Bouncing Back: A guide to navigating redundancy with confidence


February 7, 2023

If you’ve been laid off and found your way to this little corner of the internet, I just want to say – you’ve done nothing wrong, I know it sucks right now, but it will get better, and you will be so much stronger because of this.

I know this because I was the in house coach at a start-up that went through 3 rounds of redundancies. THREE!!

Each one of those rounds was unexpected and unsettling but all of the people made redundant went on to bigger and better things eventually. You will too.

As part of the redundancy package, everyone got 2 coaching sessions with me.

So I know the emotional rollercoaster you’re going through. Redundancies make you feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you.

However, it can also be the start of something amazing – an opportunity for growth and reinvention.

Sometimes when people are working through this process they realise they were actually feeling stuck in the job they have just been let go from.

But how to get there?

Well, that’s why I wrote this guide for you – to help you navigate the emotional side of this redundancy rollercoaster and go from crushed to confident.

There are 3 main steps to take and to help you remember them, I’ve made them rhyme.

You’re welcome.

1) Heal the feels

The emotions that you’re likely to experience after redundancy are the 5 stages of grief, because essentially, you’re grieving what you’ve lost.

You’re grieving the loss of your job, a sense of security, your sense of self and the future you envisioned for yourself.

The good news is that unlike the loss of a loved one, the memory of the job you loss won’t stay with you for life. You won’t have old photos of you and your job up on your screensaver or desk. It will, in time, be a distant dot on the horizon.

There are five stages of grief, as first outlined by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, and the are:

  • Denial and Isolation: Refusing to accept the reality and hiding away from colleagues and friends.
  • Anger: Feeling betrayed by the company and angry about the way it’s been handled.
  • Bargaining: Trying to get a sense of control over the situation by wondering if there was anything you could have done differently
  • Depression: Feeling overwhelmed with sadness and hopelessness.
  • Acceptance: Acknowledging the reality of the loss and beginning to move forward.

It’s important to note that these stages are not a linear process. You may go back and forth between a few of them, so don’t blame yourself if, after feeling ok for a couple of days, you have waves of anger or hopelessness.

Let the feelings come and process them in your way.

Here are a few ideas of how to work through the emotions:

With anger – get it OUT of your system. Talk to a friend or colleague or write a letter to the company or boss and say everything you want to say (but don’t send it – burn it or bin it instead).

With isolation – reach out to anyone else you know that has been through redundancy before. People sometimes isolate themselves because they’re carrying feelings of shame, like it’s their fault they’ve been made redundant. Speaking to others who’ve been through it will help them readjust their perspective and realise how it’s A) not their fault, and B) it’s actually more common than they think.

With feeling low – being made redundant can be a blow to your self-esteem, so naturally you’ll start feeling low. This is the time to bring all your self-care tools out of the toolbox. Take those walks in the park you were too busy to take. Make time for morning journaling, afternoon meditation and evening yoga. Sign up to Rover or Cat in a Flap. The key thing to remember here is that you don’t have to feel like doing them. You just have to do them because it’s in doing them that you’ll feel better.

2) Rewrite the fight

Have you heard of the negativity bias? It’s a psychological phenomenon where negative events and experiences have a greater impact on our emotions, thoughts, and behavior than equally positive events and experiences. This means that negative events tend to stick with us for longer (unless we actively do something about it).

‘Why do we have this terrible thing?’ I hear you ask.

Well, it’s an evolutionary advantage. Looking out for danger and analyzing anything that threatened our survival, helped us stay alive.

Nowadays, it’s not all that helpful. Especially not when you’ve been made redundant.

So it’s important now to watch your mind, and not believe the thoughts it produces.

Your mind will want to ruminate and catastrophize. So look out for any thoughts your mind offers you that contain the words ‘always’ and ‘never’..

eg. “I’ll NEVER find another job like I just had with its benefits, team and pay”
“I’ll always be stuck in this situation, I’ll never be able to get another job and will always struggle financially.”

That’s not the truth speaking, it’s the negativity bias.

Time to get to the mind gym and work that positivity muscle.

To do this, all you need is:


Now you know about the negativity bias, you’ll be a lot more aware of it.

Catch your mind when it goes down a rabbit hole of doom, and pull back. Let go of those thoughts by choosing better feeling thoughts like ‘this could be the beginning of something beautiful’.

Reframing exercise

Our brains won’t look for the positive unless you tell it it’s important to do so. This exercise does just that.
Make a list of everything you have gained from this event.

From the big things such as a chance to do something different with your career and an enforced break where you can go see your family and friends, to the small things such as not having to commute or wake up to an alarm for a while.

Keep trying to look out for things you’ve gained and you’re grateful for and add it to the list.

3) Reinvent and Transcend

This is your chance to completely reinvent yourself and your career!

One chapter has closed, and now you get to write the next chapter. Exciting, right?

Well, if you’re like any of my clients, you will actually find this daunting, and I completely understand.

It’s actually the reason I developed the Meaningful Change Method – it’s a process that helps my clients get clear on what it is they truly want to do next, that’s aligned with their strengths, values and interests.

The key is to focus on taking little steps towards clarity, and not trying to get the answer in your first sitting with a notebook. Instead, give yourself time to ponder these things.

Here are some journaling prompts that may help nudge you towards that clarity:

  • If I picture myself transcending this situation, how do I see myself acting, feeling and thinking about the future?
  • If this is part of my Hero’s Journey, what have I learnt facing this ordeal?
  • If I was to be completely honest with myself, what elements of that job did I dislike?
  • What can that tell me about what I should be doing next?
  • Is there anything I have been eager to try out since forever?
  • Is there an occupation I have been eyeing up with envy, that I have thought was closed off to me, but that I can open the door to now?
  • If I wasn’t afraid of what my friends, family and my LinkedIn network would think of me, what would I do next?

As with all advice given on the internet, it’s not tailored to your specific situation, so some of these prompts may not stir insight in you.

In which case, I invite you to work with me 1:1


A very talented and big hearted lady I know has created a gorgeous website called The Redundants that is full of resources for the ‘shaken not deterred’ (such a brilliant tagline!!).

Final word

Don’t let redundancy define you or limit your potential.

In fact, see this unexpected plot twist in your life as a time when you had to become brave, resilient and courageous.

You’ve overcome challenges before, and you will do so again. Take small steps every day towards your goals and celebrate your progress along the way.

Believe in yourself and your abilities, and have faith that better opportunities are on the horizon.

Your future is bright, and you have the power to create a fulfilling and successful life.

If you enjoyed this, then why not sign up to my weekly newsletter where I cover everything from career, to habits, mindset to behind the scenes of my coaching business. You can subscribe HERE.

If you are looking for clarity and guidance to move forward then why not download my Guide: Find Your Way.



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