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Turning Redundancies Into An Empowering Experience

Quite often when I conduct an initial career coaching session with someone whose job has just been made redundant, I  hear them say something like “I wasn’t happy there anyway” and “If it hadn’t had happened I probably would have stayed there another 10 years”.  So why didn’t they do something about it sooner, when they had the option to do it on their terms?

I’ll give you 3 reasons:

  1. they’ve drifted into their comfort zone (and that’s a red flag in a career)
  2. they get stubborn and think “I’ll make this work!”
  3. they’ve drifted off their path and not realised it.

When people aren’t challenging themselves in their career anymore, circumstances are taken out of their hands and external factors step in to take control. In hindsight this can often be referred to as a ‘wake-up’ call. They knew they needed to make a change, but didn’t take action, and before they know it, something like a redundancy comes their way.

Initially people react consistent with the grieving process, emotions follow a pattern of disbelief, anger, frustration, depression, and then finally acceptance. This is quite natural and it’s important to work through these emotions in a healthy way. However, there are two questions I ask people that get them seeing the experience from a totally different perspective, and shift them from ‘blame’ to get them excited about their future again:

1) What are the learnings you need to get from this situation? Why has this experience come into your life to teach you?

Have you ever noticed in life that when you ignore the little signs, they get louder and louder, until you simply can’t ignore them any more? Or that the same things keep going wrong again and again (different job, same problem)? These situations are coming into our lives to teach us something and help us grow and develop. So we need to take each opportunity to look for the learning. When you learn the lesson, the lesson disappears.

2) Where are you off of your path?

This graph below shows that, we think that we should follow our path in life from A to B. However from time to time, we drift off our path (represented by the curves). It’s at this point that a challenge often comes along to redirect us back onto our path.

These questions have the effect of helping someone take responsibility for themselves, and not point the blame at their employer, their manager, or anyone else. But best of all, it helps free them up and once again feel excited about their future!

If you’d like to learn more about my empowering Career Transition Programs, take a look here.

(Remember to get your copy of Careers Awakening: How To Align Your Career With Your Soul Purpose here.)