4 Reasons Why Redundancy is An Opportunity


So you’ve been made redundant? It can hurt, no doubt, I’ve been there, it can be a bitter blow to your self- esteem, can leave you upset, stressed and  feeling uncertain about the future.

I learnt several years ago, actually just after graduating and again after the Global Financial Crisis, that jobs are less likely to be for life, that employees should manage their own career paths , development and financial security.

Straight after graduating  I was laid off twice, consecutively. I do take some comfort in the fact that Steve Jobs was also laid off from his own company Apple and that he was subsequently asked to return! On the bright side it meant that I landed a great opportunity in a multinational, Cisco, and I learnt about digital marketing, emerging markets  and subsequently wrote my first business book which was published by  The  New York FT press when I was aged 27.

In 2008 I worked for another large company, a subsidiary of a multinational, just before the peak of the financial crisis, and I saw my manager reapply for his own position whilst expecting his fourth child, more streamlining, more job cuts, more redundancies.

I’ve seen people lose their jobs after spending over a decade  with a company and left saddened and shocked regardless of the fact that they’d seen the same thing happen to their colleagues.

1) Work life balance

If you’ve got a bit of time off as a consequence of redundancy, try enjoying it, rediscovering your passions, interests and hobbies.

Enjoy a bit of time with the family, do the gardening, go to the gym, read, pursue old interests, work with a charity, sleep in and don’t set the alarm. Take a cruise or at least have a holiday, you can get back to job hunting after a nice refreshing break or  start up your own business and become your own boss.

Redundancy should not be the reason for setting up your business, you should always do your research and fully understand the market you want to operate in, there’s a lot of commitment and hard work involved in starting a business, however, this  can be a good time to consider pursuing and researching your own business.

2) Financial awakening

If you’re entitled to notice or redundancy payment ensure that you pursue and receive what you’re owed. This is your opportunity to rethink your income, learn to manage your finances, save, perhaps temporarily reduce costs, and make this the beginning of your path to financial education and potentially financial freedom.

A book I read years ago changed my perspective on full-time employment and “earned income”, this international bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki is a little US- focused, however, it advocates financial independence and building wealth through investing, particularly in real estate, it  promotes starting and owning businesses, as well as increasing  financial intelligence. The book challenges conventional thinking, explaining that it’s common for people to acquire debts or liabilities, mistakenly thinking that they are assets, and to work to  pay for those expenses with income after tax, an example may be a car purchased on a loan, it’s a liability not an asset.

Income received from a job is “earned ”, it’s a common way to make money,  by working for an employer and receiving earned income,  you don’t need start-up cash to start a business or to invest,  by saving it you can buy and invest, however, redundancy can be a wake up call  when  earnings stop and liabilities or expenses continue.

The book explains earned income is often taxed higher than alternative incomes, this won’t apply if you  live in a country that does not tax earned income. The author , for example, recommends owning a business as profits are taxed  only after expenses are deducted, an expense may include a car for example, but of course the risk  lies with the business.

Take the time to consider, manage and plan your future income, I am learning, I am not a financial expert but  it’s never too late to start a financial education, to have a financial plan, see a financial adviser, earned income is not your only option. Learn about  creating “passive” and “portfolio” income and consider starting a part-time or full-time business, look at the internet to facilitate a business.

3) Taking inventory of your skills

Review your skills, assess what you’re good at, what your strengths are and what you love doing,  perhaps look at doing some online training or a course; learn a new language or read up. You are born talented, do not suppress your talents with self-doubt!

It’s your own responsibility to keep your skills up -to- date, to manage your career, to take as much from  a job as you  give and to plan your career  rather than put your fate in the hands of an  employer.

Never stop learning or attending training courses, always aim to be marketable and to keep your CV updated. You should be aware of the options that are available to you either in the internal (company) or external job market, this doesn’t mean that you need to be less committed to your job or less passionate.

Get out of your comfort zone, after all the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein 

4) New beginnings

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” Jim Rohn

Believe that greater things are meant to be!  Look forward to new beginnings have faith and plan for them, consider what you really want to do in life and what your next steps will be to achieve your goals, perhaps consider a career change.

Redundancy  happens! It has happened to millions of people, start thinking positively and seeing it as an opportunity, enjoy the present, be grateful for what you have, plan the future and don’t look back! Your thoughts?


