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06 April 2020

Guest Blog

Hope in uncertain times

Could redundancy, or being furloughed, be a good thing to happen for you?

Sequel asked Eleanor Tweddell, founder of Another Door, supporting businesses and people through redundancy to make it a good thing, for her take on the unique situation many employees are in.

All this talk of businesses in liquidation, redundancies and the new f word, furlough it can start to feel like there is no hope. But hope is exactly what there is.

Could it be, could it possibly be a time when hope might turn into thoughts, reflections, ideas – and that might turn into solutions and action, and in fact from that moment of despair comes something good?

We know the power of pause, when you stop and just let things be for a while, when you give others space. We know the importance of listening. But when was the last time you stopped and listened to yourself?

A change in your work is an opportunity for a change in your life. ‘But I was all good thanks’ you might say. But were you? Being given the time to think and reflect is a gift.  It might not feel like it at first, and you might have to go through the grief curve and embrace your loss for a while, but when you are ready to look forward you will see opportunity.  You have no option other than to move forward so why not move forward with you fully in the driving seat? The moment you know you have options and that there are many possibilities is the moment you take back control. And being in control means a more optimistic, intentional view of the future.

In Simon Sinek’s recent film, he urges us all not to react to that like the ‘over positivity gang’ but come from a place of optimism. An optimist can see things from a different perspective while completely taking in the normality of reality. An optimistic carries a hopeful feeling that helps them navigate through whatever life throws at them.

If you have just been made redundant or been furloughed here are five things you can do to feel hope, generate ideas and be encouraged to take actions.

1. Swap worry energy for stillness

Of course your inner voices will be in panic zone, playing out worst possible scenarios, telling you this is a nightmare, reminding you that it’s not fair. These are your voices. You control them. Imagine if you swapped those voices for more calmness, telling you it’s going to be OK. Telling you to look after yourself, telling you to be kind to others, telling you to smile. How much better would you feel?

2. Do the work on knowing facts

What is a fact, and what are you assuming, guessing, surmising, over analysing? Start with knowing your actual numbers, how much money do you need, do you have, when are bills due, what can you stop. Don’t waste energy on things you don’t know for sure. Use energy finding out and knowing facts.

3. Be OK to wallow a bit

You do not have to push yourself to be positive, or to constantly take action, or constantly be busy. You can just feel a bit low for a while. Do things you love in this time, without guilt, without overthinking. Watch your favourite films, read your favourite books, go for walks – just do stuff you like. Enjoy your wallow time.

4. Get a notebook and scribble stuff down

Anything that comes into your head. How you feel, ideas, thoughts, what people have said, what’s annoying you, what made you smile. Write it all down. Journaling and writing has known therapeutic qualities, as well as helping the process of understanding what you actually want and what is going on for you.

5. Spend time thinking about what the best case scenario would be if your ideal situation came along tomorrow

What would it be, what’s going on, why is it the ideal scenario, how would you feel, what did you do for it to happen?

You have to work, slowly but surely, on your mind chatter. Each day moving yourself into a space of control and optimism, curiosity and open mindedness. You have to let go of things that aren’t helping you move on, and allow for room for good stuff to come in.

Losing your job, or being asked not to work, can be a shock – but once you’ve embraced the shock, nurtured the shock, you can see it as gifted space to think and breathe. Time to declutter your life mentally, and physically. Make room for the new stuff coming along.

Keep an open mind, remain hopeful, be optimistic. A door maybe closing for you, but if you give yourself space to think, allow ideas to roam, could it be, could it possibly be, a good thing could come out of this for you?