How to take back your power when you’re being made redundant

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One of my clients (let’s call her Marge) forwarded me an email last month. I opened the attachment and read some familiar words:

“We continue to operate in a highly competitive environment and are going through a time of significant change to transform our business for the future.”

Without reading any further I knew how the next paragraph would read…this was a letter to advise that Marge was at risk of redundancy and she may be laid off from her job.

It’s always a shock to receive a letter that’s basically telling you that you may not have a job in three months. 

Luckily, Marge had already been coaching with me for six months so she was ready for her corporate exit, even though it had come a little earlier than we expected.

But hey, sometimes the universe gives us a big nudge in the right direction so it was all happening exactly as it should be.

But, quite understandably, Marge was still feeling a little upset following the news.

It’s a bit like not being picked for the hockey team. 

You know deep down that the hockey team wouldn’t have been that much fun…..all that running around in the freezing cold in the dark after school….And don’t even get me started on those bruised shins. Ouch!

But you still wanted to be picked right? You still wanted to be the popular one.

There are so many emotions that we go through when we’re forced to make a change. When our choice is completely taken away from us.

It’s scary I know.

I worked in corporate for 14 years and I remember a 4 year period when I was put at risk of redundancy SIX TIMES.

Even though I felt very supported by the business and my managers, it was still a very scary time for me. I had no idea what I would do if I left.

And the old ‘I’m going to be living in the back of my car’ fear reared its ugly head again.

I started to wonder whether it was personal…did they want me out? Wasn’t I good enough?

I remember walking into consultation meetings, taking a deep breath and thinking “here we go again!”

It was a never ending cycle.

Of course it wasn’t personal. I always got another role and quite often, as a senior manager, I was on the other side….advising my team they were at risk and chairing consultation meetings.

But you know what..there just came a time when I thought fuck this. 

I can’t live my life worrying whether I’m going to be made redundant again. I don’t want to give away my power.

I want to be the only person who makes choices about my work, my money and my happiness.

So guess what? I went and did the thing that I’d been worried about for all those years.

I went and got myself made redundant. 

I told the business that I wanted to leave and I negotiated a redundancy package.

And the relief was immense……because I’d left my job on MY TERMS.

Through the nature of my work I often coach clients who are at risk of redundancy. Many feel anxious about the future, shame and even isolation from their colleagues.

Please know that this is natural. it’s ok to feel like this. But it’s important to learn how to react to your emotions and feel more in control so you have the power.

So here’s the advice I share with them.

Don’t take it personally. This is not a personal attack on you! Restructure is necessary for a business to grow. Just because you’ve given them 25 of the best years of your life, they don’t owe you anything really. 

Apart from a nice big juicy payout. Mmmmm, just think about what you could do with that!

So maybe it’s time to change your perspective and look at it a different way. 

Maybe it’s your opportunity to escape from the corporate rat race 

and open that little coffee shop you’ve always wanted to run

or maybe go on a month long retreat in Bali

or maybe re-train as a coach and help other women escape corporate…. oh no wait…..that’s what I did!

However you choose to look at it and whatever you choose to do with the money and time at your disposal, be sure to take advantage of every bit of support your business gives you.

They’re not the bad guys, they’re just trying to run a business as best they can.

And you didn’t really want to work there anymore anyway, did you?

And as for Marge?

Well MARGE IS PLAYING IT LARGE, taking her redundancy and using it to start her own coaching business.

So if instead of playing the victim, you choose to take back your power like Marge, then I have a free resource for you.

Get 5 EASY steps to create your exit plan and leave corporate (without risking financial security) Download my FREE Big Change Small Steps Roadmap HERE


Abigail RebeccaComment