John Burns Paid Professional Speaker


On June 4th, 2010 I was made compulsorily redundant from my job as a finance manager with DHL Supply Chain Ireland. 

My initial reaction was one of happiness. The business was being restructured. New structures were being put in place. I no longer enjoyed my work. 


Reality Strikes Home 

Disappointment set in before long. I had to face into signing on for unemployment benefit. Not alone that, but I went from giving my life to my job, to paddling my own canoe. My confidence was shattered. My self-esteem was very low.  

I enjoyed working for DHL. 3rd Party Logistics is a busy and dynamic environment. What I liked most about my job was the variety of work. I engaged on a regular basis with the operations director and general management on commercial issues. I was also involved in a number of projects both financial and nonfinancial. 

DHL rewarded my efforts and dedication with corporate tickets to 6 nations matches at Croke Park, and Twickenham 

On a personal level I had to make some difficult choices. My monthly income was greatly reduced. No more paid holiday’s for a while. Discretionary expenditure needed to be sharply cut. I needed to watch every cent, as I had a mortgage to pay. Fortunately for me, I had no outstanding car or personal loans. 

I missed the camaraderie of the workplace. One day I was used to having my colleagues around me, answering the phone, replying to emails. The next day total silence. Not one phone call. Aside from the initial shock of being made redundant, this was the most difficult part of the whole experience for me.  

I spent endless amounts of time asking myself in my own mind – why me? Why was I made redundant? What could I have done differently? 

My way of dealing with redundancy was to sit at home all day browsing the internet. To fill in time, I set up a Udemy account, and subscribed to several courses. 

Aside from going out for a run 4 – 5 times a week I had no social life. I was very lonely.  

To overcome my loneliness, I decided to rejoin Toastmasters International. I started to get my confidence back slowly. I participated in club meetings. I got the opportunity to present speeches and evaluate other people’s speeches. I also took on the role of general evaluator who evaluates the overall meeting and toastmaster who chairs the entire meeting.  

I went a step further. I took on voluntary roles at club and district level. Soon enough Toastmasters became a full time role for me. But I was still unemployed. After two years of voluntary roles I decided to take a back seat from Toastmasters and concentrate on starting my own business.  


What I Should Have Done! 

In hindsight, I should have taken positive action much sooner. Rather than blaming myself for what happened to me, I should have used my time to follow my dreams of running a profitable business, that gives me financial independence, and an opportunity to travel the world.  

Why do I say this? Because redundancy is the closing of one chapter in your life. It can be the beginning of a new brighter chapter. Only you can make these choices for yourself. 



If you have been made redundant recently, or you are in the process of being made redundant, I can empathise with you. If you would like to talk to me, please provide your contact details. I will listen to you. Any personal information you share will remain strictly confidential. 

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