How coaching can help if you are made redundant

I wish I had known then, what I know now.

At the start of my career I worked as a Resourcing Specialist. I loved it. Due to a restructure my role was made redundant. I was devastated. I was offered a ‘suitable alternative’ role as an HR Generalist. I didn’t really want it, but I took it because it was the sensible thing to do and I wasn’t brave enough to leave with nothing to go to.

However, many people who are made redundant don’t have any alternative and they depart their organisation with nothing lined up, often in shock. The natural thing to do is to immediately start looking for another role.

What I know now, is that this can be a wonderful opportunity to take stock and take some time to reflect about what you want to do next, to ensure you find a job you will really love, not just a sensible one.

What I also know now, is about the power of coaching.

Growing up in retail in the late nineties and early noughties, the culture was practical and pacey. It was the ‘JFDI’ days. I am not aware of anyone that was having coaching back then and certainly not at my level. I suspect it may have been considered ‘soft’ by some, or my absolute worst adjective used in conjunction with HR ‘fluffy’.

Another thing I know now is that coaching is far from soft. It is hugely powerful and impactful. It gives you precious space and time to reflect and answer your own questions.

I would have taken time. I would’ve reflected on the change curve which is essentially the grief cycle.

Here are some coaching questions that I would’ve loved to have been asked back then:

Looking back

  • What previous roles have brought the best out in you?
  • When have you been at your happiest?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are you most proud of?

Looking forward

  • What do you want now?
  • What’s standing in your way?
  • What do you want to achieve in your career?
  • What’s one step you could take right now to start moving forwards?

Redundancy can be a shock, a loss. But it is also an enforced fork in the road and it can lead to wonderful opportunities. Although I wasn’t brave enough to act right away, a year later I was working abroad and totally out of my comfort zone but making some wonderful friendships and learning new things.

If you have been made redundant, give yourself some time to grieve and then start thinking about what is possible.

If you would like to explore redundancy coaching further, please get in touch.

Acknowledgment: Photo by Samuel Chenard on Unsplash

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