Recognising the risk of redundancy

Posted by Olderiswiser Editorial

Older workers are prime targets when companies want to reduce staffing. Don't sleep walk into redundancy. Read these warning signs ...

risk of redundancy

Redundancy or dismissal can affect any of us, whatever the stage of our career, position in the company or experience. You may have worked for a company for years, giving your all, content in your role. Each year your review comes around and you believe the boss is happy with your work. You like your colleagues, you feel stretched as a person and put real effort into the company. Then one day you get called into the office and told you are no longer needed.

There can be many reasons why people are made redundant; the company may be struggling, on the verge of closing or bankruptcy. It may be that there is no longer a need for your role within the present or future of the company. It could even be that you have achieved so much in that role that you have effectively made yourself redundant.

What most people don't realise is that there are signs and signals both at work and at home that may indicate a looming termination or redundancy. If you are aware of these signs and signals you can take steps to prepare for or avoid losing your job through dismissal or redundancy.

So what are the signs at work and at home? Here are some tips from the Armchair Advice website.

Signs at work

Losing your job can come out of the blue but more often than not there are signs and signals that things are coming undone. We often ignore these signs as we don't want to believe that things are going wrong - the old bury the head in the sand syndrome. However, if you want to keep control of your job and life then you need to keep an eye on things at work:


Do you get on well with your boss? Do you often disagree or feel your boss is irritated with you? Are you unsure of how to communicate with colleagues or feel you are left out of the loop?


If you have them are you hitting them? Are you clear about what is expected of you? Are colleagues far surpassing your work levels? Have you suddenly had your targets dramatically increased or decreased? Has anyone been allocated to support you in achieving your targets? Have you discussed your career path within the company?

Pay cuts

Are managers talking about pay cuts? Are there job vacancies that aren't being filled? These should set off warning bells that the company could be in financial trouble. Make sure you take notice if suppliers aren't being paid - it could indicate cash flow problems in the business and often the easiest way to solve these is to make people redundant.


Have you started skipping days at work? Do you find the duvet calling you to stay longer in the mornings? These are common signs that things at work aren't going well and you need to sit up and take notce.If downsizing is on the cards you don't want to be first in the firing line by having multiple absences.

Staff morale/gossip

Not all workplace gossip is true but impending redundancies set the rumour mill into overdrive - keep your ear to the ground to find out what is going on.

People who find themselves unintentionally unemployed often say if they had listened to their own inner voices and acted upon instincts earlier then some heartache may have been avoided. People who manage to avoid redundancy and dismissal are constantly and honestly assessing their position and value to their employer and remain in control by acting on that information.

Signs at home

Changes in our behaviour are often the most apparent indicators that things are going astray in our lives. You may start to do things that are out of character, friends and family may comment on the change in your personality, outlook or attitude. Problems at work sometimes initially manifest themselves at home where you feel comfortable to express yourself without fear of consequence.

The fear of losing your job through redundancy or dismissal can dramatically affect your home life. Problems in your personal life may also make you more vulnerable to job cuts as you become less reliable and focused at work. So what are the most common behaviour indicators that show there is a problem?

You are suddenly unsure of how you feel about work or your career. You may increasingly ask advice on how to proceed at work from your partner or friends. This could be an indicator that you lack confidence in either your ability or the situation.

You feel constantly anxious. You may be unable to pinpoint the source of anxiety which makes you more worried. This is sometimes because you simply can't face up to the fact that you may lose your job.

You lack motivation to go to work - maybe you have had more days off sick, you don't want to go to work, you find it harder to get out bed or start inventing excuses why you can't go to work.

You have physical symptoms such as disturbed sleep, lower sex drive, palpitations, headaches and sweating.

You cut off communication with your family. You may feel unable to express your fears so appear grumpy or irritable.

You stop planning for the future. You can't book that summer holiday because you are worried about the cost. You notice every penny that leaves the bank account and snap when money is unaccounted for.

Your relationship with your partner becomes more difficult, you argue more or communication breaks down completely. You may become defensive or oversensitive to discussions about work. You react badly when they try to tackle the subject of redundancy or dismissal with you.

Substance abuse can become a problem. What was one glass of wine after work becomes a bottle every night of the week. You may start smoking, taking recreational or prescription drugs to try and escape your worries.

It is important that you realise each of these behaviours could be an indicator of more serious problems, either in your work life or in other areas. Facing up to issues early on can allow you to take action and stay in control.

© Armchair Advice

You can find more sources of help and advice at Armchair Advice Job Loss

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