Tell your "redundancy brain" to shut up!

The facts around redundancy, and what they tell you when they make you redundant, are cold, precise and disheartening. They can strike fear into the heart of even the most robust character. According to the Dutch statistics agency CBS, currently one in four workers are currently worried about losing their jobs. This is an indication of the world we now live in – the concept of ‘a job for life’ has gone the way of the dodo.


In the Netherlands legislation was passed in 2015 which makes the whole thing a little more complicated. Now employers can only give temporary contracts for two years, so after that, if they’re not willing to give a permanent contract, they often turn to redundancy. While this is very annoying, upsetting and frankly, sometimes unprofessional, it should, at least help you to realise that it’s really not your fault! Which leads me to the core of the redundancy issue. Everyone and his dog will tell you “It’s not you, it’s them”. “This is no reflection on your abilities” and so on. Now, to “redundancy brain” this seems impossible to process. That brain concludes that it must be me – it’s my fault. Maybe I said the wrong thing to the wrong person. Did I take five minutes too long on a lunch break? Maybe my choice of eau de toilette is not good....


But redundancy brain DOES NOT WORK PROPERLY. Redundancy brain taps into all your fears, insecurities and paranoia. Redundancy brain makes you panic and scattergun CVs to every possible job on Indeed! It can make you crazy and react in ways that are not reflective of you. So, hard as it can be, you need to turn down redundancy brain and focus on other things. Or, you can also use redundancy brain to your advantage – redirecting the ‘paranoid’ energy it creates can fuel you to start your new path. In a way, it could Empower you. Whichever way works for you, you need to take control of redundancy brain and not let it take over!


But what’s next? This is the scariest question, but remember that this can also be an exciting time if you allow yourself to think of all the possibilities. You may have a redundancy package, and it’s time to figure out how best to use that. You should also be aware of your rights and check with experts if think you have been fairly treated. Some redundancy packages allow for legal fees – take advantage of that. It’s tempting to just move away from the previous situation but, believe me, many companies do not act in the proper way, and some blatantly ignore the rules. Here’s where you may need to stick up for yourself!


Then once the “drama” of the redundancy has passed, you should take stock of your situation, your skills, your desires and ambitions – in fact, it’s a chance to look at your whole self. Revaluate yourself, your skills and what you can offer. If you can think about this laterally, you might find your skills can be applied in a very different way in the future.


The personally exposing nature of this exercise can be tricky, which is why Empower Amsterdam offers free career coaching to unemployed people to help them to move on, especially in highly emotional post- redundancy times. It’s very helpful to have an independent ear to listen, and a sounding board to bounce ideas off. Our coaches will be able to give you options you may not have thought about and give guidance on your plans.
Why not contact Empower today – and give us the chance to help you take control of ‘redundancy brain’ – after all, this can really be your Time to Thrive.