In a world that never stops changing, redundancy has sadly become a common experience for many professionals, including those in the gaming industry. But redundancy is far from the end of the road. It’s just the beginning of a new journey, a sentiment strongly echoed in the recently held LinkedIn Audio Event, “You are NOT redundant.”
Hosted by Andy Coley, an expert in Game Studio Leadership Training and an affiliate member of Game Republic, and Phil Foxton, the recently redundant former Head of Operations at Radical Forge, their conversation had four crucial takeaways for anyone grappling with this life event: Change of Identity, Shift in Purpose, The Change Cycle and Future Focus.
The Crux: You are NOT Redundant
The most compelling point, reiterated throughout the discussion, was Phil’s initial proposition: “You are not redundant; your role is.” Often, the first casualty of redundancy is self-worth, with many people confusing their job roles with their identities. Phil emphasised that redundancy is a business decision affecting a role, not a reflection of an individual’s abilities or value. Andy supported this point, urging that you separate your self-worth from your employment status.
Phil has been made redundant twice in his life and the first time he took it very personally indeed, and Andy had been on the other side of the decision and has had to make roles redundant in the past and knows that managers and business owners do not make those decisions lightly.
Change of Identity
Moving on, the conversation explored the emotional labyrinth that often ensnares those who’ve experienced redundancy. Feeling lost or disoriented is natural but not insurmountable. “The key lies in decoupling your identity from your job title,” Andy suggested. If you think of yourself as a complex blend of skills, values, beliefs, experiences, and aspirations, rather than just a job title, navigating through redundancy becomes less daunting. You are always so much more than a singular label, yet sometimes we hinge our entire life around them.
Shift in Purpose
Phil spoke about the need to see redundancy as an opening rather than a closure. He candidly shared his own experiences of taking this time to assess his career direction and even consider roles outside the industry you’re currently in, as he did in the past. Phil stressed, “The shift in purpose is not just about filling the void left by your previous role, but better aligning your job with your personal and professional goals.”.
The Change Cycle
Andy continued that once you’d allowed yourself to come through the change cycle (look up the Kübler-Ross Change Curve aka the 5 stages of grief/loss/change) which are; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance, you can set your intentions for what you’d like to have happen in the future, as your new purpose. Remember to make this future focussed and towards what you want (rather than what you don’t want) as it’s much easier for you and others to support you in achieving something which you have real clarity over.
Andy spearheaded the future focus section, offering practical tips on career rebranding and job hunting. He recommended improving you LinkedIn profile and creating (or updating) your portfolio that highlights skills and achievements. Use LinkedIn resources such as the Video Games Career Resources information collated by Amir Satvat or listen to other top LinkedIn voices such as Aïda Figuerola at Activision Blizzard who has been hosting a range of useful events for job hunters.
More importantly, both speakers emphasized the need for targeted job applications, echoing the sentiment that the goal is not just a new job but the right job. The conversation also delved into the benefits of upskilling—gaining both hard and soft skills to make yourself a more attractive candidate.
Navigating through redundancy is undoubtedly tough, but as the “You are NOT redundant” session reinforced, it’s far from insurmountable. As Phil Foxton aptly put it in his closing remarks, “Redundancy can knock you down, but it doesn’t have to keep you there. You still have a wealth of experience and skills that can contribute to a company’s success. Now go out and find where you fit best.”
So, if you are navigating the uncertain waters of redundancy, remember—you’re not redundant, your role was. And that can make all the difference.
If you’re looking for a Head of Operations or People & Culture support for your Studio, do reach out to Phil who would love to work with growing studios and has a great deal of knowledge in this area.
If your studio would like to discuss talks / workshops or training in coaching, leadership, professional boundaries and much, much more, you can contact Andy to discuss that at gamestudioleadershiptraining.com contact details are on there.
You’ll find them both at the forthcoming Game Republic events as well on November 23rd at GameDevDay sponsored and hosted by Tileyard NorthIf you like this post, please help us by sharing it!