Tip No3 For Families Dealing With Redundancy – Listing Opportunities

So as you know the big hairy northern hubby has been made redundant, and I blogged about the first steps to do, which included wallowing and getting some perspective on the old job.  Then I blogged about how important it is to look at the basic foundations of your life to strengthen you whether you have or are worried about being made redundant.

Now we are going to start to look at some ideas for the way ahead.  It’s very key to have the mind set that there is a ‘silver lining’ waiting out there for you and you are going to snap it up.

So, what could be the ‘opportunity’ for you in being made redundant?  I’m going to list a pile for you, because I know it can be tricky sometimes to even think it through.

I’m hoping for tonnes of comments to add to the ideas and give you a boost of confidence too.



First there are some basic ones to do with a slight change of job:

  • Work with different people – maybe you weren’t really a match for them, maybe they were mean, maybe they socialised a bit too much and you need to drink less, maybe they were boring?  The HR people actually told me once that it must be stressful for me to work in Oracle because I was so different!
  • Change what you do – maybe you would like less stress, or to focus on just one area, or have more variety?  I was better with a job that didn’t have too many big highs and lows, so support was much more consistent for me in comparison to consultancy.
  • Change which area you work in – Your skills might easily translate to another area of the business or a similar one.  I get bored quickly so when I worked in IT I went through consultancy, training, project management, support, account management and software engineering!
  • Change the hours you work – perhaps the days were too long, or you could go part-time?
  • Change the commute – maybe there is something nearer that would be better, or on a different tube line that would reduce the stress levels
  • Reduce or increase the travel – do you want see more or less of the world?
  • Change how much you were paid – did you need a kick to earn what you deserve, or would you like less responsibility and less money?
Then we can think out of the box a bit:
  • Change the work-childcare mixture in the family – perhaps you would work less days and your partner would like to work more? One of our best friends now works a reduced hour week and it makes total sense.
  • Work abroad – maybe it would suit the family to go away for a few years, learn a new language or see a new culture or have a better quality of living
  • Go contracting or consulting – I can’t believe I never did this for a while when I worked in IT, we are thinking it might be a good short term option while we think through all the options.
  • Move location – we are thinking of going back to good old Bristol
  • Start your own company or small business
  • Take a family gap year – I’ve always wanted one of these
  • Take a period of time out to rethink – maybe you need a massive change and time to get healthier physically, emotionally and mentally?
  • Take time out from work and spend it with the kids? maybe with some cuts and the money from the redundancy you could literally stop work for a while?
Each option has ups and downsides obviously and we are a little worried about the effects of some of them long term.  But I think the key is to balance the logic and practicality of your head, with the fear and intuition of your gut and the whispers in your heart.
I’d LOVE your ideas or experiences; maybe they could help us or some of the other people who read this blog.


Dealing With Being Made Redundant When You Are A Parent

So the big northern hubby got made redundant on monday, perfect timing with Curly Headed Boy’s birthday coming up, followed by Christmas and then Little Dimple’s birthday.  Poor guy, this is the second time he’s been made redundant, last time it was when Curly Headed Boy was 6 weeks old, just after Christmas.  Lovely!

So I thought I might as well start a series about what to do when you get made redundant, so that we can share how we deal with it and hopefully help all the other parents facing the same problem at the moment.

The great thing about my tips is that having experienced this situation before we really know the mistakes that you can make when being made redundant or when your partner is made redundant.  This time it’s going to be really different, and hopefully by sharing I can make sure that it’s going to be different for you to.  The plan is to save you time, heartache and money, and get you back working, where you would like to be asap.

First, it’s important for you to understand that it’s very easy to take this personally, but in reality if you work in London you are going to be made redundant at least once in your life, probably more, and if you work elsewhere then expect it to happen once.  Maybe the a ‘job for life’ is over, but perhaps it will make ‘interesting job lives’ instead?


I’m not going to rant today.  But I will say these two things:

  • What comes around goes around
  • Diversity is the name of the game when it comes to a companies survival and any company that doesn’t get that is stupid
  • Wise companies will look at long term costs and find that retraining (skills or personal development) is cheaper than redundancies and hiring costs.
  • Options are not always black and white.  Sometimes it’s worth discussing with your staff what ideas they have.  Maybe they would be willing to work less hours or be more flexible.

There we go, Onwards and Upwards!  Here are the initial steps in the first week after the redundancy hits:

Step 1: Wallow

Go on feel rubbish for a bit.  It’s important not to suppress it or ignore it.  Just limit it to a few glasses of wine/beer and don’t consider actually taking any action against the people concerned.  Also don’t accept any offers from people to sort out the people concerned!

Step 2: Put a specific time deadline on how long you are going to wallow.

If you are the partner, I recommend making sure that this is between 1-7 days and no longer.  Listen to how they feel and don’t offer solutions until you are really sure.  If they are willing to talk, help them to express how scared they are, before you start with the ‘there there, it’s going to be OK’ routine.

Step 3: Start thinking about all the things that didn’t work for you in the past job.

Write them down.  (Writing is magic, you MUST write them down).  Keep going with the list, as this will help you when deciding what you can or can’t face again in your next job.  Plus it will reduce the feeling of upset.  Be very specific, so don’t just say ‘the commute’, say ‘being squashed with loads of people, spending xhrs, smelling of london, miserable people’ etc etc.

Step 4: Write down all the things that you haven’t been able to do because you’ve been working:

E.g. exercise, eat healthily, talk to friends, read a book, watch a film, paint the house, tidy your paper work, DIY, write a book, sort out your photos, make something, play with the kids, read to the kids, spend time with your partner.  This is the list for you to keep referring back to whenever you are down and to use to make sure that you get up off your butt and make the most of the redundancy.  It is quite possible to not make the most of it and have weeks, months or years go by.

Ok, so that should keep you going for a while, more tips next week!

Remember, that if you fancy using this as a way of turning your life around, that my book ‘Six Steps To A Sparkling You’ is out on Amazon and is already a bestseller and ONLY 99p!  Currently it is available as a kindle book which you can read on a Computer, phone, iPad or Kindle.  But by the end of 2012 it will be in paperback too.  It will help you to see life differently, become more contented, have more time, get more energy, sort out your house, manage your money and get more sparkle in your life.  Maybe this is the perfect time for you to have a life makeover?