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Facing Redundancy? It's More Than Just Job Loss.


What to Do When Facing Redundancy?

Facing redundancy can be a shocking and painful experience. The uncertainty and stress of suddenly losing your job can be overwhelming, especially in the competitive job market. However, don't despair—there are steps you can take and resources available to help you navigate through this tough time.

Face the Emotional Side of Redundancy.

Redundancy can take a toll on your emotional well-being. It’s important to address these feelings and seek support:

  • Acknowledge Your Feelings: Allow yourself to feel the emotions associated with job loss—be they anger, sadness, or anxiety. Suppressing these feelings can be harmful in the long run.

  • Give yourself time to grieve: Sometimes, job loss is not considered the same as other types of loss, but the shock can be the same. You should allow yourself some time to go through the standard stages of grief. You'll eventually recover from the shock, but give yourself an appropriate amount of time to absorb the situation.

  • Look for a support system. Seek out a support system to combat feelings of isolation post-job loss, resist the urge to withdraw and confide in your support network for assistance. Don't hesitate to share your emotions with loved ones or a counsellor to gain relief and insight, and consider professional help if necessary.

  • Openly discuss your job loss with your spouse/partner. Since this affects both of you, be sure to make plans together and agree to change your spending habits to lessen the impact.

  • Stay Active: Engage in physical activities like walking, running, or joining a local gym. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve your mood.

  • Join Support Groups: Look for local or online support groups where you can share experiences and gain advice from others who have gone through similar situations.

  • Know yourself. Personal development starts with honest self-assessment. Identify your strengths and areas for growth, and define what an authentic life means to you. Life after redundancy can be a time of growth. Reconnect with your passions and reflect on what makes you happy. Use this period to incorporate these elements into your next career move.

  • Consider all options. Often, what seems negative at first can turn out to be a blessing in disguise, and losing your job is no exception. Perhaps you weren't entirely satisfied with your job but hesitated to leave. Now that you have made your decision, you can explore a new profession or company.

Life One Day at a Time.

Be mindful. Focus on the present moment and focus on one task at a time. Savour the ordinary moments in life, like playing with your children or listening to the rain.

Care for yourself. Adopt daily habits that nourish your physical and mental health. Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and aim for at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night.

Maintain a Routine: Keeping a regular daily routine can provide a sense of normalcy and purpose during this transitional period.

Start small. Break big tasks into simpler steps and set intermediate goals. Each small victory will inspire you to keep going.

Accept uncertainty. Feeling uncomfortable in unfamiliar situations is natural, but change is inevitable. Focus on areas where you can make the most impact and think about what you have to gain.

Understand Your Rights and Entitlements.

Contact Your Local Jobs and Benefits Office.

The first place you should go is your local Jobs and Benefits Office. You may even be able to apply for benefits online. Either way, contacting them is the first step you need to take. They provide financial benefits to those who qualify and can help you find another job.

  • Apply for unemployment benefits and get job search assistance.

  • Visit the Jobs and Benefits Office website for more information.

Check with Your Employer.

  • Redundancy Pay: Ensure you are receiving the correct redundancy pay. In the UK, you are entitled to redundancy pay if you have worked for your employer for two years or more.

  • Severance Package: Ask if a severance package is available. Understand all the details, including start and end dates for each benefit.

  • Final Wage: Ensure you receive allowed wages, including payment for unused holiday leave.

  • Redundancy Pay Information.

Statutory Notice Period.

  • Your employer must give you a statutory notice period before your employment ends. The length of this period depends on how long you've been employed.

  • You should receive at least one week's notice if you've been employed between one month and two years. After that, you should receive one week's notice for each year of employment, up to a maximum of 12 weeks.

Time Off to Find a New Job.

  • If you've been continuously employed for at least two years, you are entitled to reasonable time off to look for a new job or arrange training.

Consider Your Career Options.

Carefully consider your career options during this period of redundancy. While facing the challenges of job loss, view this transition as an opportunity to reflect on your future aspirations and potentially pivot towards a new direction or career path. Evaluate whether you wish to seek immediate employment or embrace a fresh start, such as venturing into entrepreneurship. Consider connecting with your former employer by inquiring about freelance contracting opportunities.

If you receive a substantial redundancy package, it could serve as a financial cushion to support the launch of a new business venture or to give you time to explore other career paths. It could also be used to invest in yourself, whether through education or personal development, to advance your skills and opportunities for the future.

