Rethinking your options post-redundancy

Oculus HR
Louise Kennedy, founder of Oculus HR

Heavy is the head that is forced to carry redundancy.

Finding out that you’re soon to be out of work, especially when it comes as a bolt out of the blue, can conjure up feelings of real uncertainty, worry and a loss of identity.

Naturally, for the vast majority of people facing redundancy, the question they are left pondering is… what next?

Do they seek employment in similar roles? Turn their hand to something completely new? Or do they retire to the golf course?

Or… do they consider entrepreneurship?

Redundancy may be up there with one of life’s most daunting experiences, but amidst the chaos and apprehension lies a glimmer of opportunity… an opportunity to finally become your own boss.

That was certainly the case for former RAF engineer turned decontamination specialist, Tony Sullivan, anyway.

After being made redundant in March 2023, he decided to use his redundancy package to realise his long-term ambition of setting up his own business.

All Things Decontamination

A year and countless business adviser sessions later, he is now running his own medical and environmental decontamination consultancy, All Things Decontamination, and has never looked back.

“I could have opted to take it easy but there was so much I still wanted to do and so much more I felt I could give,” he fondly recalls.

“My redundancy money gave me the chance to reinvent myself. To see if I can make a difference by running my own business my own way.

“I had the experience, the contacts and the reputation in the industry for looking after clients, so I knew I had lots to bring, and things are now really gathering momentum.

“Personally, it was being made redundant that really gave me the impetus to finally start the business I’d had in my mind for a long time.”

Another redundancy to start-up success story is Louise Kennedy, founder of Oculus HR, who founded the HR consultancy after being made redundant by Nissan ten years ago.

Since setting the business up in 2014, Louise has gone on to advise global corporates on HR and workplace culture while growing her business to a team of five.

She said: “I really found the support from the BIC to be instrumental in the early days of setting up the business. I was good at HR but didn’t know how to run a business.

“They helped me develop a business plan and get my first customer. 11 years later, they are still supporting the business, it is a fabulous team.”

Jennifer Bailey, founder of Calla Shoes, is another entrepreneur who turned adversity into opportunity after being made redundant.

Crying herself to sleep every night for six weeks after being made redundant, she admits that she still sometimes feels anxious when thinking about the experience, yet she couldn’t be happier with the decision she made at such an important juncture in her life.

She told The Times: “I was wondering who would employ me. I worried about getting the flexibility I may have needed. We went from a joint income of £85,000 to just my husband Gary’s salary. It was stressful.

“After redundancy there is the fear of: “Will I find a new job that pays the same?” Accept that there are no guarantees and take control of what you can.

“The redundancy pay gave me the financial cushion to do this. And in a way you are perfectly placed to do anything because redundancy will force you to build resilience. If you can get through it, you will come out of it stronger.”

So, if you are facing redundancy and have the passion and potential to set up a business of your own, why not look into whether entrepreneurship could be the path which helps you to finally realise your potential?

Our free, impartial business advice can help you explore all of the avenues available, help you understand the pros and cons and whether it would work with your current circumstances…

Start your business journey with the BIC today!

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