Redundancy sucks, properly sucks. Through no fault of your own, you’ve been landed on the dole queue, or if you’re in the UK, the line for the Job Centre.
I know it sucks as it recently happened to me. You’ll have good days and you’ll have completely shit days, so I’ve come up with some tips for you which will hopefully make you feel slightly better and not crack up.
Here are my tips for staying sane if you’ve recently been made redundant.
Give yourself time to decompress
Once you’ve been made redundant, give yourself a couple of days off to get your head round the fact that your kitchen / spare room is now your office and where you’ll spend your days, looking for jobs.
It normally happens that your last day is on a Friday. Give yourself the following Monday and Tuesday to get use to the fact that you don’t have to get squished on a commuter train for a while.
While you’ll still be looking for work and putting in time at a computer, new jobs unfortunately, don’t appear overnight. This takes time.
The first couple of days are like staring into an abyss, a big deep black hole. You have to give yourself time to get used to the fact that your old work life is over and you’re embarking on a new phase of your life. Even if it isn’t a phase you asked for.
You need this time to get your head around this. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else or look at what other people are perceived to be doing. They have their own problems that you know nothing about. This is your life, you’re brilliant, it’s your boat and you can steer yourself through this storm.
Get up every morning
It sounds a bit obvious but get up!
Getting up at a similar time to what you did when you were working will keep you in some sort of routine. If you’ve kids, do the school run, get them breakfast. If you don’t, get up a relaxed breakfast before the job hunt beings.
The last thing you want to happen to be become out of sync with the rest of the world. Go to bed at bedtime, get up at whatever was your breakfast time.
Get some exercise
I’ve been using my time to try and get fit. Well, as fit as I can on my exercise bike. I’ve slowly built up from 5km to 25km. It takes about 50 minutes to do that. I’m currently in a temp job but when I was at home every day, I did this after my breakfast every morning.
This gives me a clearer head to tackle the job hunt ahead and is a great stress buster. I’ve found even jumping on the exercise bike for 10 minutes in the afternoon when I’ve finished your hunt for the day is a great way to clear my head in a sea full of ‘Tell us about your summer job when you were 15’.
There are also some extra added health benefits. That’s for another blog post though.
Get Out of the House
The internet is now the number one place for looking for jobs. So, that means you’re sitting in your kitchen for eight hours a day looking for jobs rather than sitting in a office like you were a couple of weeks ago.
You’ll go mad if you don’t leave the house, get out for a walk to a local park. Try a different local coffee shop for an afternoon brew everyday. Check your local listings for free gigs and art exhibitions. Join a local soccer team. It doesn’t matter what it is, get yourself outside the four walls before you feel like they are caving in on you.
Be Good to Yourself
You’re awesome! Remember that! It’s not your fault that you ended up being made redundant. Just because you don’t have a job right now, doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to give yourself a few treats.
Last weekend, I bought myself an old Brownie 127 camera and a Frankie Goes to Hollywood 7 inch of The Power of Love. They weren’t expensive but when you’re being cautious with the cash, any little treat is brilliant.
It could be even cooking yourself your favourite meal, taking a few hours out to read a book, drawing, messing around with an adult colouring book, playing guitar.
Do something that relaxes you, something that you find fun!
Surround Yourself with Good People
When you don’t hear back from applications, it can be a downer. Especially when some applications can take a couple of hours to put together.
Plus, the other thing no one tells you is that it can take weeks to get a reply. If you have a good buddy or partner to can let it all out to, do!! Not every day is going to be great. Some are downright slogs.
Being surrounded by people who love you for who you are and not what your job title is the number one goal in life. They love you because you’re kind, you’ve a big heart, you’ve a great sense of humour, you’ve a beautiful smile.
They were there before you got that job, they’re still there.
Reassess what you’re doing
Now is a good time to take a look at what you really want to do. You’ll need to smarten up the CV/resume so think about the things you’re good at, things you like doing and what the future could possibly hold if you changed what you’re doing.
It’s a good time to take stock of everything. Those good people you’re surrounding yourself with? They’ll probably be able to point out some things quicker than you realise yourself.
People have bills, though you don’t want them piling up. Instead of making any hasty decisions because you have to urgently get a job, re-do your budget and see if you can can get some temp work for a while. This may be a way of you clearing your head so you can reassess the situation and get in the direction that you want to go.
Keep a list of what you do
I find keeping a list of all the jobs I’ve applied for really beneficial. I also add things like how far I did on the exercise bike and who I called. I also take screenshots of jobs I’ve applied for.
You can end up applying for massive amounts of jobs so this is a good way to show you that you are actually doing something and you are making progress.
I hope these help in some small way. Being made redundant is not easy. But it’s just another one of life’s crossroads and you’ll get through it. This is the start of a new chapter. The most important thing is to look after you and your mental health. It’s the shittiest of times but it’s also a time when we truly find the importance of family and friends. Talk to people, let them know how you’re feeling, use their shoulder for support. That’s what friends are for. You’d do it for them.
Let me know if you’ve been through redundancy and if you have any tips in the comments below.