‘I was made redundant and I’ve felt very down about it ever since’

By | October 13, 2020

Dear Coleen

As a result of the Covid crisis, I was made redundant from my job a few weeks ago and I’ve felt very down about it ever since. I’d worked at the company for years and, even though I realised jobs were under threat, I suppose I didn’t think it would happen to me.

I’m 39 and haven’t been on the job market for years, and this is the worst possible time to be looking for employment. I’ve got no confidence and I miss being part of things at work, and a lot of my friends are still there. I feel ashamed I was let go.

I’ve withdrawn socially from people (not that hard at the moment) because I can’t face talking about it and I don’t know how to move forward.

Luckily, my boyfriend is working and we live together, so I’m not in a desperate situation, but it feels like I’ve lost part of myself as my identity was so wrapped up in my job.

I’ve made half-hearted attempts to find other things, but I have no ­enthusiasm. I’m usually quite a dynamic, upbeat person, but this has really taken the ground from beneath my feet. Do you have any advice?

Coleen says

Firstly, what you’re feeling is completely normal and to be expected. Losing your job at any point is tough, ­especially if you’ve been there a while and love your work, but I think it’s extra hard at the moment because the rest of life isn’t normal, we’re having far less social contact and there’s also financial insecurity.

You mustn’t feel ashamed because, particularly now, there are so many people in the same boat. It’s nothing you’ve done – it’s because of what’s going on in the world and in the economy. I’m sure all your friends and family will be sensitive to that.

But look, you were obviously good at what you did to be with the same firm for a long time, and if you can feel
positive about yourself and your talents, an employer will see that.

If you’re in the comfortable situation of not having to find a job quickly, then you can take your time to find the right thing. Don’t cut yourself off from people – seeing friends and family (even virtually) and getting outside will help you feel supported and improve your mood and sense of wellbeing.

It might also be a good opportunity to try something new.

Mirror – Health