Finding The Silver Lining in Redundancy
Being made redundant from your job can bite on so many levels. Not only do you lose your source of income, but you’re forced to jump back quickly into the job market (often unprepared and definitely unwillingly). Your self-confidence and even your identity can also take a real knocking, especially if you take a lot of pride in your role and the company you work for; which is something I can personally attest to from my own experience with being made redundant.
I was in a sales role for a film distribution company for over five years and I loved it! I had an incredibly supportive manager and was surrounded by a great team of people, we had fun on the job and everyone felt valued for what they brought to the table. The perks were also a big plus - I’d often start my day at a local cinema watching one of our yet-to-be-released movies, not to mention being able to attend movie premieres, the biggest one I attended being The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
It was a role that I intended on being in for a long time, I felt secure and happy and was blissfully unaware that it was about to go sideways. When the company went through a massive restructure, which affected everyone in my office, it was a huge blow to me. It probably didn’t help that I found out I was losing my job on my 30th birthday.
After getting over the shock of losing my job, I realised that I had been complacent and hadn’t grown my skills and experience as much as I could have, which had set me back compared to my peers. I also realised that I’d been naïve to think that it wouldn’t happen to me, because my own parents had each been through multiple redundancies themselves.
Fortunately I was in a position where I could afford to take a couple of months off work to re-calibrate and figure out my next step. I still hadn’t quite figured it out, so I took a Receptionist job, which was fantastic as it allowed me to one: earn an income again, and two: meet lots of interesting people and expand my vision of what my career could look like. It was probably a full year before I decided that recruitment was the right path for me, and I’m glad in the end that I was made redundant, as it allowed me to branch out into new territory that I otherwise would never have tried.
The great thing about redundancy, and yes there really is a great thing about it, is that it forces you to re-evaluate your career and personal brand and to look at them with fresh eyes. Complacency is no longer an option! Even if you don’t have the luxury of time, it’s worth taking what time you can to think about what’s really important to you in your life and career, how you want to work, who you want to be and who you want to work for / with. It’s a fantastic opportunity to broaden your horizons as they say, so keep your chin up, because there are silver linings to be found if you look for them!
Please also check out my blog on the Pros and Cons of Job Hopping – it’s definitely something to be mindful of in your career, especially when committing to a role and company for life isn’t as secure or as reliable an option as it has been in the past.
Written by Alisa Moore, Research & Community Manager at Gaulter Russell Numero.