Get a mentor or career coach. Get a mentor or career coach to provide guidance and support. A mentor or career coach can offer valuable insights, help you navigate your career transition, and assist in identifying your next steps. Feeling overwhelmed about your future career direction is common, but discussing your concerns with a mentor or coach can clarify your decision-making process.

Decide When to Job Search.

Allocate time for your job search. It's common to find yourself immersed in job applications every day, which can quickly become overwhelming. Instead, set aside specific time slots for job hunting to enhance efficiency. Utilise this time not only for applying for roles but also for updating your CV, connecting with your network, and exploring fresh job prospects.

Skills and Experience Audit.

When you have been in a job for a long time, it is easy to underestimate your transferable skills and experience, potentially missing some of your achievements. Assessing your skills and experiences thoroughly can unveil hidden strengths and accomplishments that could be valuable assets in your job search. You can create a detailed list of your responsibilities, projects completed, skills acquired, and achievements in each role, seek feedback from colleagues and supervisors, utilise online assessments or career quizzes to identify strengths or consult a career coach for professional guidance on recognising and articulating your skills effectively.

Nevertheless, if you're not ready, don't feel compelled to dive straight back into the job search. If possible, consider taking a break to rest, recharge, and contemplate what you genuinely desire from your career and life. A brief pause can sometimes offer the clarity and perspective needed to progress confidently.

Look for Temporary Work through Agencies.

Temporary work can be a lifeline during periods of unemployment. This may not be your dream job, but it can provide you with valuable skills and experience, as well as a source of income to help tide you over until you find a more permanent job. Plus, you never know - it could even be a long-term opportunity if you impress your employer!

  • Staffline Recruitment: Provides temporary and permanent job placements across various industries.

  • Reed Recruitment: Offers various temporary job opportunities in different sectors.

  • Hays Recruitment: Known for its extensive network, it can help you find temporary work matching your skills.

  • Blue Arrow: Specialises in temporary work placements, particularly in hospitality, catering, and logistics.

  • Adecco UK: Offers temporary and contract jobs across various sectors, including office, industrial, and engineering.

  • Manpower UK: Provides temporary job opportunities in sectors such as administration, customer service, and industrial work.

  • Randstad UK: Known for connecting job seekers with temporary roles in various industries, including construction, education, and healthcare.

  • Pertemps: Offers temporary work placements in fields like logistics, office work, and technical roles.

  • Brook Street: Specialises in temporary staffing solutions for office, finance, and customer service roles.

  • Michael Page UK: Provides temporary job opportunities across multiple sectors, including finance, marketing, and engineering.

Explore Retraining Opportunities.

Northern Ireland offers various programmes to help people retrain and acquire new skills. Initiatives such as the "Assured Skills" programme provide training in sectors with skill shortages. Ask your local Jobs and Benefits Office about special programmes currently on offer.

LearnDirect: Offers a range of free online courses in various fields, from IT skills to business management.

Open University: This university offers free courses through its OpenLearn platform on topics such as digital literacy, business, and personal development.

Community Centres: Many Belfast and Northern Ireland community centres offer free or low-cost courses in various skills, from computer literacy to vocational training. Check with your local community centre for available programmes.

Local Libraries: Many libraries in Belfast offer free workshops and training sessions on computer skills, job searching, and more.

Online platforms: Look for online courses such as Coursera, Udemy, and other online learning platforms that offer various techniques that can help you learn new skills. Some have low-cost training, and some offer monthly discounts.

Volunteer Now: Volunteering can also be a great way to gain new skills and experience, which can be valuable when applying for new jobs.

Training and Charitable Employability Organisations:

There are specialised training organisations that offer different types of support.

  • National Careers Service.

  • The Prince's Trust.

  • The Shaw Trust.

  • Remploy.

  • UK Online Centres.

  • The Skills Network.

  • The Adult Learning Inspectorate.

  • Reed in Partnership.

  • The Work and Health Programme.

  • Gems NI.

  • Springvale Learning.

  • People 1st.

  • Women'sTec.

  • Include Youth.

  • Action Mental Health.

  • Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment (NIUSE).

  • The Cedar Foundation.

  • The Bytes Project.

  • NOW Group.

  • Include Youth.

  • The Learning and Work Institute in Northern Ireland.

Reduce Monthly Expenses.

Take a serious look at some things you can live without for a while until you get back on your feet. Go through all of your bills and expenses and cut out the non-essentials. Some of the first places to look include:

  • Television subscriptions.

  • Mobile phone plans.

  • Transportation costs.

  • Dining out/food.

  • Energy usage.

  • Stick to a budget.

