How to Stay Motivated Even in Redundancy


Redundancy is a bad word; in the work world it means your job is ending, and even worse it means your job is truly disappearing. This is not because you are doing a bad job and being fired for something you could correct. Unfortunately, this happens to a lot more often than people think. Automation, mark evolutions, competitive substitutions, or even poor business strategies are some of the reasons, but when it happens to you, it all seems personal. People even go through a classic Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. That is the key thing to focus on because this is a grief event and you need to treat is as such, so you can move through it as quickly as possible.

Initially, upon hearing the news of the redundancy event, the typical response is one of compassion for your fellow coworkers who are losing their jobs because surely this event will not affect you. I hate to be the bearer of bad news: yes, it will! You are just in denial. So get started on your search for a new job or see the retirement planner immediately, you really do not have much time. Do not allow yourself to feel shame for being in this situation, it was not your fault. Talk to your coworkers, trade referrals, and get recommendations.

Next, you will feel anger at the company for allowing this to happen. After all, you did a good job, were a team player, supported the boss, and went the extra mile. Use your anger to motivate yourself to network and take training to make yourself a better candidate for the next position; whether you want to or not, a change is coming. During this time, be sure and continue doing your job as well as possible because that recommendation from your boss for helping right up to the end is going to be one of your trump cards when the time for change truly hits.

Bargaining occurs when you start thinking of what you could do to make the current job last longer. Everyone tries this, but do not deceive yourself. This was never personal anyway. Keep your focus on the change that is in progress; use any additional energy you have to go towards that goal. And energy is going to be limited because. . .

The last step before mentally and emotionally moving on to the new world is depression. Classic symptoms being exhaustion, short temper, and dullness. This is our body’s response in a sort of long term “fight or flight” stress response syndrome, and use of mechanisms to overcome that: exercise, meditation, distraction will work. Use them!

Facing a redundancy event is not pleasant, but you can move on and thrive in spite of the situation. Just be honest with yourself and go through the grief; there is a light at the end of this tunnel.

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