity.


#2 Know What You Want

I know lots of you might say we can’t be picky right now. But knowing what you want is really important in helping you narrow your search, stand out from the crowd with a clear identity, get proactive with certain companies or roles, and have a greater likelihood of enjoying the role you get.


#3 Treat The Job Search As A Job

Like it or not, the job search is time intensive if you’re taking it seriously. It doesn’t have to be a full-time job, but there will be a need for a lot of up-front work, followed by some daily tasks, and the capacity to respond in-the-moment to requests. No-one is more vested in the outcome as you, so don’t leave it in someone else’s hands.


#4 Keep A Routine

Whilst many of us love the idea of the freedom and spontaneity that not going to work can offer, most people thrive more with some form of routine in their lives. Finding a routine that works for you is really important, and of course, ensure it includes downtime and a load of fun too.


#5 Put Boundaries In Place

It can be really easy to get lost down a rabbit hole and confused with too much advice when you’re job hunting and feeling stressed. As part of your routine be sure to put time boundaries around your job search activity. That way you’ll be more likely to invest time in you and your wellbeing – without any guilt creeping in.


#6 Get Started – Without Perfection

The starting point for many job applications is the submission of a CV, and I frequently see this as a big stumbling block. It’s how we are presenting ourselves, so we understandably want it perfect. But the desire for perfection often prevents us from getting off the starting blocks with something that is perfectly ‘good enough’.


#7 Ask For Help

Don’t be shy of asking for help from anyone who can. That can be a really hard step to take, but whether it’s someone helping you with your CV, making an introduction to someone they know, or simply being your moral support, it’s important to get your people beside you.


#8 Positive People

There’s no doubt that the job search can be a tough one. If more often than not involves rejection along the way. You need your biggest fans around you – those people who believe in you, are positive about the future, and will always lift you when things are tough. It’s no time to be surrounded by mood hoovers, so choose positive.


#9 Collaborate Not Compete

It’s a much more positive experience to collaborate with others in a similar position rather than isolate yourself in order to compete with them. If you can embrace the fear that goes with sharing in this situation, you could find it a really rewarding experience that helps everyone.



There’s no doubt that redundancy and job loss fear are scary places to be, but finding the right strategies to keep you well, motivated, and positive are key.

Redundancy can also really impact your confidence. My new book Confidence Confessions is a great starting point for you to make positive change – check it out below. 

You can navigate this situation. Look after yourself and I wish you the best of luck.