Tuesday July 22 2014

Coping with job loss


By Ethan Musolini

Downsizing is common in organisations and it usually leaves many employees’ broken-hearted and careers in disarray. This is especially true when the process is mishandled. Most organisations do not prepare their employees –which is unfortunate.
If you head an organisation and plan to let go of some people, it is ideal to prepare them mentally and emotionally.
Having offered counsel to different people who have lost their jobs through the restructuring process, here are some of the tips I typically offer them…

It’s understandable to be angry and all sorts of negative emotions. And yet keeping the same emotions is dangerous to your emotional and physical health. Forgive whoever you think is or was responsible to what happened to you.
They don’t even need to know. Just say “I forgive…for having…(think of whatever your feelings are about the situation)…I choose to release all the negative feelings, stories and emotional attachments linked to my job loss”.
Move on
Once you have forgiven, don’t turn back to keep recalling the moment. Move on. Stop talking about it to seek sympathy because that will only keep the emotional wounds alive.
The other temptation to be aware of is hanging around colleagues in a similar situation to comfort each other. Typically what will happen will be talk of how unfair the world or your former boss is which is not useful.
Choose to start a new life and pursue that.
Will it be job or business?
Decide what your next course of action is – looking for another job or starting a business? If it is to look for a job, be aggressive. Instead of sharing your resume with four companies in a month, make it 40 organisations. That will increase your chances.
If it is business, interview people who are successful in the business you are interested in to learn.
If it is your first time, invest no more than 30 per cent of your capital. If it works out, invest more. If it does not, invest another 30 per cent.
Always be ready
This should be a reminder that you must have a backup plan – always. Even if you have a job now, ask yourself, “How can I survive if I lost my job today?” One of the options is to start a part time business – utilise weekends and evenings. That is what I have been advising employees who attend my “Start a business” workshops.
Some grumble about the lack of time. But you have to create the time now before it is late.
If you lost your job, that is sad. But now is the time to pick some ideas and move onto the next chapter of your life. And I believe you can.
Ethan Musolini is the CEO of Success Africa, a motivational speaker, author and HR consultant