More than five million jobs – almost 40 per cent of Australian jobs that exist today – have a moderate to high likelihood of disappearing in the next 10 to 15 years due to technological advancements, according to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found that in the 12 months to February 2017, more than 300,000 Australians were retrenched – and the trend is set to continue.
Simon Rountree, pioneer of workplace engagement, resilience and wellbeing and the CEO of Change Ready, says it’s important to be prepared for that dreaded call to the office – but
with the right preparation, you can bounce back from a redundancy, and even use it to reshape your career.
“We all know of the scenario in which an announcement is made that job losses will take place only to see this followed up with uncertainty and panic amongst the staff,” he says.
“The pressure of knowing or not knowing creates self-doubt and anxiousness for many and threatens the many freedoms we take for granted. It can trigger the relentless inner critic of our brain to reinforce your unworthiness, particularly when you believe others who have added less value than you get to stay.
“To be made redundant after investing ourselves within a role can often leave us feeling cheated, a lack of control and unworthy. The impact of this upon our identity is two-fold – first of all its heartfelt. Secondly, we lose the control of our normal routine. In essence it leads us to feeling lost and rejected.
“But despite its challenges, being made redundant also creates opportunities and the stronger your levels of resilience are the greater chance you have of maintaining your overall wellbeing and being able to bounce back.”
Here are five coping strategies to help you over-come your adversity and bounce back:
- The power of language
The language we use is extremely important in supporting us to identify what happened and for seeing the situation for what it really is. Ensure you frame the situation as it happened and make the mental shift from saying things like “l lost my job” to “the position was made redundant to reduce costs”.
- Create a new routine
Look to create a new routine and new possibilities that come with it. It’s okay to take a break and possibly have a holiday or maybe volunteer for a while but ensure have a plan and routine. Your new routine should have a clear purpose and that purpose is to create a new job – by building networks, meeting people for coffee, up skilling yourself or searching online.
- Be open to your identity changing
Things won’t be the same and that’s okay. Your mobile may not ring as much or you may not get as many emails anymore but it doesn’t mean that it will be like this forever. Spend time reassessing your personal values and look to see how you can implement these in helping to guide you with your next steps. In times of change values provide us with a clear direction on who we want to be and are strongly linked to resilient behaviours.
- Question your negative thoughts
Its normal to find yourself doubting or wondering if you’ll be able to get another job so it’s important to pay attention to how you are thinking and feeling. By questioning your negative thoughts, you can bring your thinking process back to reality and prevent the potential downward spiral of negativity. For example, if you’re thinking ‘If only I worked harder maybe they would have kept me’, then question your thought by asking, ‘What proof do I have that working harder would have prevented the financial difficulties the business got itself into?’
- Take time to process
We all have emotions and they are all there for a reason. Feeling sadness, loss or grief after being made redundant is a normal emotion. Ask yourself this question – ‘Is this emotion I’m feeling serving me well right now?’ By asking that question you are acknowledging the emotion and the impact it’s having on you or others. If your answer is ‘Yes, it’s serving me well’, then you have given yourself permission to stay in that space without feeling guilty about it. If your answer is ‘No, it’s not serving me well’, then you have given yourself permission to move to a more productive space.
Simon Rountree is a pioneer of workplace engagement, resilience and wellbeing. His company Change Ready supports organisations, teams and individuals deal with the uncertainty of change through unique, proven and measurable programs based on the latest organisational change, cognitive science and positive psychology research.
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