Is Christmas redundant?
By Rob Legge – 3rd Sector Coach
I was speaking to a client last week, who surprised me. Normally, she is upbeat, full of energy and constructive. But she was unhappy about Christmas:
I think that more and more people have a sympathy to this view. Particularly as the event gets more and more divorced from the original celebration.
I have also just read an article from Brian Carr the CEO of BVSC. He has been in the sector nearly as long as me and knows a thing or two about how to help charities thrive and grow. He was warning of the stresses and strains that short term contracts, grants and fragile funding have on both organisations and individuals.
And what is it about Christmas that seems to tie in with the most difficult of decisions – to make people redundant?
I have experienced it.
But, in time, I managed to regroup and become stronger.
So today I share a few thoughts that might help both organisations and individuals at the wrong end of such a decision.
Trust me. Your role is going and it is not a criticism of you.
However, this is a good opportunity to reflect on your skills and weaknesses. Is there anything you can do to strengthen or widen your skills in the brief time you have left with the organisation?
Often your day to day work reduces, so you could ask to shadow someone with a different skill set, or volunteer to lead a short term project all of which might help refresh your CV.
Now is the time to update your contacts list and (this is tough) let them know you are looking for a role. They might know where your kind of job is being advertised.
Hint: it is no longer in the Evening Mail! Although I’m sure you already know that….
Enquire whether your organisation will support you to get professional advice on your CV and interview techniques.
This will help with your confidence. Expert coaching can help you explore the opportunities as well as the threats offered by redundancy.
Make sure your family and friends know.
Sit down with your family. Work together to look at essential finances so that you have a survival budget to get you through the coming months. I did and it brought us closer together.
Organisations I have worked with have taken a proactive approach to support individuals caught up in redundancy.
I have been able to work with groups to explore the emotional and practical impact of redundancy, work with individuals on upgrading their CVs, sharpening their understanding of the range of transferable skills and finally work on their interview techniques.
Senior managers report that the affected staff retain constructive engagement longer with the organisation and the surviving staff appreciate this small investment in colleagues who are suffering.
It also demonstrates – in a practical way the values of the organisation.
I recently received a lovely email from two staff I worked with in September who told me they have just been reemployed by their charity.
This is great news and sets me up to celebrate Christmas.
If you are having challenges in the run up to to the end of the year, I wish you strength and wisdom to share the problem with those you trust and seek out the opportunities that the challenge presents. You will be stronger because of it and 2018 will become a year to celebrate.