A Death in the Family
19th October 2009
... Comments

A Death in the Family

The word ‘redundancy’ quite literally means ‘superfluous.’ So if you are made redundant you are surplus to requirements. Just how does that make you feel? Undervalued?  Worthless?  Dispensable?

Many of us endure this experience, often through no fault of our own. Sometimes a company has gone to the wall; sometimes the number of employees has to be reduced to prevent a business imploding.

If you lose your job, you are not just anxious, you are panic-stricken. Will you lose your house? Can you pay your credit card bills or the car loan? How will you fund the children in college? But bad as the financial situation may be, it is not the worst. The worst is what redundancy does to you as a human being. It gnaws at you from the inside destroying the person you once were and leaving a huge, gaping hole where your confidence and motivation used to be.

If it is true that some people are married to their jobs, then it is also true that redundancy is like a bereavement.  But sometimes well -meaning friends don’t take your job loss as seriously as they should. Trying to help they say, ‘It’s their loss not yours’ or ‘It’s only a job.’ But the problem is that it is your loss and it isn’t only a job; it’s actually an essential part of the person you are.

When you are told, ‘I’m sorry but I am going to have to let you go,’ by someone who you foolishly thought valued your loyal contribution to the organisation, it does something to you.  Something terrible.  More than a body blow, it drains your very spirit.  It destroys the self-assured adult you once were and replaces him or her with an anxious, insecure child, incapable of even summoning up the courage to tell them what you really think of the platitudes they trot out: ‘Of course we’ll give you an excellent reference,’ or, ‘It’s nothing personal; it’s just that your job is no longer there.’ 

‘Nothing personal!’  Nothing could actually be more personal than telling someone they are no longer needed. If others are being kept on, then it means that you are not valued as much as they are; if your post is being axed then all the work that you have done over the years is dismissed as unimportant. Whichever way you look at it, you have been thrown on the scrapheap while colleagues are considered to be worth re-cycling.

So you have been stabbed in the back and then kicked in the teeth.  It feels as though you are crawling in the gutter, wounded and traumatised, spat on by those you trusted.  And what then are you expected to do? You are expected to pick yourself up, dust yourself down, hold your head high, swallow your pride and sidle in to collect your jobseeker’s allowance.  Then just when you are floundering  deep in the trough of humiliation, all those well-meaning advisors want you to write your CV, turn up bright eyed and bushy tailed for interviews, exude self-assurance and most of all believe in yourself.

Yeah, right! Just when your self-respect has dwindled to an all time low, just when you feel old, unwanted and useless, you are expected to bounce back eagerly, optimism oozing from every pore. It is no wonder that, for most, it feels well nigh impossible to put it all behind you and move forward. Instead you become an unpleasant person, snarling at the kids, sniping at the spouse. Life, as you know it, seems over. No-one seems to understand.

Well, at Stillmuchtooffer we do understand. We are not going to tell you to, ‘Pull yourself together.’  We are acutely aware that, to understate it, you are not at your best.  We know that reading pages of redundancy advice on the internet is not the answer.  What you really need is a person to speak to. An expert who can sympathise, empathise, deal with your situation with sensitivity and kindness but then offer the practical help that is really essential to moving on.  With not only useful advice but essential emotional support, Stillmuchtooffer can transform dejection to determination;  pessimism to optimism.

So if currently you don’t know where you’re heading, make straight for www.stillmuchtooffer.co.uk. We will help you find the right direction.

Carolyn May

Popular Categories