You may be astonished to realize that retrenchment may occur more than once during the life of the modern-day worker. In fact, career advisors report that we could expect to be made redundant up to three times during our working life.
As common as retrenchment is, when it happens, no one likes it. Whatever range of emotions initially emerge – fear, anger, resentment, retaliation, humiliation, disappointment – we should recognize as being quite normal. How we respond and deal with the situation will influence our entire financial future and how quickly we move through these negative emotions.
This article will assist those people who may wonder how to deal with retrenchment. These eight keys will help you move on quickly and re-establish yourself in a productive working environment.
1. Don’t take it personally. Redundancy is rarely, if ever, personal. Don’t let it affect your self-confidence and morale. In most cases, retrenchments occur as a result of changing economic situations, mergers, or acquisitions which are typically outside most people’s span of control.
2. Retrenchment is not an end, but rather a beginning. Even though we may not expect it, throughout various stages of our lives doors close and others open. When one door closes and it is a shock, we may not immediately see other doors opening.
3. Take advantage of outplacement support. If your company provides outplacement support – make full use of it. If no outplacement support has been provided ask if the company could provide assistance with a registered outplacement firm. Research has shown that job seekers with the assistance of a qualified outplacement consultant have a better strike rate in job interviews.
4. Sort out your finances. Discuss with your partner or spouse your financial position and make adjustments where necessary. Few people realize that this transition may be a gift to help you change directions. Poor financial planning may propel you into a less than favorable job and close down opportunities to explore what you really would like to be doing.
5. Be realistic about time. Expect things to take a while. The more senior your previous job, the longer it will take to find something else at the same level. If you change careers to start your own business it will take time for you to achieve the same feelings of effectiveness. Be patient when making a new transition and go easy on yourself by not expecting too much, too soon.
6. Forget the ‘labels’. Recruitment consultants are rarely concerned with the fact you were retrenched. They are more interested in how you respond when the chips are down and what you did about and how quickly you took control of your situation. It’s not what happens in life that distinguishes us, but rather what we do about it. Very likely the person interviewing you for your next job has been retrenched themselves at some stage!
7. Explore options. Talk to a specialist career advisor or business coach. This may just be the chance to propel you in a new direction. With assistance, you may uncover skills and pathways you may not have previously had the time, inclination, or confidence to embrace.
8. Get some exercise. There is limited appeal in sitting around the house in your pajamas until lunchtime. Get up early and get some exercise. The endorphins will keep your mind energetic and creative and assist you through the transition.
9. Volunteer your time to a worthwhile cause that interests you. This will help keep your self-esteem high and provide activities that may help you explore new avenues, or maintain your current skills. At the very least it will keep you busy and stop your brain turning into “TV-mush”.
10. Feed your spirit. Finding exhilarating testimonies of people who succeed against all odds. If you are not an avid reader, then now is the time to start and ensure you are keeping your mind positively challenged with the heroes of our time. It will help keep things in perspective.