Redundancy: It’s Impossible To Be Positive When Facing A Crisis – Or Is It?

The following article is by Nina Morton-Brook and Jane Bytheway of  The Positive Factory and reproduced with their kind permission.

These are tough economic times. You only have to watch the TV or glance at a newspaper to have that confirmed every single day. And many of us have felt the impact of this much closer to home, in our working lives.

Redundancy has touched many people – maybe you have faced redundancy yourself. Or perhaps you have had to manage a redundancy programme involving others. Even the “survivors” who escape the axe can feel battered and bruised after watching what happens to their colleagues, and feel guilty because they are relieved that it hasn’t happened to them.

Not everyone has the same capacity to cope with this level of change. For some people, the uncertainty of the situation can be very unsettling, causing considerable stress and sometimes even illness. Change which comes to you, rather than the change you initiate is always harder to take.

We can’t and don’t have control of everything that happens to us, and being positive won’t change the outcome will it? Maybe not, but when we feel positive we are more resilient, and we can handle the situation more effectively. So there are real benefits in finding ways to approach the new situation from a positive perspective. The ideas suggested below can be applied to redundancy and many other changes that come to you:

  • Buddy-up with a colleague who is facing the same situation. Ideally, someone who has a greater capacity to cope with change and uncertainty, so that you can observe their behaviour and thought-processes, and adopt the ones you feel will work for you.
  • Get as much information as you can. When you are clear on the facts, you can make informed decisions on what to do next.
  • Put things in perspective: although this is a major event in your working life, it is something which has happened to many people, and they came through it. So can you.
  • Do some things every day to top-up your positivity – consciously look for the good things, and recognise what is going right in your life.
  • Assume that there will be a positive outcome at some point in the future, and draw comfort from that.
  • Channel your energy towards doing things which will move you forward: revising your CV, getting feedback and testimonials from previous colleagues / managers / customers, researching vacancies, establishing your presence on LinkedIn, and reconnecting with your network.
  • It’s a serious situation, but YOU don’t need to be serious all the time. Find the fun – what would make you laugh? Consider shooting hoops into the waste-paper bin every time you send in a job application. Or wear a tiara while you’re doing it – whatever makes you giggle.

When big changes come knocking, it can feel like a crisis. With a positive outlook you can tackle it head on, and come out the other side feeling stronger and wiser. Believe in yourself.

image of light at the end of the tunnelphoto credit: flickr/itravelnz

About the authors: Jane Bytheway and Nina Morton-Brook are motivational speakers who together form The Positive Factory. Visit: The Positive Factory here.