Reorienting after redundancy: What to do after being made redundant

Have you just been made redundant? Find out what steps you can take now to get your career back on track.

Navigating redundancy is a challenging and confusing time. You may be tempted to ask yourself, “Was I not good enough at my job?”, “Why did my workplace no longer need me?”, and ultimately, “What will I do next?”

First, allow yourself to process your feelings about being made redundant. Take some time to recover emotionally, but not for too long. Idleness after redundancy will not take you far. Instead, take active steps towards your future to ensure you bounce back.

Here’s how to do it. 

Set up a financial plan

The scary reality of being made redundant? Your immediate loss of stable income. Regardless of whether you’ve received a generous severance package, the truth is that the bills will keep rolling in. You’ll still need to keep paying rent, keeping up with your utilities, and ensuring that your grocery cupboard stays stocked. You might even have a family that depends on you.

If you’re not smart about it, your redundancy payout is unlikely to stretch very far. You’ll need to plan, and budget, for the future if you want to survive redundancy. How to do it? Some redundancy financial planning tips include:

  • Assessing your current income – including your savings. 
  • Reviewing your expenses – you may need to cut down on luxuries, like dining out at expensive restaurants or making extravagant purchases.
  • Managing your debt – you may wish to consider consulting with a debt consolidation service.

Acquire new skills, upskill, or reskill

Let’s be real. Now that you’ve been made redundant, you’ll have a lot of spare time on your hands – until you find a new job, that is.

Use this time to enhance, add to, and develop your existing skillset. You can do this by learning new skills, upskilling, or reskilling. What’s the difference? Let’s identify some of the key characteristics that define these three skillset-improving practices:

Acquiring new skills

As the term would suggest, acquiring new skills requires you to learn something you don’t already know. But the truth? Learning takes patience, and it can remove you from your comfort zone. But, that is often the best part, as learning new things expands our minds, and opens us up to new, previously unimagined possibilities. 


So you’ve been made redundant from your profession. But you want to keep your career path along the same lines when you do eventually return to the workforce. Add to your existing skills and knowledge of your industry by upskilling. Doing this keeps you relevant, competitive, and abreast of any new developments in your field. 


Reskilling is different to upskilling. In what ways? Instead of adding new skills within an existing framework, reskilling involves retraining around concepts you’re already familiar with. This often means relearning and refreshing your existing knowledge and reminding yourself of best practices in your area.

Pursue higher education or additional qualifications

Another way to use your newly-acquired abundance of spare hours is to repurpose and redirect your talents. The best way to do this is to pursue higher education and obtain additional qualifications. You may wish to take your existing accreditations further by attaining higher educational outcomes within the same discipline. Or, you may want to try something new. 

If you’ve previously been employed as a creative writer, for example, you might find funneling your flair for writing towards obtaining an online journalism degree will inject new life into your career prospects, and navigate it in a completely new direction. 

Look after your mental health, too

Being made redundant can be a blow to your confidence. You might be experiencing a great deal of self-doubt or a reduction in your sense of self-esteem or self-worth. So, how do you navigate, rebuild, and bounce back from this challenging life event?

Take the time to tune into your feelings. Your emotions are valid, and it’s normal to feel down or dismissed in redundancy. Allow yourself to fully process these emotions, to enable yourself to move on and rebuild your life. You might feel that speaking with a licensed professional, like a counselor or therapist, could help. But most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself. Redundancy is a common occurrence in the professional space, and you will get through it.