Job loss and redundancy
No-one could have predicted the events of the last few months. The scale and severity of the Covid-19 crisis, and the resulting economic tremor that has been felt across the globe has taken us all by surprise. We’re all getting used to having more questions than answers about the future, and one thing we are learning fast is that we are not in control.
Our prayer is that this webpage will help bring hope, help and practical guidance for those experiencing uncertainty about their future employment due to Covid-19 - we've brought together some of the best advice and guidance from a range of different sources to help you as you adjust to your new situation.
A traumatic time
Maybe you have been furloughed and are anxiously waiting to see if you still have a job at the end of the government's Job Retention Scheme? Or perhaps you have already heard that your organisation needs to make redundancies and you suddenly find yourself part of a process that just a few months ago would have been unthinkable.
Redundancy is one of the most traumatic events an employee may experience. Your organisation may have been forced into this situation by Covid-19, and entered into a redundancy process very reluctantly as an absolute last resort. Yet, however much your organisation seeks to handle the situation with sympathy, clarity and sensitivity, being made redundant can feel very personal and the rejection can hit very hard. Maybe you can’t help but question how others view your contribution to the organisation, and it can feel absolutely humiliating to lose your job.
For others there may be an initial feeling of relief, and financial worries may be pushed to the back of your mind if you have received a good redundancy package. But the longer-term effects, especially if a new job is hard to come by, can be very discouraging. Confidence can be eroded, and life can become a struggle.
These seasons are almost always characterised by doubt about yourself and anxiety about the future.
Where is God?
Christians are not immune to job loss and redundancy, but we do have a hope beyond the experience of those who don't know God.
We need to continually remind ourselves during this season that our core identity is that we are children of God (Galatians 3:26) - not what we do for a living. Our job can easily become the source of our identity – and losing it can fundamentally shake our foundations. Our jobs should not define us.
God's plan may not be the plan that you would have chosen, but during a time of unemployment we need to learn to hold our plans loosely. Our responsibility is to be faithful in looking for work and trust God with the rest. Work is a gift from God, but it will not save us.
The Bible is clear that God is sovereign. Nothing takes him by surprise. The God who sees and knows everything knew exactly when you would lose your job. But he also knows what is next. We may not understand why God allows certain things to happen in our lives, but we can lean hard on him and his word at this time, and trust that his plan is still being worked out.
God knows that you need help with the mental and emotional impact of unemployment. Are there any other Christians you know who are going through the same experience? Get together to support each other though prayer and encouragement. Such times can be an oasis in the desert.
A time of new opportunity?
One thing redundancy does is give you time and space to explore opportunities that normally you would be too busy to consider, and to think and pray about what God might be calling you to for this next stage of life. It might be just the catalyst you need to make major changes in your life. Don't miss this opportunity to seek God's voice and leading.
We offer a number of resources that can help you explore your future options. You might want to start thinking deeper about calling and guidance, discover your spiritual gifts, use this time for voluntary work, consider options for theological training, or explore possibilities for the future in God’s service in a Christian job in the UK, short-term mission, or longer-term overseas.
Why not pause and read from Isaiah 40:28-31: "The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
And then pray this prayer about our tire-less, weary-less God by Scotty Smith - as you trust him for all the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical strength you will need for today.
Sanctification in the Job Hunt - who am I if I am unemployed? How do I see myself when someone says I’m not good enough? How can I find contentment amongst competition, joy amidst rejection, and peace amidst uncertainty? Renee Tan explores these questions of worth, security and identity.
When I’ve just lost my job or my employment is uncertain - Jesus claims to hold out lasting hope of real, full life, even in uncertain times. A hopeful blog post written by Ed Creedy, especially for the current situation.
Help! Covid-19 Left me Unemployed! - pastoral and practical help and advice from Brad Larson, at the Gospel Coalition website.
Five ways to make the most of unemployment - five very practical steps to help you as you seek to move forward, whilst still seeking to trust God and his promises.
When you are between jobs – 10 helpful tips for finding your way through - with God’s help and his perspective, Luke Murry, TGC
What to do if you’ve just lost your job – helpful advice from CharityJob for what you should do in the days, weeks and months to come.
How to get a job in the new normal - many of the steps for how to get a job are the same as before Covid-19. However, there are some additional things to bear in mind when you’re preparing. This blog post from Future learn also links to some excellent free short courses to help you as you prepare.
Careers advice - guidance on the different stages of job hunting, including how to improve your interview technique and write an effective CV.
5 Transferable Skills You Probably Didn’t Know You Had – helping you identify your transferable skills to set the foundation for finding a job in the Christian or charity sector.
Ten top tips when facing redundancy - Guardian Jobs ten tips for mitigating some of the challenges you may be facing and putting you in the best position possible to find new employment in the future.
Taking control of your career during a lockdown - if you were unhappy in your role before the lockdown, have now been furloughed or may be just uncertain what the future holds, this is the time to reflect on your career and take action to shape the future.
When Worry Overwhelms Us - this article from the Mind and Soul Foundation helps you to go back to basics and make sure you are using the right approach to settle your troubled mind.
Your rights during redundancy - helpful guidance from Acas from an employment law perspective.
Could you do with increasing your skillset at this time? Choose from hundreds of FREE short online courses from top universities and specialist organisations - with Future Learn.