On being made redundant…..

My thoughts on being made redundant

Meaning: not or no longer needed or useful; superfluous.

Synonyms:  Unnecessary, not required, inessential, unessential, needless, unneeded, uncalled for, dispensable, disposable, expendable. unwanted, useless 

Back in 2016, I was sitting and talking with my sister at her hospital bed and it was therapeutic for both of us.  

For one thing I got to sit still and to worry about her instead of myself for a change.  She rested as much as one can in a noisy hospital full of sick people and we talked, on and off, about a range of things.  

One of our conversations dealt with life after redundancy – well my life after redundancy to be more precise.  What would I put on my business card now that I wasn’t ‘anything’?

Her question to me was ‘what are you going to do’?  I asked myself that question so many times during the months leading up to the end.  Other people also asked me, in a somewhat incredulous tone of voice. I’m known as a ‘humming bird on speed‘ and ‘WonderwomanDebz’ after all!!

For someone like me – an active 55 year old with over 20 years of going to the same workplace day in day out and enjoying my rewarding work – to be made redundant is an awful feeling.  

I have been through a range of emotions since finding out my fate in May 2016. I have fought the changes strongly and I finally got to the ‘almost’ accepting  it stage.  I am starting to look forward to a new life but I find myself wondering at times just what I will ‘do’.

In an article I read recently it stated that death, divorce and moving house are the three most traumatic events of a person’s life…. being sacked is on par with the other three.


Because we are often defined by what we do; with our sense of identity, how we function in our families and communities, it’s all bound up by what we do, what our career has made us.  The article went on to discuss that in the eyes of the law despite the employment contract being just like any other contract, an employer breaking it doesn’t warrant compensation for the hurt and distress caused.  In other areas like discrimination law the hurt and suffering of an individual is taken into account while the life changing effect of sudden unemployment isn’t at all.

Put simply: being sacked pummels a person’s self-confidence and their ability to function normally, yet the law specifically limits redress for those that are sacked.

Apparently losing a job can be the precursor to marriage breakups, substance abuse and other woes.

I am fortunate to be of an age to consider an early retirement and I should receive a decent redundancy but that’s not the point.  I have made my job an important part of my life, to some extent, I am defined by my career and, until this year,  I felt valued and secure. 

Since being told this news in May 2016 I have not felt ‘right’, I have lost a sense of ‘me’ and I haven’t even left the building yet.  What will I be like when I don’t have to get up to go to work every day; will I manage to turn this to my benefit?  I’m sure I will be fine and one day I will look back on this situation and think to myself, what was I so worried about?

Moving on:

This morning when I was out for my early morning walk I came across this arrow on the track and took it as a sign to move forward.


A line from a movie also struck me as being very appropriate and great advice in the form of Shakespeare’s famous quote, to be or not to be. I’m paraphrasing here – To be …. just absolutely, wholeheartedly, totally ‘be’.

So that’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to just ‘be’….

I know there are others out there who have been through similar situations, I’m definitely not the first person to be made redundant – how do you cope?  Will I eventually see the silver lining?  Any thoughts and ideas would be most appreciated.

The good news is that I’m off now for a few weeks holiday,  getting away from it all might be just what I need to clear my head.

Have a great weekend and thanks for listening!


Losing your job can cost more than the lost wage – article

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33 Replies to “On being made redundant…..”

  1. I think that recognising how traumatic your redundancy is will be a really important part of how you move forward. You know what I think of the disgraceful decision that has let to your situation, and my feelings can only be a shadow of yours. But I believe that you will not only survive, but thrive. You don’t strike me as the kind of person to give up and almost by virtue of the job you chose to do, you will want to find ways to be useful. This is probably a bit rambly; basically, hang in there. Kia Kaha.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Su, I really appreciate your comment and support. I think you’re right, I am aware of how it’s affected me already so need to look after myself and be mindful of what I need to do to cope. I’m hanging in there don’t worry! New Zealand here we come – just a few days to go and we’ll be in the Land of the Long White Cloud 🙂 I can’t wait but really have to pack my bags first.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow Deb, I’m so sorry. And what an awful description of the word ‘redundant’. I agree with Su about the disgraceful decision. Shocking. And thoughtless. And a great disadvantage to so many people. I love that you will wholeheartedly “be”. I know you will be. Enjoy your holiday x.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Desley, it’s all really happening now so I think I just needed to get a few thoughts out of my head, hence my post! I am looking forward to some aspects so I’ll concentrate on ‘being’. I’m so looking forward to getting away tomorrow but only if can finish my packing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes I agree with both of the above and Desley Jane is right the definition is horrible. About four years ago I left my workplace of 11 years, I had managed it for six and a series of events made decide it was time to go, before the job killed me. Although I left on my owns terms I still missed it. I was advised by several people to take six to twelve months off.I bought my bike and started to get fit for the first time in my life. I went and saw a psychologist who specialised in transition points in people’s lives. She was great and talked about different options people take at these points in their life.

