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21 March 2023
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3 Effective ways to handle redundancy survivor guilt

While those who have recently been made redundant might beg to differ, surviving company layoffs can be equally distressing.

Yes, you won’t be suffering the same financial instability as your former colleagues or have an immediate job hunt hanging over your head. However, being part of a team that has suddenly lost several members, yet is still expected to produce the same output, can understandably take its toll.

Then there is the survivor’s guilt to deal with. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, “survivor syndrome includes feelings of guilt, job insecurity, fear and anger towards the organisation for being put in this position, essentially systematic from a perceived breach of their psychological contract:

Add in the looming feeling of uncertainty that you could be next on the chopping block, and it all adds up to a lot of stress. So what can you do to alleviate these feelings?

1.   Lean in

Ignoring what has happened won’t just add to your guilt, it also has the potential to upset the equilibrium of the team you’re working on so prepare for a period of mourning followed by a period of readjustment and acceptance.

Things might not improve overnight but by discussing how you feel with colleagues or your line manager you’ll be able to mentally move on from the impact of layoffs. And if you’re in management, addressing what has happened will not only show that you’re an empathetic leader, it will encourage your team to speak up about any issues they’re dealing with.

2. Be realistic

Restructuring can sometimes force you to take a hard look at where your own career is going and surviving a round of redundancies shouldn’t be confused as a promotion of sorts. In fact, quite the opposite is true—any company in financial flux generally won’t be offering promotions to existing staff any time soon.

That doesn’t mean you should sit back and quietly quit, also known as doing the bare minimum you’re contractually obliged to do, and where you don’t go above and beyond what’s expected of you. This is the quickest way to ensure your experience will stagnate, and the edge that helped you survive redundancy will quickly blunt.

3. Add value

A good way to get around this is to look at alternative ways you can add value to your position. For example, if your company still has internal learning and development (L&D) options open to staff or budget that can be used on external training, make it your business to avail of opportunities to bolster your own technical and soft skills.

However, sometimes it’s impossible to rebound from a round of redundancies and it’s only a matter of time before relations start to sour beyond repair. So if you feel like you could be next, it’s prudent to get your own affairs in order: make sure your CV is up-to-date, start networking with your professional peers and do your research about the companies that are actively hiring.

And as always, the Maddyness Job Board is filled with hundreds of exciting opportunities across tech in companies that are actively hiring, like the three below.

Site Reliability Engineer, GoCardless, London

As a Site Reliability Engineer you’ll be part of a small team that sets the direction of the GoCardless core stack. You’ll think through the moving pieces that make up its infrastructure and the complex interactions between them. You’ll work with every other team within engineering––from product to data––to help build and scale. You will need experience running workloads in Kubernetes, writing clean code; Go and Ruby are the main languages in the infrastructure space, and experience with cloud providers like AWS or Azure. View more details about this role here.

Process Improvement Specialist, Zilch UK, London

Zilch is looking for a Process Improvement Specialist to join the business operations team and work collaboratively with multiple stakeholders to continually simplify, streamline, and improve its processes and services. You will champion change at every opportunity, continuously looking to improve processes through automation, process mapping and recommendations, change management and knowledge transfer.You’ll have a track record of delivering business process improvements, experience of working with and influencing stakeholders at all levels, strong analytical skills and practical experience using SQL or other data analysis language. Apply here.

Business Development/Sales Manager – AI Products, eClerx, London

Clerx is seeking a highly motivated, experienced and results-driven Business Development Manager with a hunger for driving sales and generating new business. You will be responsible for driving sales of AI technology products to clients across various industries. You’ll build and maintain strong relationships with potential clients, collaborate with internal teams to identify and customise products that meet client needs and exceed expectations. To apply, you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or a related field as well as experience in sales or business development, with a proven track record of generating new business and exceeding sales targets. Find out more here.

For more exciting roles across tech, visit the Maddyness Jobs Board today