  • Buy used instead of new.

Remember to stay proactive, seek assistance when needed, and remain resilient in pursuing new opportunities while managing your expenses effectively.

Save Money by Meal Planning.

Planning meals ahead, using coupons, and shopping your grocer's weekly sales flyers can save you a significant amount. Not only will you reduce your food spending, but you might also improve your diet and health. Here are some examples of low-cost meals to get you started:

Pasta Dishes: Pasta is affordable and versatile. Try making spaghetti with marinara sauce, garlic, and a sprinkle of cheese. Add vegetables like bell peppers or spinach for added nutrition.

Rice and Beans are a classic, nutritious, and cost-effective meal. Cook rice and mix it with black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, and seasonings like cumin and chilli powder.

Soup: Make a big pot of vegetable soup using inexpensive ingredients like carrots, potatoes, onions, and canned tomatoes. Add lentils or beans for protein.

Omelettes: Eggs are a great source of protein and are relatively cheap. Make omelettes with vegetables, cheese, and any leftovers you have in the fridge.

Baked Potatoes: Potatoes are filling and versatile. For a complete meal, top baked potatoes with beans, cheese, and a side salad.

Stir-Fries: Use whatever vegetables are on sale and stir-fry them with rice or noodles. Add a protein like tofu, chicken, or eggs, and season with soy sauce and garlic.

Explore options that offer convenience, taste, and nutrition, but stick to a prince point that fits your budget and allows for variety in your meals.

Take Up Part-Time Work.

One of the fastest ways to earn quick cash is to take up part-time work. Many restaurants and cafes in Belfast often need additional staff, especially during busy seasons. Other avenues could include - consultancy work, freelance projects, retail, customer service, remote work, online tutoring, teaching or training roles, project-based assignments, contract work, temping, gig economy opportunities, and starting a small business or side hustle. These options can provide flexibility and income while allowing them to utilise their expertise and skills. While it might not be glamorous, it can bring in some immediate income.

Considering other job roles while facing redundancy is crucial for diversifying job prospects, adapting to market demands, exploring new opportunities, acquiring new skills, staying employable, and transitioning to a different career path. By being open to alternative job roles, individuals can expand their options, increase their chances of finding suitable employment, and navigate the job market effectively during challenging times.

Seek Assistance from Community Organisations.

Local agencies such as the Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul Society offer various support programmes if you're in dire straits and need assistance. Your area may have different agencies, so check online or in the phone book for those in your community.

Seek help from local agencies such as:

  • Salvation Army Northern Ireland

  • St. Vincent de Paul Society

  • Advice NI

  • Simon Community NI

  • Housing Rights: Housing Rights NI

  • Citizens Advice Northern Ireland

  • Macmillan Cancer Support in Northern Ireland

  • The Rainbow Project

  • Age NI

  • Disability Action

  • Women's Aid in Northern Ireland

  • Law Centre NI

  • Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke

  • Praxis Care

  • The Welcome Organisation

Start Your Own Business

If you have a knack for making arts and crafts, consider selling your creations on Etsy or at local craft fairs. Northern Ireland has a vibrant handmade market, which could be a new venture for you.

  • Invest NI

  • Enterprise Northern Ireland

  • Local enterprise agencies or business support organisations

  • Chambers of Commerce

  • Business mentors or advisors

  • Local councils or government business support services

Other Useful Links:


With some communication, research, and creativity, you can take advantage of your time off to learn a new skill or start a new venture using the abilities and passions you already have. Explore new opportunities, and you might find yourself on a path to a more fulfilling career.

These tough financial times don't have to be devastating. Use the available resources to reduce the negative impact on your life. You may even reflect on this period as the catalyst that pushed you toward success in your new career.

After dealing with job loss, view it as a new opportunity in life. While you may not have chosen this path, adapting and moving forward is important. Embrace taking risks and adopt the mindset that everything happens for a reason. Life includes both challenges and blessings. Stay strong for yourself and your family, and your self-esteem will endure. Remember, every ending can be the beginning of something great.

P.S. I invite you to share your redundancy stories and how you are coping with this life change. Your experiences and insights can provide valuable support and encouragement to others going through similar situations. Whether you’ve found a new job, started a business, or are still navigating the transition, your story matters. Join the conversation in the comments below and help create a community of resilience and hope.


Regards, Paula

Careers and Personal Growth Coach

⭐ If you're beginning your journey or seeking a new path, I can help you plan your next steps.

⭐ If you need to discuss your career situation:

📌 Contact me at


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