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Redundancy and depression

(52 Posts)
wheelsonthebus Fri 03-Jul-09 10:12:50

Anyone else out there redundant and feels like giving up? It has been five months now - a few interviews, but no job still. My lovely career is in ruins and I can't see the point in anything. The summer is going by in a blur.

GorgonsGin Fri 03-Jul-09 10:21:23

sorry to hear you are going through this. I was made redundant a month ago and can't see that I'll be back on the career ladder any time soon. Not sure what your previous career was, but I can empathise at the and also feel like I will not get back to where I was for years, even if I get another job. For various personal reasons (and luckily because I can, because I got a decent pay off) I am not job hunting at this precise moment, but will begin in a month or so. But there are absolutely no jobs in my profession (law). Friends in very similar jobs who were laid off in September are still searching or accepting any other job outside legal services.

You title is redundancy and depression - have you seen your GP if you feel like you are slipping into depression? It's important to see a doctor sooner rather than later for advice.

wheelsonthebus Fri 03-Jul-09 10:27:38

GorgonsGin; thanks for your post. I am really trying to resist the doctors. Not sure why, except that I hate taking medication of any sort and feel I should have the stamina to sort myself out.
My job was in journalism, but that is in freefall as a result of the internet/fall in advertising/recession. I go for PR jobs, but I am not a 'saleswoman' and I come across, well, as a depressed journalist who couldn't sell a brolly on a rainy day. Lawyers are in a terrible state too; I absolutely agree. Market conditions are dreadful. All I spend my time doing (apart from trying to network) is going to the children's library and getting out more and more books for my dc - it sort of feels I am doing something useful. Oh and a bit of gardening. But it's all wearing v v thin.

ToughDaddy Fri 03-Jul-09 10:44:36

Lots of friends in the same situation. I was impacted by the whole crunch thing: career and investments but I am slowly repairing. I can't say that I will catch up and get back to the old trajectory but I am seeing it as a new, sometimes interesting, path.

When I had some time out I started running more as it helps a little but that can't fill the financial gap.

Did your company help by paying for a mentor/outsorcing resource center or anything like that? They are a great help with CV, applications, vacancies. Most of the people who get back in are getting back in through their contacts.

And remember that your network isn’t just who you know, but the people that they know i.e. the wider network. I am actively trying to find opps for a school dad who has been out of work for 1 year.

A good approach is to catch up with people for a coffee. Consider asking them for advice and pointers rather than asking them directly for a job. Make lists and notes and go through systematically.

Also consider spending a little time with ex-colleagues who are in the same boat as it helps but also spend some time on other things like hobbies and exercise. Also, consider fixing a few things at home that you haven’t had the chance to do for years whilst at work- good therapy.

The fact that you have had a few interviews is good. Some parents I know are doing tutoring to earn pocket money.

GorgonsGin Fri 03-Jul-09 10:49:32

If you think you could be depressed, it would be best to see your GP before slipping further, although I agree with you about resisting drugs unless absolutely necessary. Only you know if you are actually depressed, or just screamingly bored/unstimulated at being at home and losing motivation because miss the buzz of your job (no offense to your DC's or to any SAHMs before this thread turns nasty grin) It sounds like the latter to me, but as I say, only you know. What worries you most about the unemployment?

I know that journalism is taking a pounding too in the recession, but the only journo I know is a City/financial one - he's at a Sunday newspaper and has never been busier. Is there any possibility of freelance commissions? (I realise competition will be very fierce)

I'm doing nothing very useful either with my time, but that's slightly deliberate (I'm currently undergoing another cycle of IVF). But it's veeerrrry boring not working, I agree! I have no DC's, so I have turned into someone I despise.....A Lady Who Lunches shock (albeit, one who is T total currently <sigh>). Trying to see friends to get me out the house and going to the gym, reading books and going to exhibitions on my won wares thin. It's not having anyone to talk to during the day. i miss the social interaction and the stress of workingin a high pressure environment. I liked being very busy and needed. It's very unfulfilling and I feel that I am de-skilling already, after four weeks of unemployment. I was just shy of partnership and now all my client relationships are evaporating as they have to instruct someone in a firm.

