Monthly Archives: August 2012

B is for Breathing Space (A-Z of Redundancy)

Hi Everyone

When you enter into the world of Redundancyland it can be a hard pill to swallow. Emotions that you haven’t experienced for a long time, may rear their ugly head and if it is the first time that you have been made redundant, you may feel bewildered, anxious and all alone and that can be just for starters.

For some of you, the business where you worked may literally have collapsed overnight and redundancy will have happened so fast that you barely had time to think, let alone manage to make plans for your future or indeed for the next day. Whilst others among you, will find that there were rumours spreading that the company you worked for was in trouble over a period of months before you got officially told that there was no longer a need for your role.

Whichever is the path that took you to get here, I am here to tell you, you are not alone. I have been made redundant twice and in general, a job for life is now a thing of the past. No longer are employers looking for a person with years of experience in the same role, they are looking at how adaptable and flexible potential employees are to have been able to hold a variety of jobs and gained many transferable skills.

One of the most important things that you must do, is to allow yourself breathing space, by this I mean, time to take everything in that has happened to you, to process it in your mind and to allow yourself the time to think, what is it that I really want to do with my life? You also need time to settle into the idea of not working in that role anymore. I know some of you will be screaming at me right now, saying “I have got a job to go to, I don’t need breathing space.” To those of you who share that viewpoint, I say good on you but please give yourself time to think and reflect on if the job you have taken to replace the one that you were made redundant from, was the right job choice for you. It can be easier to take a job out of desperation than it is too allow yourself the time to think of redundancy as the opportunity of a lifetime to pursue your dreams.

My top five tips for why you need breathing space:

  1. To give yourself time to get over the initial shock of redundancy.
  2. To allow grief to run it’s course.
  3. To think about what other career you could pursue and research ways to make it happen.
  4. To make a plan of action for your future including how you are going to get your dream job.
  5. To pursue a course needed to improve your chances of getting a job in the role that you want.

When I was made redundant for the second time in 2009, I decided to pursue my dream of being a published writer and of setting up a website to help people who have been made redundant to get back into work. If I can do it, I know you can too.

Reach for the stars. They are yours for the taking.

Remember, always stay positive.

Sandra Bellamy

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A is for Antidote to Beat Redundancy Blues (A-Z of Redundancy)

Hi Everyone

Redundancy can be an extremely stressful, distressing and depressing time.

When I was made redundant for the first time in 2002, it felt like the rug had been pulled from underneath my feet, bewildered, disappointed and shocked, I didn’t know how I was going to cope. I hadn’t been made redundant before and I didn’t know anyone else who had.

The second time was a different story, in 2009, much like today, it was during one of the worst economic climates and there were many others I knew and subsequently spoke to, that had been put in the same position. To speak to and be around people who understood how I was feeling, who had the same worries, the same fears and the same anxieties, really helped me to not feel so alone. I also found the following, was a good antidote, to help beat redundancy blues.

  1. In a state of panic, don’t just plunge back into the next available job, take some time out, to calm down and to reflect on was has happened to you.
  2. Go with what you are feeling. Don’t suppress the emotions but rather let yourself feel them and deal with them in a constructive way.
  3. Speak to family and friends to get their support.
  4. Do not carry on and pretend that nothing has happened. The sooner you face up to the situation, the sooner you can deal with it and move on.
  5. You need to recognise that you are grieving for your loss. Sure it is not a person that you are losing but a job is a huge part of your life and to have it taken away from you, unless you dislike the job, is often incredibly devastating.
  6. If you are feeling depressed and finding it hard to cope, then consider counselling. It can help you work through your grief and get you back into work quicker. Unless you are good at hiding your depression, a person who is blatantly depressed, will not score brownie points in an interview and you will be doing yourself a disfavour by trying to do something you are not ready for. We all need to take our own time to heal.
  7. Do things which make you feel good about yourself, if you can afford to, take a short break, socialize, be around people who make you feel good and help to get you out of your own head that is probably spinning with all sorts of thoughts, causing you confusion and to feel out of control. The sooner you start to feel in control, the sooner you will feel better.
  8. When you are feeling calmer and more in control, you need to think about what job you would like to do next. In order to do this in a beneficial way, you need to think about what you liked and disliked about your last job and your previous roles. Answer the following questions:
  • Do you prefer to work on your own or as part of a team?
  • Are you a problem solver or do you prefer someone else to do this for you?
  • Do you find it easy to communicate with staff? With Colleagues? With Customers?
  • Do you prefer to lead or to follow?
  • Do you prefer to be guided or to use your own initiative?
  • Do you enjoy talking or being quiet?
  • What environment do you feel most comfortable in?
  • Do you like working in a structured way or prefer a more relaxed approach?
  • Are you a person who likes to do things and be active or do you prefer to be an observer?
  • Do you enjoy working with figures?
  • Do you like socializing with people from work or do you want to do your job and just go home?
  • Are you flexible over hours that you can work?
  • How much money do you need to live on?

Also consider:

  • What is your dream job?
  • Could you turn any hobbies into a career?
  • What job could you realistically do?
  • Do you lack certain skills needed for a new job? If so, what can you do about it?

9. When you start asking yourself these questions, you start looking to the future, now don’t look back. Keep looking forward and focus on that.

10. As always. Stay positive and keep smiling.

Sandra Bellamy

Enabling the less abled into employment

 

Hi Everyone

You are probably waiting to read the A-Z of Redundancy that is coming soon but in the meantime I wanted to share with you something that happened today.

I got invited to take a tour of St Loye’s Foundation in Exeter. That is essentially an education establishment for people with disabilities, or to use the correct terminology, the less-abled or differently-abled. Their website address is: http://www.stloyesfoundation.org.uk This year they are celebrating their 75th Anniversary of being a national charity with the aim of getting people into employment.

Their mission: “With our range of services, we support people with physical or mental health conditions and disabilities into lasting employment.”

I was given a tour of the Foundation by Community Fundraiser Phil Roberts.  The building was light and airy and well equipped to meet training needs, with one computer per person and a lot of them. Spread over two floors the foundation offers a number of in-house courses to 18 years and over, that include:

And the best thing is, they will put you up in residential accommodation if you don’t live in Exeter and want to attend a course. That is subject to proof that you have got a disability and DWP terms and conditions. I would advise you to contact your local Disability Employment Advisor at your local Jobcentre Plus to discuss your options and eligibility and you can speak directly to St Loye’s Employment Team by phoning 01392 255428 to find out more about the courses.

Their address is: St Loye’s Foundation, Brittany House, New North Road, Exeter EX4 4EP.

Every person that I was introduced to at St Loye’s, made me feel welcome and at ease. The tutors were on hand to give one-to-one support with courses such as Business Administration and CAD design and I got the feeling that it was a place where people could feel comfortable and supported in their training and respected as an individual.

Some exciting news  – Soon they will be offering courses to people who are vulnerable but don’t necessarily have a disability. This means that if you are unemployed, over 19 years and claiming JSA, you will be able to take advantage of a number of training courses for free that you will find hard to get for free elsewhere in Exeter and that you may find hard to get at that level for free in the South West. For example, I have been told by an employee that they will be offering ECDL Levels, 1, 2 and 3. So log on to their website again in a few weeks time to gain access to courses for updating your skills or training for a new career. http://www.stloyesfoundation.org.uk

Remember, stay positive.

Together we can beat redundancy blues.

Sandra Bellamy

 

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