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"I didn't know me as well as I thought" - a road map from being made redundant

A month ago, things changed - I was made redundant.

I’d been with the company for 17 years, having started as a Senior Adviser and having finished as a National Manager and in that time, I’d become very converse with a lot of topics (safety, environment, quality, risk, HR etc etc.) and honed my craft.

I had always thought that I’d leave on my terms when the time was right. Guess I got that one wrong!

No point in asking “why me”. No point in thinking “if only”.

So here I am….an educated, well experienced senior level manager…and I’m discovering:

  • That I didn’t know me as well as I thought that I did.

  • That in my frenetic world, I hadn’t taken time to connect to others as much as I should have.

  • That despite my wealth of knowledge, there is so much more information out there and I didn’t take enough time out to discover it.

  • That I need to “brand” me – not just my resume, but my attitude, poise and demeanour.

  • That it’s okay to take “me” time and not feel guilty about not having finished something that wasn’t due for another week anyway.

  • That there are so many good people out there willing to share their knowledge, their experiences and their time.

  • That I need to develop some form of patience …. this one’s going to be tricky.

  • That finding a new Café each day (for the daily coffee break) is good for the soul.

So, what have I been doing and how might this help you?

• I’m working with an Executive Coach. In my weekly sessions, I’m honing my skills, developing concepts and, I’m being challenged on how I would respond to situations in a new company where I don’t have the benefit of familiarity.

If you can’t work with a Coach: Catch up on relevant reading through the internet or your local library. Meet up with trusted friends or colleagues and ask them to challenge you with what they know about you.

• I’ve rewritten my resume (about 50 times!). While I already knew that short and succinct are key principles to ensuring that you get noticed, I’ve discovered a whole new way of saying things concisely.

To redo your resume: Google ideas, check out profiles on LinkedIn, ask people you trust to provide critique.

• I’m keeping to a daily schedule. I research / read in the morning and go out in the afternoon.

Why? It’s important to maintain routine – less shock when work starts again and will give you a purpose each day.

• I’ve joined Women in Safety as a Committee Member.

It’s my first step in sharing my passion, knowledge and timeoutside of work. Hillary Clinton stated that “Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world” and I’d like to tap that reservoir!

• I’m reading, researching, commenting and connecting on LinkedIn each day.

Why? It’s interaction! Gets you noticed. Keeps you informed.

• I’m following Lauren McDonald on LinkedIn.

In her daily blogs, Lauren (she is based in New York) provides down to earth advice, motivation and humour and I guarantee that she’ll pep you up each day. Follow her!


Hi All, it's Alanna here. I wanted to provide a quick commentary on this one. Sonja - you rock! I think we have all been in similar situations or know someone who has and it can be daunting. It is new and unknown. I think it is great that you have shown your vulnerable side and shared it with the world. Good luck in your journey to your next leadership role I am sure it will be just around the corner. If you want to get in touch with Sonja, her LinkedIn Profile is here - Sonja Hatfield.

Thanks again.


So how do I feel now that I’ve shared this blog with you? GREAT!! It’s cathartic! Has it helped you / motivated you? Let me know so that we can continue the conversation.

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