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Career Counselling – Coping with Employment Termination and Redundancy

Author: Katherine Foster

According to an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) media release dated 19 April 2018, the national labour force participation rate is at an all time high of 65.7% which means that more individuals aged 15 to 64 years are working now more than ever before.

Whilst the above is good news for our economy there is also the flip side of employment and the world of work.  That is, the need to address underemployment, retrenchments and terminations and the associated impact of same.

In the most recent ABS – Labour Market Statistics Report (July 2014) it was noted that 2 million individuals ceased their job in the 12 months to Feb 2013.  Of those 2 million individuals, 19% or 381,000 were retrenched or made redundant.

Thus, over the course of your career life cycle it is inevitable that at some point in your career you will experience this transitional period.  In fact, many clients have reported that they have experienced this period 2, 3, 4 or more times over the course of their career.

Thus, whilst you may perceive redundancy and/or termination to be taboo, embarrassing, humiliating or a hush hush topic in fact it is more common than you may realise and as such there is no need to feel shame, guilt or humiliation in seeking support and guidance whilst you are transitioning through this period.

Retrenchment Statistics

The ABS Labour Market Statistics Report (July 2014) states that males have higher rate of retrenchment than women principally based on the industries they naturally gravitate towards such as Construction, Mining and Manufacturing vs Education and Training, Health Care and Social Assistance which females statistically gravitate towards and interestingly have a comparatively lower retrenchment rate according to the ABS.

Termination and Redundancy Is Not All Doom And Gloom

Like many aspects of life, the first time you experience employment termination and/or redundancy it is inevitable that you will feel a range of emotions and feelings such as shock, despair, anxiety, depression, fear, anger, vengefulness as well as the possibility of negative cognitions (negative thoughts) which could possibly replay over and over again.  However, like life the more frequently an event occurs in our life the better we become at managing and transitioning through the period as we have previous experiences to draw upon to help us through this period.

Thus, in order to move forward with clarity, direction and confidence, it is important to understand and accept that this is only one part of your life and that whilst this transitional period may feel overwhelming at the moment you will eventually move through the grief and loss cycle.

From ones’ perspective the key to moving forward is to seek professional support from a qualified and registered career professional; to have the courage to view this professional transitional period as a period of evaluation and learning; to capture your core identity, needs, wants and strengths, areas of potential growth and development, positive coping strategies, action plans and goals in order for you to move forward with clarity, direction and purpose.

Final Words of Wisdom

In closing, please keep in mind the need for self-care, understanding and self-support during this period of change.

Keep in mind that in accordance with the ABS that: –

  • 50% of all retrenched workers will find employment within 12 months of their retrenchment and 80% within 24 months
  • 27% will return to the same job with a different employer
  • 27% will change industries
  • 19% will change occupations
  • 17% will change employment types e.g. employee to small business owner

Whilst 22% will elect not to return to the labour market at all.

Thus, whatever your thought process and personal considerations maybe, it is essential that you give yourself some breathing space to explore options, develop and implement meaningful SMART goals and action plans to ensure you can continue to move forward; and if by chance you find yourself stuck or wanting a neutral perspective seek the guidance of a qualified and registered Career Counsellor and Development Specialist to help you through this difficult time or speak with a representative from the Fair Work Commission to seek workplace relations information.

Katherine Foster - Blu Ripples Founder; Professional Member CDAA, Member of ACA and Published Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (2018 Version)

Katherine is the Founder of Blu Ripples a specialist Career Counselling and Consulting practice located in Port Stephens NSW. Katherine is a nationally registered Career Development Specialist and Counsellor; is a Professional Member of the Career Development Association of Australia, Member of the Australian Counselling Association. Former CDAA NSW Committee Member; Graduate of RMIT and AIPC.

Katherine has worked in private practice since 2003 and prior to that worked in the corporate sector for a period of 12 years predominantly in Human Resources and Administration.

© 2018 - Katherine Foster T/as Blu Ripples 
Updated Version:- 18 Feb 2024; Originally Posted 13 May 2018
Katherine's Photograph: 2023

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