Dealing with Layoffs, 8

January 29, 2009

We’ve covered 3 major principles you can embrace if you find yourself on the receiving end of a job retrenchment program.

First is to face the Emotional Costs – and get it over with! Understanding that the loss of a job is still an experience dealing with a loss of something valuable in life. Face the emotional costs of it. Mourn and grieve over it and do not pretend as if it doesn’t hurt.

Second principle is to understand where you are in the 5 emotional stages in the process of mourning. After which you can move on to do something else. Your amount of recovery depends on the stage of emotional condition you find yourself in.

Denial. Bargaining. Anger. Depression. Acceptance.

Dealing with these can be difficult, and may require more time than you would think. But you got to get over it! And this is why the topic we will be discussing today fills in the time gap while you are getting through the different stages. And so the third principle is to find and get Support.

This is the reason why if you belong to a small group of people you can trust then it makes all the difference. I still recall the day when this huge company laid off many of their people. I decided to form a support group, got a few friends who used to work for that company before involved in it. Tried contacting some of the laid off people so we could render help and assistance… in the mean time.

We were expecting a handful of them. But when more than twenty showed up I knew there was a great need. There I found myself facing a bunch of very talented, very good looking and very well traveled men and women who suddenly found themselves jobless, and they’re depressed, angry, disappointed and though none of them would admit it, they were in great fear.

We met on a Saturday afternoon. I knew they were skeptical. Quickly I assured them that the meeting was not a recruiting process to get them involved in any marketing scheme, then I assured them that the meeting was held for their benefit, not mine and then we began talking.

I explained to them why retrenchments happen. But I reminded them that there is life apart from the company they worked for and that the important thing is to support each other in the interim. There was one rule I imposed however. That the meetings will go on as long as each participant bring his or her own food plus one portion more for somebody who does not. Now here is the punch line. The moment somebody who has been helped by this group lands a job, it would be their moral obligation to exhaust everything within their means to help another one within the group. That’s the only payment I am asking for to which they readily agreed.

Man I’m telling you. I never felt a feeling of joy and fulfillment that very afternoon knowing that there are things that we all can do to help others who are in need. Why? Because the time will come too when we would be in need ourselves and we’ll have a treasury of friends who would be willing to help us.

Finding support is crucial to your success in landing another job.

The meetings went on for a few more months. I invited experts who would speak on how to make resumes, helped some of them with basic computer skills and the results were very positive. One participant discovered her artistic skills and her love for cooking. Opened a restaurant and became very successful. I dared another one to go into partnership with his friend and open up a construction business and it became successful.

You have to get support by supporting others too. Get yourself in the company of positive people so that you don’t spend the rest of your lives reliving the whole melancholicy experience. A bitter spirit is transferable and contagious. Misery loves company and that’s the company you don’t need at the moment. Talk about it. Share experiences so that all of you can get the right perspectives on things that are happening.

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