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Coping with redundancy


Man made redundant leaving office
Being made redundant

What do I do if I have been made redundant?

We are currently in an economic climate where many companies are having to look at laying off staff to reduce costs.


If you have been made redundant it can be scary, especially if you have been in your job for a long time, and it will naturally have an effect on you mental wellbeing.


Dealing with redundancy

As with any big loss or change in your life, you may feel a range of emotions – upset, anger, shock, and sometimes even relief.


The key thing to remember is that it is not your fault. Whilst it may seem very personal it is just a business decision.


At the end of 2023 many firms were starting to look at restructuring to reduce costs, with the Employers & Manufacturers Association (EMA) reporting that the demand for restructuring support had increased by 50% in Q4 2023.


Since then, many businesses have put a freeze on hiring and in 2024 some companies have announced job cuts. It is not therefore you that has been made redundant – just your job.


Here are some tips to help you cope if you have been made redundant.


Tips for those being made redundant


  1. Give yourself time to digest the news – don’t panic. Whilst you may immediately worry about your financial situation and feel the need to race and get another job, you need to be kind to yourself and not make any hasty decisions. Reflect not only on how your emotions are impacting you but on what you want to do next. Talking to friends and family is a good starting point.

  2. Look at the situation as an opportunity – once you have recovered from the initial shock, perhaps use this as an opportunity to look at changing or advancing your career. Do you want a greater work-life balance in your next role, are you older and wanting to cut back your hours, or is there the chance to or work for yourself or go overseas?

  3. Take up support services offered – some employers will offer you the opportunity to go an outplacement provider who will coach you through your current situation and work to help you to find employment. It is worthwhile taking up this option if it is offered to you.  You may also be offered EAP (Employment Assistance Programmes) which entitles you to free counselling sessions.

  4. Manage your money – if your contract doesn’t provision for any redundancy money, or you are only entitled to a couple of weeks salary, you may start feeling stressed about money. In New Zealand, going to a free budgeting service like sorted.org.nz may help. It is also worthwhile investigating what support is available to you through WINZ.

  5. Focus on moving forward – be proactive. Once you have decided what you want to do next update your CV and start contacting recruitment providers. From a wellbeing perspective this helps you to move forward and stay positive. Recruiters will not only help you with tips to update your CV but let you know what roles are out there – especially if you are wanting to change the type of job you have.

  6. Keep busy and healthy – if you are not working, get yourself into a good routine just as you would if you were going into the office. Get up at the same time each day and find things to do that interest you in between your job seeking efforts. Looking after your physical wellbeing is just as important as your mental health, so make sure you get plenty of exercise, eat well, and don’t stay cooped up inside all day. Remember that the right role will come along so stay positive.

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