Do you have to work? By that, I mean, are you worried about paying the mortgage and food bill? (I don't want to pry, but just saying because that will add to your stresses)

ToughDaddy Fri 03-Jul-09 10:50:03

GorgonsGin Fri 03-Jul-09 10:51:47

good advice from toughdaddy on practical things. Will have to take the advice myself grin

wheelsonthebus Fri 03-Jul-09 10:53:30

toughdaddy - good to get a man's perspective, and your advice is useful. I ought to get into running; may stave off the Black Dog.
Tutoring - I hadn't thought of that.
Absolutely agree that most people are getting back into work through people they know. I keep trying to remember that networking is about sowing a seed - you can't predict when it's going to flower. Thanks for posting. I like the phrase 'slowly repairing'.

wheelsonthebus Fri 03-Jul-09 11:03:45

Hells bells Gorgonsgin - you are shaking me out of some rather deep depression --self pity--. Redundant and IVF. Now that is tough. My thoughts (and best luck vibes) go out to you.

Yes, I am worried about finances cos my dh's job is hanging by a thread at the moment. We were earning about the same. I had a second interview for a job on Wednesday and had to say, felt totally humiliated. They were quite aggressive and I felt so 'out of the game' and very unconvincing. I am reading inspiring autobiographies (just read Michelle Obama's and am currently reading Barack Obama's) but it's not doing me a world of good! Worse thing is, my relationships are under strain - with my lovely parents who can't believe their lively and enthused daughter is turning into such a misery who can't even enjoy the sunshine. Fortunately, my husband has the patience of a saint.

ToughDaddy Fri 03-Jul-09 11:07:11

Gin and Wheels- It is good to take control by setting out some sort of programme so that you don't feel as though you are drifting. But be realistic. Also be philosophical. I saw it as me taking some of my retirement early in life which is a good thing.

You can also work a few years longer later in life. But it is a good thing to have some time when you are young. For the first few days, I did practical things to save money like cutting gym memberships and various wasteful standing orders.

Spending time with people is good as it makes you feel better. Also talking to people about careers sometimes allows you to think aloud and you find that you might come up with some good ideas.

Also, remember that the very worst case scenario still leaves you with your health, food, place to live and loved ones which is still better than most people in the rest of the world.

best wishes

ToughDaddy Fri 03-Jul-09 11:10:18

I am also reading Obama's autobio: inspirational!!

wheelsonthebus Fri 03-Jul-09 11:12:26

toughdaddy - you are saying all the right things. no lectures, just sound and sane advice. you're a star. thanks. it was definitely worth starting this conversation. brought tears to my eyes (but in a good way). I'm getting off my computer now and getting some air. Thanks again.

wheelsonthebus Fri 03-Jul-09 11:14:16

the michelle obama one is good too - a biography i meant to say, not autobiography, by Liza Mundy (of the Washington Post).

GorgonsGin Fri 03-Jul-09 11:16:35

Wheels - ha, yes, I did rather get the perfect storm of depression inducing events grin (did I mention my miscarriage in March...? hmmwink) Luckily, DH and I are solid and I am not depressed, but think it could be a fine line, especially if this IVF cycle doesn't work (not thinking about that!).

Unfortunately, redundancy is also about reassessing your self-view. From what you say above, are you wondering how you went from the confident, undaunted and indefatigable you, to having your self confidence so eroded that you find yourself questioning your self worth? I know I am wondering where the "old" me went. It's natural, but you have to remember that you are not only defined by your career. You sound like you need an outlet for your talents - is there something you could do just for you? Yoga class, blogging...?

Your DH sounds lovely and it's ok to lean on him. I'm sorry to hear that he is also worried about redundancy. I think that part of the reason I haven't plummetted (sp?) into a black hole of me-misery is that we're ok financially - DH restructures insolvent companies, so is absolutely secure and can cover everything, but the thought of ,gasp> asking him for money for anything makes me go cold.

ToughDaddy Fri 03-Jul-09 11:16:56

Have a good day Wheels. Ensure that you look back at this time rich period of your life fondly. If you you use it to make yourself even fitter then that will be worth more than a job in the very long run. Every change brings opportunity, the trick is to ensure that disappointment doesn't obscure the opportunity .

GorgonsGin Fri 03-Jul-09 11:18:50

I'm off to get the Liza Mundy book

toughdaddy - you should retrain as a life coach! smile

SparkleandShine Fri 03-Jul-09 11:21:10

a couple of thoughts....

I'm with you on avoiding AD's if possible but go to the GP and take the depression test - you may need some Ad's just to lift you out of depression 'hole' and get you going again. If you think you're depressed you may need them.

