Redundancy – opportunity or threat?

I’m sure we all know people who are worried about their jobs in the current economic climate, and I’ve got a couple of friends who have recently been put at risk of redundancy at the companies they work for. What has been interesting is the differing reactons from them at this news; one (Bob) is really worried that he will lose his job, and the other (Ted) is really worried that his company won’t let him go!

Both are of a similar age, background and family circumstances but are approaching the situation from completely different angles. Bob is driven by security and as a result does not enjoy change. He thrives in an environment where he knows what he is doing and exactly what is expected of him. He gets this in his current role and as a result is seen as successful, dependable, full of confidence and drive. If he was made redundant he is concerned about the uncertainty that would lie ahead.

Ted, on the other hand, is really excited by the prospect of losing his job! He tends to have an optimistic view on life and looks for the positives in a given situation. Whilst being made redundant would mean leaving a job he enjoys, he also sees it as an opportunity to explore new avenues. He isn’t worried by uncertainty, as he has faith in his ability to manage change. As a result he is currently making plans on what he will need to do if and when he is released by his current company.

I had a drink with the two of them recently and it was really interesting listening to them discussing the situation, as they clearly have differing views. I am confident that if both do lose their jobs, they will both go onto bigger and better things, it’s just that only one of them currently thinks that way.

When you do a search on the internet for articles on redundancy, it’s really noticeable the type of language used on the subject;

“Surviving redundancy”, “overcoming redundancy” and so on. Very often it is a negative picture that is painted which just serves to reinforce the negative feelings people have about the impending change. This is not to say that redundancy can be painful, can be distressing, can be difficult, but it can also be the best thing that has ever happened to you.

When faced by the propsect of redundancy you should sit down and look at the job you do; how much do you enjoy it, how much does it challenge and stretch you. Think about your strengths, what are they, what are you good at. Here are some do’s and dont’s that you may find useful:


•keep calm
•stay positive and see it as an opportunity for change
•focus on moving forwards rather than looking back
• Review your situation and look at your options
•get advice from professional advisers
•talk to your friends and family.


•take it personally – the job has been made redundant, not you
• be too hard on yourself- most people face redundancy at some stage
•panic and make rash decisions
•feel negatively about the company that has made you redundant, it won’t help.

One thing is certain about redundancy: it’s a time of change. Many of us find change a bit unsettling, but remember that change can also be for the better. Look at it through Ted’s eyes!

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