A few weeks ago I was made redundant from my job at Datify.
It was a shock, and it wasn’t just leaving the job that was difficult but leaving my amazing team.
Datify was a very special place to work, and it will forever remain a positive time in my life. But as with all things that come to an end, there was a process that had to come with it so that I could come out on the other side feeling ok.
I’d made some significant career progressions at Datify, and also made some incredible friends who I will firmly be keeping in touch with.
I know that I’m probably not the only one facing a job loss this January, so felt that sharing my experience of redundancy would hopefully provide some support, and help you realise that you’re not alone and it will get better.
So here’s how I’ve been tackling the redundancy darkness.
Like any loss, I had to give myself some time to mourn what had been.
While I’m a positive person, this is something I just had to do so that I could get out all of my mixed emotions. Bottling them up would only have caused some kind of illness, whether it would manifest into a cold or just exhaustion. I knew the best way was to just let go!
In the initial stages, it was such a mixture of anger, frustration and sadness that I didn’t really know which feeling to deal with first. But knew that one of the best ways to get it all out was to have a good cry.
Once I’d had my pity party, I felt so much better and could focus on the future.
Gather your supporters
A massive wave of self-doubt washed over me in the first week. I questioned whether I was employable, whether I was any good at what I even did and everything else imbetween.
This is natural, because while redundancy cannot be helped in many situations, it’s hard not to take it as a personal failure. When it comes to a close, you immediately begin to question yourself and your skills.
Of course, this is completely ridiculous. So gather around people who can boost you up and remind you of how amazing you are.
I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the love and support that has not only come from friends and family, but also from my professional network who’ve all sent messages of support and encouragement.
Update your LinkedIn and review it
As awful as it is to think about, ensure to update your LinkedIn with as much information as you can about your past role.
This will not only help you to reflect on what you have learned, but will also ensure that you are prepped and ready to hit the job search.
One thing I would highly recommend is getting an old colleague to review it for you so they can remind you of any career wins that you’ve forgotten. After all, we can all be quite a modest bunch, but you need to brag about what you achieved and how.
Keep in routine
Despite not having anything to actually get up for, I’ve still been getting up early and ‘starting’ my day at 9am just as I would at work. This has helped me establish a good daytime routine.
To keep myself busy I’ve started a free online course in psychology, working out in the morning, staying on top of my blog, going for long walks with my Mum and her dog, and meeting up with others to find out about new opportunities.
While it’s all too easy to get caught in the rut of Netflix binges on the sofa, you need to avoid any type of wallowing or self-pity, as it will only spiral you into a much darker place.
Keep in a routine of getting up and going out.
Even in the interim period if you take-up some volunteering, work on a side project, or start a free course – stay busy and establish a strong routine that makes you feel good.
Stay healthy and fit
I’ve been doing yoga every morning and going for a run every evening in order to keep feeling fit and mentally strong.
When you feel lost, it’s easy to want to comfort yourself with a glass of wine or a massive bar of chocolate. But it does nothing for you. And let’s face it, we feel even worse when we turn to these coping mechanisms because we know it’s no good for us.
We can end up going around and around the pity and guilt rollercoaster.
Instead of allowing yourself to get swept up find other ways for you to release your emotions that will make you feel better.
While you may not feel like exercising, it has incredible benefits for boosting mental health – and you need to stay mentally strong if you’re going to stay proactive and make it through to the other side.
See it as an opportunity
While I loved my job, I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason.
Instead of getting too worked up about my situation I’ve taken on the mindset that this is the chance for opportunity.
How often am I going to get the chance to not have to work 9-5?
So while there is some mix of fear about how I’m going to pay my bills, I’m taking this career break as a chance to do something for myself.
I’m working on a personal project that I want to complete by 4th April. But even if you don’t have something going on, think about what you’ve always wanted to do?
Have you wanted to retrain or gain experience in another industry?
Accept the opportunity and see where it takes you.
I hope this post has helped you if you’re currently going through a similar situation, and if you have been through this yourself, please share some tips or advice about what you did.