Categories: Business, Business World | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “4 Reasons Why Redundancy is An Opportunity

  1. Ehab Tahoun

    Great article. Specially the part of “work life balance” and the Jim Rohn’s quote.
    These words are very inspiring and act as an alarm to take care of your own “business” and to take as much as you give from a job. I think that CEOs won’t like this article 😉

    • Hi Ehab,

      Thanks for your feedback! 🙂

      I don’t know if a CEO would or would not like this article, however, a CEO could equally find his or herself in this position 🙂 And a CEO is likely to have investments, shares or assets other than a salary. This does not mean that employees should be less commited or hard working, it’s just about managing risk.

  2. Ashraf

    There is a weak point in this article, everything in life is a trade off.
    We sacrifice something to gain another that, you didn’t mention the drawback of redundant work.
    By time, you will feel bored, less innovative and suffering from lack of achievement.
    Besides,when companies have hard financial time, they will sacrifice the persons who are easily to be replaced and recruited.
    Starting from redundant managers, redundant traditional employees.
    But, they will think millions of times before sacrificing someone in an innovating and challenging position.
    Anyway, the stability model is good for Scandinavian countries, but not us (due to country unstability)

    By the way, I wish my life be stable as in the article :).

    • Hi Ashraf,

      it’s my hope that no one stays redundant for very long.

      With regards to your point about companies sacrificing people who are easy to replace, I agree, comapnies will make redundant people they feel are not performing so well, but I have seen people who are highly skilled, and who work very well and are an asset to the company made redundant too – to be honest, i dont know if all companies do think a million times before making people redundant. 🙂

  3. My sincere apology senorita for not being able to reply on LinkedIn, for two reasons: Firstly, I thought I didn’t find it appropriate being too honest on my professional page, secondly I was busy travelling so couldn’t find time.

    Anyways, as I mentioned your article is interesting as it’s written in a user friendly language and keeps the reader’s attention throughout. More importantly, I find it interesting because, I am passing through this road right now and find many of your views in common with mine.

    Elaborating on an area of the article which I learnt in my redundancy period is; when I departed my latest company in Jan’13, I was re invited by the same company in May’13. At that point, I asked myself, is it just about earning and not being happy or satisfaction is more important? The answer was a refusal of the offer. The point I am trying to make here is the desktop background of my laptop (typing not copying):

    “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary”. Steve Jobs

    I know my comment is getting too long but I would like to add another area which this article did not highlight, i.e.

    Pass by other’s perceptions:

    The most important factor which affects people the most is the thought that, what others are thinking or saying about me. These things are implied so don’t waste your energy just because others are making fun of you or taking you as an example of what not to become. In my school days, I once read the interview of the then Malaysian Prime Minister – Mahathir Mohamad. One of his quotes in the middle of the interview which I remember to-date is:

    “I stopped running away from dogs because I realized that when I stopped running, dogs stopped chasing me. And if I would have stopped at the barking of every dog I would not have made Malaysia an Asian Tiger today. Dogs are meant to bark and you can’t waste your time taming every dog who barks.”

    I learned that, when I was driving a Benz, my contact circle was in hundreds and in the past 12 months it came down to less than 10. To be honest you don’t need that much people either. In hard times, a few people with a sincere heart are by far better than many with grudges against you. But I can bet anyone on this, that this list of FRIENDS can never be zero at any point in time. (Being a little religious) God always makes way for you, if you have faith in God. Personally I believe that If you have not done bad, nothing bad will happen to you either. Rest, ups and downs are part of life, if they won’t be there, there won’t be any charm in life.
    I can write on an on this but I guess that’s all for now 😉

    Have Faith and Don’t sell yourself for something Cheap. All the success stories have this in common.

    • Hi Muhammad,

      you make some really interesting points. I love that quote by Steve Job, it’s one of my personal favouraites actually, out time is limited and we must listen to our inner voice.

      How is this time for you Muhammad? I know it cannot be easy, but I also believe like you, that we should have faith and not buy in to anything cheap, I pray you will find secutiy and a position your are happy in.

      You are so right about people being concerned with what others think of them, and I love your quote by Malaysian Prime Minister – Mahathir Mohamad, I will always remember that people will bark too, i want to add that a healthy amount of self-doubt it okay, but too much is not okay and will stop you from achieving and being who you can be in life..

      It’s quite surprising that your company made you redundant in January and then requested you back a few months later, that shows they made a poor decicion.

      I hope you have your Benz back soon, if that is what you want. The people who knew you when you had a nice car and are no longer around now were never friends and yes, i prefer to have a few real friends than many associates.

      Thanks for your great thoughts Muhammad, I hope things work out well with pursuing a new opportunity.

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