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How To Cope If You Are Unexpectedly Made Redundant

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PBLINK Editor 6, January 2022

How To Cope If You Are Unexpectedly Made Redundant

Being made redundant can be a huge shock even if you were half expecting it. You have dedicated your time, often years, to doing the best job you can for your company, and you have taken pride in your work only to find yourself suddenly on the scrap heap. Thousands of people are made redundant every year, and everyone reacts to it differently. Here is a guide to help you cope if you are unexpectedly made redundant.

Take Some Time to Process the Information

If your redundancy has been unexpected, it is bound to come as a shock. Be kind to yourself, allow some time for your mind to process the information. Let off steam with your colleagues in the local pub, go home and take a bubble bath or simply have a good sob. Whatever it takes to help you get over the initial shock of redundancy. It is only natural that you will feel a little bit stunned and grief-stricken, so give yourself at least 24 hours to cope with the aftermath before planning your next move. 

Check Your Legal Rights

A representative from your company, usually from the HR department, should take the time to go over your legal rights with you. This consultation usually happens a few days after you have received the initial news, so this gives you time to process the shock and think up any questions you would like to ask. If you have a union representative, you can take them to this meeting with you.

You need to know practical information such as when you will be expected to leave the company, if you can leave sooner if you have found another job, how your redundancy package will be calculated, and how this might affect any other rights such as your pension or maternity leave. This can be a lot to take in, so don’t be afraid to take notes. Your company should confirm your legal rights to you in writing too. 

Plan Your Budget

Once you know what your redundancy package will look like, you can plan your budget accordingly. Make a list of your incomings and outgoings and aim to make cutbacks where you can. Your priorities will be your rent/mortgage and utility bills, but there may be other things such as gym memberships or magazine subscriptions that you can cancel until you find a new job. You may not think that these things are going to matter that much but they do add up over the month.

Unfortunately, you probably won’t know when you will be starting a new job, but it is probably best to err on the side of caution and assume that it will take you about three months to start your next role. 

Once you have started a new job, will need enough money to last you until your first payday, which could be around 6 weeks depending on the time of the month you start. However, once you have begun your new job, you could utilise short-term finance such as Pay Day Loans to tide you over until you get your first paycheck. Use a broker such as Payday UK, who will search the market for you to find you the best deal. 

Re-Assess Your Goals

Although your initial redundancy notification may have been unexpected, it is possible to turn it into something positive. Use the opportunity you have been given to re-assess your goals and values and decide what you really want from life. This might be the chance you have been waiting for to set up your own business, go back to school, or have a total career change. 

Update Your CV

Once you have decided what direction you want your career to go in, you will need to update your CV. Think about the type of job you want and why you think you would be great in this position and design a CV that plays to your strengths. Speak to some recruitment agencies for career advice and to help you with your search.


You have probably built up some contacts over the time you have been working, so don’t be afraid to get in touch with people who might be able to help you on social media and update your LinkedIn profile.  There is a good chance that you will be offered your next position because of someone you know rather than through, so use the contacts you have to find a great job.  This will help to put you ahead of the pack as you may find a job that hasn’t been advertised this way. 

Being made redundant unexpectedly is never easy. You are likely to feel emotional at first, but you could look back in the future and realise that redundancy was the best thing that ever happened to you. 

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