According to government figures, more than 500,000 people were made redundant in 2020. That’s half a million people experiencing that sick-to-the-stomach feeling when you hear the news your job has gone. But what if, beyond the shock, there’s a chance to embrace new opportunities? Army spouse Eleanor Tweddell – the founder of Another Door, which helps people through redundancy – has some inspiration…

Being made redundant could be the moment to question everything, career choices especially, and follow a new path.

I was made redundant in 2017. It wasn’t the best moment of my life, but it created space to ask myself ‘what am I doing?’ and ‘what do I really want?’. For the first time I considered how I wanted to work and my goal of creating a business became a work in progress.

With the constant moving of army life, holding down my corporate role was always going to be a challenge, but it was never on my radar to give it up.

So being made redundant was the opportunity to reassess. How can I create a business that fulfils everything I get from my career, but works for me, in a flexible way? I saw the loss of a job as an opportunity to upgrade.

It’s not easy starting something new, but it’s certainly possible

It starts with exploring, creating an open mind and getting uncomfortable, coming so far out of your comfort zone that you forget what comfort is.

Start with reflecting on your past career, good and bad, everything you loved, everything you hated. Then imagine what an ‘ideal tomorrow’ could look like. The things that give joy, that matter, can become the foundations to start something new. They serve as a reminder of what has been achieved and are a confidence boost that is needed at a time of much self-doubt.

Away from the shackles of a job title you can discover many hidden talents. Things you find easy, someone else might find so hard they are willing to pay you to take the pain away.

Changing careers is a game played in the mind

Your inner voice may say ‘you can’t do that’, ‘you aren’t good enough’, ‘it’s not the right time’. But there are many out there, just like you, who have found a way, and you can find a way too. With the right support, you can flip your chatter into ‘I don’t know, but I’ll learn’ or ‘I might fail, but I’ll try’. That’s where opportunity lies. We’ve spent months dealing with uncertainty and loss, now is the time to create a future that doesn’t just give you what you need, but what you want.

Eleanor Tweddell is the author of Why losing your job could be the best thing that ever happened to you, published by Penguin. Visit anotherdoor.co.uk for more top tips.

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