How a career coach can help you take control after redundancy

With the current situation, many people are finding themselves at risk of redundancy – or with the option to choose it if that suits them. It can be a strange time, but a career coach can help you take control of your next step.

The professional perspective of a career coach can really help you work through the change that has been imposed on you or that you’ve chosen, provide time and space to talk through your thoughts and feelings, help you explore options as well as come to terms with, accept and heal from the change.

Voluntary redundancy

Although, and perhaps because, voluntary redundancy has the benefit of being somewhat in your control, it can be overwhelming to know you’re the architect of such significant change.  Leaving a good role behind can be hard; taking a leap into the unknown can be even harder.

Some companies will offer the services of a career coach to help you take control of your next set of choices and if yours doesn’t, it’s worth asking if they would consider it.  If it’s not an option, it’s something well worth thinking about as an investment in yourself and your future.  You suddenly have a whole raft of potential opportunities open to you, including the possibility of taking a break from work, so working with a professional to navigate your way through these decisions can only be beneficial

You may wish to explore learning new skills or changing career altogether.  A career coach can work with you to help you map your skills, help you understand and articulate what’s important to you in an employer and to think about the kind of culture you want to be a part of.  Being able to evaluate all of the possibilities ahead of you with objectivity and support will help you make your next move with confidence and excitement.

Compulsory redundancy

Unlike voluntary redundancy, the outcome of a compulsory process brings with it a myriad of emotions.  For some, it’s a welcome outcome to a role that was no longer enjoyed.  For the majority, it’s an unwelcome interruption in your career that leaves you feeling a little more uncomfortable than you ever realised it would.

Many employers will invest in outplacement support when a redundancy programme is underway, which can be a great source of information, support and guidance to help you figure out what’s next.  This can feel rather generic though, especially in more senior roles where the landscape can be trickier to navigate.  As with voluntary redundancy, a good programme will offer access to a career coach but if it doesn’t, it’s worth investigating whether your employer will cover some or all of the costs.  If not, consider absorbing the cost yourself, as the benefit and outcomes of working with the right career coach will more than outweigh any initial outlay.

As well as exploring the big question of ‘what’s next’, it’s also important to give yourself time to process what has happened and to be able to detach the outcome of a process from your ability to deliver in a role.  It’s typically a decision that has been made for you, rather than by you, and that lack of control can bring with it a whole range of emotions that need working through in order for you to move forward.  Time, as they say, is a great healer.

Survivor Syndrome

Also known as survivor’s guilt, this is how some people who are not affected by business change can end up feeling.  Maybe you have been through a business downsizing and a number of your colleagues have made redundant. You are still standing but you are feeling the impact of losing friends and potentially anxiety around what the new world will be like without them.

This is a good time to work with a coach to help you work through the negative emotions, the anxiety and stress you may experience. A coach can support you as you understand how things will change as a result of people leaving, explore any fears you have about the future and help you look forward positively.   Often businesses overlook this issue focusing only on supporting the people leaving the business so it may be something you need to ask for support with.

I experienced this when going through a restructure early in my career. I really struggled with the fact I had got a role yet that impacted on other people who were then made redundant. Looking back, I can see how I would have benefitted from the help of a coach as someone to support me through this emotional time.

If your role has changed

You don’t have to experience redundancy to be subject to change at work. Business change is inevitable, with restructures and reorganisations happening much more frequently than ever before as businesses have to remain agile, responding quickly to changing landscapes, competition and having to keep a close eye on costs. This means that job roles can often be changed or adapted.  This could be as simple as a job title change but the job remains pretty much the same, it could be a change of the design of the department/function (e.g. centralised to field based or vice versa), it could be a change of reporting line meaning you have a new line manager or you could face a more radical redesign of the organisational structure leading to redundancies.

Even if it’s a smaller change that’s unlikely to mean redundancy, this can still be a tricky time to work through. Working with a career coach can help you navigate your transition into the new ways of working. It could be supporting you as you develop a relationship with your new boss, helping you adjust to the different responsibilities or exploring how you make a great first impression or develop your personal brand in a new environment.

Now you know how a career coach can help you take control of how you feel about job changes or redundancy, get in touch today to book a free chemistry session and let’s see if we can work through your future career options together.

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