Survival tips for dealing with restructuring and redundancy

No matter your thoughts on the inevitability of corporate restructuring, it can be a tough and challenging time. It’s understandable that the people around you, and yourself, are going to be angry, confused or stressed at the incoming changes, but there are right and wrong ways to cope with restructuring.

You’re justified in all of the emotional responses you have to the scenario; given that your 40 hours a week may be about to drastically change. On a personal level, you’re worried that you’ll lose connections with close friends who move on, and as a professional, the thought of having to reapply for your job or even look elsewhere conjures up fears you thought you were free from.

Successfully coping with periods of change is undoubtedly a skill set; you can develop a strategy to deal with the incoming uncertainty. If you’re in a position where your job isn’t affected, you have a degree of responsibility to remain optimistic. Here’s some advice for surviving these challenging times…

Listen before you speak

The problem with change for most people is that they don’t always understand exactly what it will mean for them. Often, this lack of knowing can be more of a problem than the effects of the change itself. Before you’re ready to call judgment on the reasoning behind the decision-making, make sure you fully understand the purpose of these changes. Management more often than not have good intentions for these changes in the long-term, but it can be hard to appreciate that fact with the likely office rumors going around. Try your best to ignore these and stick to the facts. Make use of the time management allocate for one to ones and ask all the appropriate questions you can to make sense of the changes.


Reach out and help out

As difficult as you may find a situation like this personally, there’s always someone else having a tougher time with it than you. People cope with change in various ways, so it’s important now more than ever to do your best to show empathy and compassion for others. It’s more often than not the little things that help the most in these situations. Offering a helping hand with a difficult project, taking responsibility at meetings on somebody’s behalf, but most importantly, just taking the time to listen.


Minimise stress

Nothing will do more to raise your spirits than the power of endorphins. It can be easy to slip into a state of sadness where you don’t want to do anything productive, but you actually should be doing the opposite. Get involved in the usual activities, hit the gym or go for a run, anything that gets you up and moving and not thinking only about the job will do you a world of good. But if loads of exercise isn’t your thing, be sure to spend time with friends and family, doing whatever is possible to inject some positivity into your situation.


Be patient

If you’re in a position yourself to make the decision to stay or go, take your time. Although at first there will be most likely be feelings of anger and resentment, remember that redundancy decisions are never made on a personal basis; it’s the job that’s being made redundant. You’ll often have at least a few weeks to weigh up your options before making a final decision. Take the time to reflect on the changes to your job and to the company and whether or not that’s something you want to be a part of. Even if you’re not entirely sure on whether or not you want to leave, you have the time now to consider your options, so be patient and don’t rush into any decision either way.



  • Make sure you listen and fully understand both the reasoning for the changes and what it means for your role
  • Show empathy for the people around you; everyone deals with change in different ways
  • Manage your mental health; do what you can to mitigate against the inevitable stresses of the situation
  • Take the time to consider the pros and cons of either scenario
  • Try not to be too negative; remember that change is inevitable and more often than not, good things come as a result