Miss Debrett on... Redundancy
There can be few experiences more
emotionally bruising than being
made redundant. No matter what
protestations your employer makes
about 'rationalisation', 'downsizing'
and the 'troubled economic climate',
you will inevitably experience it as
a rejection and humiliation.
Once you've been dealt with
the body blow, you need to
do some quick thinking. If
you're not being asked to
leave immediately, consider whether you've got the
staying power. If all you feel is murder in your heart, and an evil desire to inflict chaos in your departing wake, then it might be a good idea to walk sooner rather than later.
If you believe yourself capable of maintaining your dignity, working constructively for the next few weeks, providing extensive and comprehensible handover notes, and saying your goodbyes gracefully, then you should probably sit it out. With any luck, everyone around you will be baffled by the fact that their idiotic boss let such a paragon of perfection go.
For most people, the waiting period between news of redundancy and departure is a horrible purgatory. They bunk off, use the office printers to run off hundreds of copies of their cvs, go for job interviews, take long lunch breaks, and generally radiate an air of anarchic dissatisfaction. Small wonder that many employers ask newly redundant employees to leave immediately.
Leave the office for the last time with dignity. Shake your boss's hand and thank him for everything (with any luck you'll make him feel really bad). Don't stoop to petty revenges like 'liberating' a year's worth of stationery, leaving the printer with an intractable jam, or sabotaging your filing system.
Remember, first and foremost, that it is your job that is redundant and not you personally. Who knows, the end of your job may be nothing more than an opportunity and a springboard. As you walk out of the doors for the last time, make sure that they are firmly closed - both physically and emotionally - behind you.
Miss Debrett's Top Tips
- It is natural to feel rejected and humiliated, but try to temper any anger or extreme emotion until you are out of the confines of the office.
- Think carefully about whether you can handle staying on at work during your notice period.
- Maintain your dignity at all times, and don't burn bridges.