Making the Most of a Bad Situation

Job losses, redundancies, and restructures are a part of modern business. Sometimes they are driven by internal factors, other times they are driven by external factors. For the most part we are just passengers on a ride managed by others. However, whether you are let go or left behind, these changes can give you opportunities to try new things and develop new skills. So, deal with the shock, then quickly get on with making the most of the opportunity.


COVID-19 has made a lot of things change for us. One of the big things that were happening across universities is redundancies because of lack of perhaps work or lack of income to support the roles. This is obviously a big change for everyone if you're left behind. If that makes sense if you're one of the people who remains employed, you can feel things like survival guilt, and obviously if you become unemployed then you're left looking for work.

All of those situations are tough for different reasons. But I think, they all present opportunities and once you've got over the difficulty that situation might create for you, the next thing to do is to work out what those opportunities are. So, for a lot of people who are left behind, the ones who are still employed, there might be opportunities to do other work or other roles or take on additional tasks. The ones that you've perhaps wanted to do but not been able to do. Ones that perhaps, other people were doing and so you couldn't do them. Perhaps, it even might do you just a chance to test out new things, to try teaching when you haven't talked before. To try tutoring or running a lecture or a tute when you haven't done that before or maybe it's to run a different experiment. Or maybe it's to lead the industry engagement program. Whatever it might be, these opportunities might arise as a result of the redundancies that happen. Similarly, if you're made redundant, nothing I do or say is going to make that better or easier and I definitely can't offer you a job, and anything I say on this won't necessarily result in work for you but it might be an opportunity to try the thing that you've always been putting off. It might be an opportunity to build that website, to develop a new social program, to do some training. Not training of yourself. Training of others. Maybe you'll record a video like this to help other people do the kinds of things that people always ask you about. Maybe you'll record a video or maybe you'll create a vlog of your experience as a researcher or your experience as a researcher who is looking for work. So if you are made redundant whether it's now time of COVID-19 or whether it's at another time when there's some other restructure, think about the opportunities. If you're successful. if you you know make the cut as it were and you've got survivor guilt or you make the cut and now your workload has changed or your work tasks have changed, use that opportunity.

Use that those new opportunities as a way of finding out what else you could do and what you might be good at.