The picture here is not a show-off; it has a point, but I’ll return to that in a moment.
First a bit of background. I was a senior management team member for a games studio until the beginning of September. Then my life turned completely upside down and I found myself looking for a new role, like lots of people in the video games industry. There is never a good time to lose your job, but there are better times than when the whole industry is on vastly reduced investment (down from $4.2billion to $700million year on year) and many people are being made redundant.
Thankfully it’s not the first time this has happened to me. You might be saying “Huh? Thankfully?”. Yes, that is what I said. I say that because the experience of previous times has given me the tools to deal with it this time. Hopefully, I can pass some of them on to you so that you don’t have to learn the hard way what those tools are like I did.
Rather than make this a great long list that you forget what point #1 was by the time you get to the end, I’m just going to hit one thing up at a time.
So, the logical place to start is at #1
Lesson #1 It’s not personal
Unless you have done something illegal or immoral (and I have a whole list of examples that other people have committed of those!) then you have ended up in this situation through no fault of your own. It’s a sad fact of life that companies have, cyclical, periods of boom and bust. The bust portions mean that jobs that were created during the boom portion need to be slimmed down to protect other company resources. Unfortunately, people see it as a personal attack, as is witnessed by the most common phrase used “I was made redundant”. This is completely wrong, no one can make you redundant, rather it is your role that is made redundant. The situation you find yourself in can feel like an attack on your identity and self worth.
How can you manage this situation? By being kind. Not the usual way, like helping old ladies across the street or letting the guy with just a sandwich and a bottle of pop jump in front of you at the supermarket checkout (am I the only person to do that? I appear to be in my home town as I get the strangest of looks when I do!). No this is the one type of kindness that most people forget about. A lot.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Being kind to yourself at times like this is more important than ever.
Fancy a nap at 2 in the afternoon? Go for it!
Really want that slice of chocolate cake? Why not just have it?
Fancy taking on a bigger project? How about learning Godot? You have lots of the most valuable resources available to do that learning. Time. So use it wisely on yourself.
Want to spend the whole afternoon sorting through old concert ticket stubs and reminiscing about the gigs, the adventures you went on to get there and just generally life at that time? Oh yes, do it! I did. The photo at the top of the article is part of that day. I have memories of every single ticket. I ended the sorting and memory session with a “and I’m going to make many more memories like them”.
My situation and the job hunt, after that, didn’t seem so bad. I had been kind to myself.