Stood Down?

I get knocked down, I get back up again, you’re never gonna keep me down!

Remember Chumbawamba’s anthem to not giving up? How about the Trolls theme:

I’m not giving up today
There’s nothing getting in my way
And if you knock knock me over
I will get back up again, oh
If something goes a little wrong
Well you can go ahead and bring it on
‘Cause if you knock knock me over, I will get back up again

Being Stood Down isn’t necessarily the end of the world. But it isn’t a great feeling either. It’s the uncertainty of it all that makes it most unsettling.

If you’re made redundant, although it is often a shock and not commonly great news, it is just that – news. There’s a story, with a beginning (you joining), a middle (working away) and an end (redundancy).

Problem with being Stood Down is there’s no end to the story quite yet.

So what can you do to install yourself as author of the rest of the narrative?

We’ve got some great ideas of what to do, what not to do, and how to proceed come what may.

Self Awareness

Recognise that as the world is in a state of flux, so too are you and your career if you’ve been stood down. It’s almost certainly nothing to do with anything performance-related, but rather an organisational decision made with incomplete information in a time of economic uncertainly.

So give yourself a break. Don’t get down on yourself about the situation – the what you could have done, should have done etc. None of that negativity will help things.

Think instead of some of the things you love to do – hanging out with the kids, fixing up the spare bedroom, cleaning out the shed. Now you’ve got some time to get on with them, and nothing solves feelings of uncertainty quite as well as action.

Treat it like your own little Zen Diagram, as follows:

Invest in Yourself

If you’re stood down, no-one is currently looking over your shoulder, or checking up to see if you’ve completed all your work tasks for the week. So take this opportunity (yes, it really is that) to work on yourself.

Maybe this is a good time to start a course, or see what’s out there that might spark an interest for you. We’ve heard of many candidates, clients and even some of our coaches, revisiting lost music lessons, or enrolling in online language training. Some have even commenced creative writing courses – maybe you’re a future JK Rowling after all?!

Here’s a recent link to a whole load of free courses available right now:


Personal Branding

Everyone is sitting at home, on the couch, flicking through the social media, right? Well, that sounds like an audience to me.

Now is your chance to speak to that audience, while you’ve got them there, stuck in isolation, and happy to listen.

Reach out to old or long-lost connections, reengage with those you used to work with in past lives, join groups, Facebook pages and virtual meet-ups that interest you. Share useful content that you find interesting, meaningful or even fun – you’d be surprised as to how receptive people might be on that last one, especially with so much negative news floating about.

Update profiles to reflect who you really are – think of it as a bit of a spring clean of your social media. We often post things out there, but how often do you update your actual profile, interests, photo, banners, headings, roles on LinkedIn…that sort of thing?

Speak to a Human Being, Every Day

Might sound a bit silly, but in times of isolation, human ‘connectedness’ is more important than ever. If you’re a social butterfly sort of person, then finding yourself stood down and sitting at home is in fact likely quite scary.

But guess what? You’re not alone…all the other butterflies feel the same. All the reclusives and introverts and socially guarded people – they’re feeling it too, although they probably won’t tell anyone.

So reach out and have a chat. Ask if your friends and colleagues are doing ok – let them say they’re not, if they’re not. Listen and be there – they will remember you did.

This afternoon, I ran a Zoom conference call with our Recruitment network on the subject of mindfulness and mental awareness. We all had the chance to say how we were feeling about things, business, economics, family, viruses…anything at all. Providing a safe space to do so was all that was needed – kind of like an AA meeting, but for busy social people who now find themselves stuck in isolation. A CC meeting (Covid Conversation)!

It was a great success.

So give it a try – whether it’s one-on-one or in a safe group.

‘Cause if you knock knock me over, I will get back up again!