I am looking for an employee at the moment and am having huge trouble as there are a lot of good people out there who are redundant and who only want to work for big companies or who are expecting too high a salary....

Take a good look at what you are applying for, who you are applying to and what you are 'worth' in the current economic climate. PR is a bad place to be looking as it is a extra many companies have cut in the recession. I would look at everything going, check Monster daily for example....

GorgonsGin Fri 03-Jul-09 11:22:18

wheels - i have to dash off now, but best wishes to you and keep posting here if you get frustrated and I'll check in over the weekend


SparkleandShine Fri 03-Jul-09 11:25:18

...just to add a positive bit I was also made redundant 3 years ago, started my own company, now employ 4 staff, looking for a 5th make far more money that I did working for someone and have never looked back grin.

You definitely have to look outside the box - I'm doing something completely different.

ToughDaddy Fri 03-Jul-09 11:25:47

Thanks Gordon. Have been told that before. Did well in previous job partly by making it my top priority to informally mentor, advance and coach my team.

Then I left to something a bit riskier and then got crunched.

Let me know if the book is any good.

Got to do some work now.

By the way, the work I am doing now arose from ex-colleague who I had a gentle coffee with when I was first out. He didn't have anything but I kept in email contact and then he spotted something somewhere else and gave me a call.

Even when I was out I tried to help a few others in through my contacts. It is a good thing to do.

Bye for now

ToughDaddy Fri 03-Jul-09 14:00:23

More ideas:

1)Play more of your favourite music e.g. in the whilst doing chores in kitchen etc. Can listen online free from "Spotify"

2)Make shure that you have a laugh, smile and tell jokes. You can't always be positive as you do have to sometimes face reality, but you must spend some of everyday being positive. And when you are with people being positive will make you more attractive and bear more fruit.

3)Imagine that you are in your own movie and you are the star. The chips are a bit down. What do you do?

4)Take time to forget yourself and help someone who needs it.

dancingqueeen Fri 03-Jul-09 20:06:11

I'm so sorry you got made redundant, I hate seeing it happen to people.

I just want to back up what toughdaddy said though, you sound like how I felt 6 months ago, when I was off work and feeling very low, felt sort of 'on the verge of' depression, rather than actually seriously depressed. I found listening to (happy) music, dancing around to music when doing housework (and singing along), and watching comedy/ upbeat films and television etc really helped. I also put a thread in the books section of mumsnet asking for suggestions for uplifting books to read and worked my way through several, and it really did help at least take the edge of things.

also, don't be too hard on yourself, you are clearly bright and talented to have had a succesful career so far, and some way you will see a way through this and I am sure that things will work out for you (sounds corny I know, but over the last 6 months or so so many people have told me there 'and look where I am now...' redundancy stories from last time round, and they're all encouraging smile_

wheelsonthebus Sun 05-Jul-09 21:36:38

what is the best way to find work you want in a recession?
Does anyone think networking can really work in this climate (when virtually all companies are shrinking)?
Should I be applying for jobs I don't want to/can't do (and am clearly bad at pretending I can)
Am in such a muddle and terrified about the rate at which I am slowing down. Feel like I am going at 5mph whereas I used to operate at 85mph.
I don't mean to sound fussy - I would consider most things, and take a huge cut in pay.
Am really hoping this week starts better than other weeks but the weekend has been bad - just so disillusioning, and i feel like i have the psychological equivalent of swine flu - no one wants to be around someone quite so miserable.

TDiddy Mon 06-Jul-09 23:56:34


I hope that you are feeling better now. Flashbacks and fits of panic after redundancy is normal and will pass with time.

did you get a chance to look into Tutoring? See link above.

Getting a job is very difficult full stop. But anecdotal evidence is thatmajority of those who get back in have done so through the network. I am an example of that but was told this by the pros (

I would encourage you to start by thinking what are the things you want from life and then work out the how you will get there from where you are. Some good advise on this thread so might be worth reading again.

dancingqueeen Tue 07-Jul-09 12:55:37

wheels - hope you are doing ok. just reading your last post. how about thinking about doing some voluntary work / further study. Think how an organisation might be able to make use of your journalism / pr skills... most have a newsletter or similar or need to do press releases. it would keep you occupied and be a good CV builder. if they're taking you on as a volunteer they would be very understanding if you had to leave because you found a paid job. its also a good way to network in my experience...

alternatively, how about some further study of some sort, is there something you've always wanted to learn about? even if its an evening course in a language or something for next autumn?

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