In the modern work world, it’s becoming more and more common to hear that employees are being made redundant. Whether you’re the Vice President or an entry level assistant, it seems no one is safe from the R word.
But how do you deal with it, without completely losing the plot, and going into panic mode? Further more how can you, use it to your advantage? We speak to a brave woman that saw the light at the end of the tunnel and relished her redundancy. Plus we bring you seven tips on how to stay cool, calm and collected if you’re experiencing redundancy right now.
‘I’m so sorry, they’ve shut us down. We’re all unemployed now.’
It was a phone call in the summer of 2009 which changed my life.
Only the year before I’d been headhunted for the role of Communications Manager for A1GP; a bold and exciting new Motorsport series set up to rival F1. I’d gone from my job at the Financial Times and working in the city to jetting around the world working in motorsport.
But then the credit crunch hit and the sponsorship money needed to fund the series disappeared. There was no money to pay suppliers and wages, and bailiffs turned up at the office.
There was always a sense of optimism that we could turn things around. But on that fateful day a supplier who hadn’t been paid had taken legal action. The courts took one look at the finances and shut A1GP down. The dream was over.
I remember feeling shocked and angry. But worse of all I was mortified – I’d taken a gamble on a dream job and it had failed. I was owed wages, holiday pay and expenses and left unemployed.
I collected my belongings from the office, claimed what little redundancy pay I was entitled to from the government and started the search for a new job.
Ironically, the experience gave me skills that employers found interesting and appealing. Within weeks I had started a new job at Getty Images and from there I moved to Reuters where I was quickly promoted to Head of PR, EMEA.
A few years later, life changed again when I became a mother. Redundancy taught me a lot of things but, most importantly, that life is about more than a job. No one is going to write my CV on my headstone when I’m gone.
So I decided to take a step back from the corporate world. I’ve become a freelancer, something which gives me extra precious time with my family. I’ve had the chance to do PR for some organisations which are changing lives and to fulfil my dreams of doing some writing.
Life doesn’t always follow the script you’ve written; it often takes you on a different journey. I’m a big believer in fate. I used to be terrified of redundancy, but it has ended up giving me opportunities I could only have dreamed of.
Jo Crosby is a freelance PR Consultant and Columnist. She has previously worked for Time magazine, the Financial Times, A1GP, Getty Images and Reuters. Follow her on Twitter @JoCrosbyPR.