Who am I now? The loss of Identity experienced by those made redundant.

14 September 2020 , Posted by Ellie Samuels & Julie Loveny

After working FIFO (especially for those who have done if for many years) it becomes a large part of how you identify yourself. So what do you do when a large part of your identity is gone? It’s normal to think “Who am I now?” as people often identify themselves with what we spend the most time doing. It can feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself, similar to grief. So what now? How does someone deal with those feelings?


Recognising and acknowledging that you are experiencing a loss of your self-identity due to being made redundant is an important part of moving on. Firstly it’s important to recognise that these feelings are normal and you may need some support to get handle them. It’s a great idea that during this time you surround yourself with support such as family, friends, colleagues etc.


“The thing I’ve learnt most now is to dissociate my identity from what I do. What I do is not a fundamental part of who I am.”- Anonymous


Focusing on keeping a good mental wellbeing during this time is also important, having a balanced diet and exercising regularly are two ways to keep mentally healthy.


During this time its good to look at and focus on the many other ‘identities’ and important roles that you will also have such as father, husband, wife, son, sister, friend, sports person, coach or cook. Spending time with family and friends as well as pursuing other interests will assist you to overcome the feelings of loss of identity and will improve your mental wellbeing. All of these suggestions will be able to help you as you come to terms with the redundancy and regain your identity.


Remembering to ask for assistance when you need it is a great strength. Below are some links to further information about redundancy and when to seek help.