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How to Say You’ve Been Made Redundant

by Career Management

Some people take to redundancy like it is a gift from the heavens. Some people feel like they are being tossed out the door with the dirty washing. Others have mixed feelings about it.

Often, even when you have been wishing for a redundancy package, what follows is a rollercoaster of emotions as you spend time contemplating your next role.

Our work identity can play a large part in who we are, particularly if you have worked for an organisation for a long period of time. You may be a subject matter expert within an organisation or play a significant part in a hierarchy. All that changes as you walk out the door.

A quality organisation will have let you go in a manner that allows you not to take it personally. They will have spent time talking about retrenching a ‘role and not a person’ and about not taking redundancy to heart.

 I recently overheard a job-hunting client say “I was made redundant” and I spent some time thinking about how that sounded. It felt to me like the client:

  • Was a “victim” of restructure and required my sympathy.
  • Had no control over their career outcome.

And whilst both implications may be true, presenting yourself in a positive light is important when networking and applying for new roles.

Another way to say it

I suggest to my clients that they reframe the way they speak about the redundancy.

[bctt tweet=”Maybe what they had done was ‘chosen redundancy’. This puts some of the power in the situation back in their court” username=”thinkbespoke”]

This simple choice of positive language implies that:

  1. They are willing to take calculated risks in their career.
  2. They are prepared to back themselves.
  3. And they are not adverse to change.

Landing a new role after redundancy can be hard work. It can also be a blessing in that it is a good chance to assess what you want out of an employer and a role. It can also open surprising new doors for opportunities and self-development.

Karen Hollenbach

Karen Hollenbach

As one of Asia Pacific’s Top 10 LinkedIn Experts I share fortnightly news with my global email community and run monthly online Lunch and Learns to teach professionals how to unlock LinkedIn. Sign up to my newsletter to help you learn LinkedIn – the right way!


  1. Robyn Perkins

    Karen, great article and I agree your attitude following a redundancy makes a real difference. I know from personal experience that the manner of the communication is critical. Having experienced this three times in my career,Ii can speak from experience. It is never easy, it is hard to understand, particularly if there is no information or warning. But I can also confirm there is a life after redundancy, your given the chance to create a new future, to experience new things, to create new contacts and to re-establish old ones. Connect with positive people and remember your networks and remember your skills.

    • Karen Hollenbach

      Thank you Robyn. Yes, there is life after redundancy!


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