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Getting through a job loss

The economic hardships resulting from Covid-19 have caused a lot of financial uncertainty and worries for many whānau. Richard Jack has been through it a few times, including as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes. 

Richard Jack is a man all too familiar with the word redundancy.

He has been through it a few times since the age of 25 and has compassion for those going through it now as a result of Covid-19.

The Christchurch father of two says going through a redundancy can be a shock initially.

“There is definitely a piece around ‘am I good enough?’ and ‘why is this happening to me?’”

At age 25, Richard was restructured out of his role as training manager for an electrical company. He says he took some time out to reflect and reevaluate his career, and eventually launched his own business.

After 12 years running the business, he sold it and went back into the corporate print industry.

“Then we had the 2011 earthquakes… the building fell over and the job no longer existed.”

“That got me out and about, experiencing new jobs. I was also able to spend summer with my kids and do some multi-sport training.”

After landing a job working with a government department, he was yet again restructured out of his role.

He says he pleasantly surprised at how supportive Work and Income were.

"It was difficult to go to them but they certainly kept food on the table and helped out with the day to day family needs. They relieved a lot of the pressure."

Richard eventually secured a job in construction, and went on to work on some of the biggest jobs in the South Island.

“At that time I thought I needed to get back into study and do more work around construction. So I realigned and reset and suddenly found myself studying part time at university.”

“Today I am working as a senior manager and have nearly finished my MBA. I am genuinely happy where I am and the tough days of redundancy are a distant memory."

Richard says he has been able to relaunch his entire career over the years but it has not been without hard work.

“You’ve always got to be motivated… These jobs never fell in front of me. I kept at it when I didn’t hear anything back or got rejected.”

Richard’s top tips for getting through a COVID redundancy:

  • Know that it’s not your fault.
  • Give yourself a chance to realign or adjust your direction.
  • Exercise if you can and hang out with your family.
  • Try to get out there and start knocking on doors.
  • There is no shame in going to Work and Income - if financial support is available, take it.
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