    I started to look for jobs at the four month point. Applied for a job i wanted but didn’t get but then a job virtually dropped in my lap. I took it – still in education but in a different sector, no longer the boss ( phew) and four days a week. I have a long weekend every week which I love.

    Have a decent break and allow yourself the time to just think and kick back for a while before you decide on the next step, phase, adventure whatever. Think of the first four months as a well deserved holiday. You will have no trouble finding lots to do. We know you. Also consider part time work it’s the best. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for that great advice Louise. I like the idea of taking a few months to rest up and then see what’s out there for me. I appreciate your comments and support. PS. I’m supposed to be packing but am procrastinating.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Have a great holiday Deb. I don’t really know what to say. I often say to Paul that there is more to life than dairy farming but when something has defined a person for so long it’s so hard to see beyond that. Your post sounds positive to me. There is still so much out there that you could do. I often ask the universe for an idea for Paul and I. Something new, something different, something that will use our skills and work ethic. I hope that something comes up for you but until then ‘being’ sounds perfect. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Deb, I know exactly how you feel. Two plus years ago I was in exactly the same boat. Since then I’ve had a full time job that turned sour, casual work that lead nowhere then a string of job interviews. Then I resigned myself to freelance work, particularly when mum was unwell. I must admit I’ve not found it easy but I’m sure with your positive attitude things will work out for you. Acceptance is the first big step. All the best. xo Hope you’re enjoying New Zealand 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Miriam, I appreciate your comments and take them on board. We’ve just completed our first day of riding in NZ and love it all!! Feeling good and have forgotten all about my troubles. Hope all is well.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for visiting The Glasgow Gallivanter! When I came to return the visit I was instantly drawn to this post. Five years ago I was also 55 and found myself surplus to requirements after 20 years. The 6 months leading up to this were the most horrible time of my life, especially as my final task was to close my workplace down. But life goes on. I can see you’ve found that and have enjoyed a holiday in NZ, I went on holiday too. After that I thought I’d need to plan my life but this never happpened. I just found that being alert to opportunities and making myself available meant I became known as someone reliable. One thing led to another and suddenly I had a whole new busy life. I’m lucky in that I got a (reduced) pension and my husband is still working so it hasn’t mattered that most of this has been voluntary (I’ve had one temporary job and a few freelance payments) but the principle still holds. Think positive and be open to what comes! I look forward to reading more of your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks do much for taking the time to comment Anabel. Your story sounds eerily similar to mine and I’m so glad to hear of your positive experience since being made redundant. I am a positive busy person so I am confident I will find new things to keep me going. I’d like to know how you coped with the sense of losing your identity? I’m still a tad worried about that aspect but as it draws closer I realise that I’ll still be ‘me’ just without the title of Senior Correctional Education Officer. I think I’m getting better at working things through and I’m lucky in that I’ll be fine financially unlike many others in the world. I do a lot of voluntary work and am known in our community as a hard worker.
      I’m so glad you commented and made a. connection and will look forward to reading your blog. Thanks again for dropping by Debs World.


      1. I didn’t find the identity thing too hard. I’m a librarian and I spent the first couple of years (among other things) organising networking events and a cpd blog for other librarians. I found I got to know (and be known by) far more people than before and was invited to speak at conferences and courses about what I was doing so that was very satisfying. After that, I felt I had been out of the workplace too long and it was up to someone else to carry on. I’ve reinvented myself as a heritage tour guide for a couple of organisations. I think if you have a strong enough sense of identity (which it sounds as though you do) it will adapt to a new form quite easily.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks Anabel, I’m involved in Rotary and other volunteer groups so I’m thinking I’ll be fine. I’ve just got so much rumbling around in my head at the moment – farewells to attend, things to finalise at work, shredding to do – it’s all just s bit overwhelming as I’m sure you understand. I’m a resilient person so I know I’ll be fine it’s just all the thinking (over thinking) of things. Have a lovely day the sun is up here and it’s going to be a warm one. ☀️️

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I came over here from twitter, to you know, spread the love. I am guessing by now that you are very happy with your situation. I hope that is the case. I say, congratulations and enjoy. (And totally get the post, it would understandably have been a painful time)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Debbie,
    This post, altho a while ago, resonated with me…I actually wrote a similar on on my blog, which I am using to help me process this transition into retirement – as well as feed my itch to write again. Mine is “How Not to Feel Irrelevant.” Too funny…but it must be a similar emotion.
    Enjoying your blog; it helps me with mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nancy, I have just read your post and left you a comment. We have so much in common! I look forward to reading more and have subscribed so I can stay in touch. so glad to have found your blog!


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