How Redundancy Actually Kick-Started My Career


Losing your job could just be the best thing that ever happened to you.


Approximately 2.4 million Australians are currently either unemployed or underemployed. What’s more, a report from the Committee for Economic Development of Australia predicts that technology could replace up to 40% of Australian jobs within the next 10-15 years, including skilled positions.

While this is a daunting prospect, it’s important to remember that losing your job needn’t mean the end of your career – just ask Cheryl MacDonald. Shortly after the birth of her first child in 2009, Cheryl was made redundant from her job as a business analyst. “Being a business analyst is the kind of thing you fall into after university and you’ve no idea how you got there,” admits Cheryl, who describes her former position as lacking substance. So it’s little wonder that when the then-30 year old received what could have easily been a devastating blow, she felt an overriding sense of relief.

“Obviously there was the financial worry, but redundancy did give me the opportunity to start thinking about other options,” says Glaswegian Cheryl, who started to re-evaluate her priorities as a mother. “I had thought about trying to make a go of teaching yoga, but wasn’t sure if I would be able to make enough money to support our new family.”

With the disappointing experience of a pregnancy yoga class still fresh in her mind, Cheryl knew there was a definite lack of pre and postnatal yoga classes in the Glasgow area. “I’ve always loved all things yoga and been mad about babies and long before I was pregnant – I trained in pregnancy yoga and then hypnobirthing too,” says Cheryl. “I knew that what was available for pregnant women wasn’t great.”

Spurred on by this knowledge, Cheryl initially began running yoga classes for women from home. YogaBellies was subsequently born and it quickly outgrew Cheryl’s spare room. “YogaBellies is so much more than a yoga class; we create communities of women supporting women,” says Cheryl, who notes that juggling the rapid growth of a business and new motherhood has been a challenge. Indeed, within just four years, YogaBellies had over 100 global franchises – including Australia, America and even Finland – and continues to grow. Further more, Cheryl now feels fulfilled by her career. “I don’t even feel as if I have a job because I love what I do so much,” says the mum-of-one.

Having used her redundancy as an opportunity to start a hugely successful business, Cheryl has some advice to anyone who may have just lost their job.

“Use that financial cushion to look into other options,” she advises. “It may be starting your own venture from scratch or even buying into a ready-made franchise model that resonates with you.” Ultimately, this could be the best thing that ever happened to you. “It’s actually an amazing opportunity for a second chance at starting fresh so don’t look at it as an ending,” says the YogaBellies founder. “Redundancy really can be the chance you need to find a worthwhile career.”

If you’re considering starting your own venture, here are five questions you should ask yourself before you do.


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