Redundancy – A First-hand Account

This second blog on redundancy is documentary evidence from a candidate that we have supported through their redundancy process. They have asked to remain anonymous and we really do appreciate their honesty in sharing their thoughts for the benefit of others in a similar situation.

Redundant
adjective
not or no longer needed or useful; superfluous.

Redundancy 

I was made redundant.My role is being made redundant. The last two short sentences are saying the same thing. However, it is amazing how different these statements are if you read them again carefully. The first states that something is, or has, happened to you personally and what you, as an individual, provide through the skills and ability that you have is coming to an end. The latter, on the other hand, separates ‘you’ from the redundancy situation and what may be happening. You are still just as skilled, knowledgeable and experienced (…if not more…) and you know that you have a lot to offer (even if this was not realised in the role that you were made redundant from). In my experience, there is a huge difference! This difference is subtle yet speaks of the inner workings of how you view yourself, your consultancy period with your employer, your ‘potential’ redundancy and your mindset going forward. There is not right or wrong and redundancy is a very stressful time, which is extremely emotive. However, having been through redundancy twice, my advice would be to make sure that you keep your mindset in theblue.

You’re in Consultancy 

It was a relatively warm summers-day. The train journey into work, looking across the countryside of the South-East was quite serene, before hitting the London boundary. It was all quite relaxing, given what was about to happen in a few hours’ time. I completed my journey, not thinking of anything more significant than what I would do for lunch. I set myself-up at my desk and started working, shortly before being asked into a meeting room – “Can I grab you for five minutes?”. “Yeah – No problem” I replied, thinking it was nothing more than something about a client or one of the many projects that I’d been working on, as was so common. And then…“I always find these situations extremely hard. I need to inform you that we have done a review of the department and have identified your role as being at risk of redundancy.”

Let’s Keep this in Context! 

It may surprise you for me to say that being told this was not a frightening experience. Some [Some!] of the reasons I’ll share below, but for now, believe it or not, this was the second time I’ve been made redundant in just over two years. This might sound alarming in some ways, however, to put this in context…Over my 15 year career so far I’ve been in consultation pools four times within different roles and work in an area that inherently delivers change within a business, usually as part of larger change programmes such as digital transformations, business turnarounds and/or growth initiatives. Is it that surprising that the business I’m currently working for is changing? In some instances, related to the exact circumstances – Yes! After all the company is trying to change its USP, what it is known for, to exactly what I as an individual have been practicing for the last 15 years. However, at the highest level, the level at which I’m talking about – No! For now, it is the age-old adage – ‘Change is the only constant’ – that springs to mind. The adage that underpins the ‘adaptability’ and ‘resilience’ needed in the jobs market in this day and age, those that have so prominently underpinned my career to this point. For now, all I know is that my role was ‘potentially’ being made redundant. I simply need to respond to the situation.

The Reality of the Situation! 

I’d like to say that this was it – we’re all positive! All good! No problem! Let’s move on! After all, being positive means great things happen, right? All employers want happy, positive employees, and socially we want to be around positive people. However, every situation has its own context and circumstances.

  • The Redundancy (Why): 
    • Red:The company’s USP, what it is trying make itself known for is exactly what I as an individual have been practicing for the last 15 years and they seek out ‘how’, embed it as their own and then make me redundant. 
    • Blue: You’ve gained experience of guiding a company into a new era, adding my own experience and knowledge to improve the ‘how’, ‘what’ and ‘why’ within its proposition. 
  • The Personal (What): 
    • Red:The timing of this isn’t good. I have recently become a parent – The childcare costs, my mortgage is due for renewal, I have 4 weeks of income before…Nothing! 
    • Blue:You need to concentrate on what you have and your continuous improvement. How about the tremendous equity in your experience. The situation isn’t ideal, but there is a great opportunity to define a new path! 
  • Career (How): 
    • Red:The company is not providing any formal support, either from HR or an externally employed company would provide ‘getting back into work’ advice. The chips are down! 
    • Blue:Seek out what you need where you perceive there to be a lack. Family, friends, current and previous colleagues, Red Tiger Talent. In reality, one source alone may not be enough. But it is within your power… 

Hopefully you might be able to see the difference between the two statements - I’m being made redundant!My role is being made redundant! 

It takes time to find a balance, but you’ll get there

My Response 

It is natural to have these ‘Ups’ and ‘Downs’. However, you will find a ‘Balance’, it just takes time (…and allow yourself time!). Of course, this can be easier said than done as pressures in life can be substantial and everybody has their own natural setting in terms of how to deal with them. If you haven’t guessed already, you may call me a ‘realist’. Whilst this means an inherent ability to see, interpret, understand and respond to circumstances, projects and alike, which are immediately in-front of me; it also means that I have an natural tendency to worry. On the one hand, my natural stance has allowed significant success throughout my early career, but is also a potential hindrance.

My Current Situation 

The amount of people throughout my redundancy ordeal that said ‘you will find something better’ or alike was unreal. At the time it felt like a ‘cliched’ comment to make you feel better, but keep your mind-set in the ‘blue‘ and you soon realise that it is in fact, true. Nobody has ever gained experience and been in a worse position for it – It is all in the mind. To validate this – I’m now back at work, not any worse-off. I work at a company that allows true ‘agile’ working. I have an increased salary while working a 4 day week that allows me to spend more time with my family. It will work out! 

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels
Header image: Adobe Stock and.one

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Steve Halsall

Steve is the founder of Red Tiger Consulting. He has worked in Location Planning for over 20 years – both on the consultancy side and client side. His passion is building successful teams that evolve their capability (skills, software and data) to meet the ever changing requirements of analysis. In his spare time he is mainly kept busy with his two children, falling in and out of love with Liverpool FC and at some point he wants to re-start his golfing ‘career’.

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