Shown the door

In an already dreadful business year, being laid off is, quite frankly, terrifying. We find out how to accept, move on and perhaps learn from the experience.

Laid off. Let go. Retrenched. Axed. It doesn’t matter how you word it … it is one of the hardest, harshest experiences to endure. Yet, like any and all life experiences, it passes and life moves on.  But for life to go on, you need to get through this. We spoke to life coach Graeme Butchart, and asked how to deal with, and get past being retrenched.

Understanding the role of acceptance

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In order to move on, understanding the role of acceptance becomes very important. For if you don’t, or can’t accept, then moving forward may well be harder than the retrenchment itself. For moving on is what you have to do. If you linger, you faulter and perish. You fail to regrow.

Know it’s not personal

If acceptance is the starting point, the second is to know, importantly, that it’s not personal. Hard to do – but this isn’t about your person. This is purely economics, circumstances and very often – most often – the roll of the dice. If you get stuck on ‘why me?’ then you get stuck in the history of the event and that holds us back. It’s paralysing and pointless. There is no value in feeling sorry for yourself or looking for pity. A period of reflection may be valuable, to take stock, to take account, but that should be based on what you can learn and act on. Deal with this mental aspect quickly, be mindful you have to keep moving forward. We need to acknowledge you are not faulty, wrong, or broken in any way. You have skill sets. You have evidence of prior successes. You have value which you can still add. That’s the thinking required to move into the present. To acknowledge and reaffirm what you have to offer – is to reframe your view of self, from a limiting, negative view back into the positive. It’s the same mental framework that separates success from failure.

Remember to be grateful

Regulating the emotional disturbance of loss, hurt, wound, is critical and failure to do so will lead to negativity, anxiety and depression. It helps here to be mindful of what you should be grateful for. So, if the emotional challenge becomes all possessing then counter it by writing what you are grateful for – a gratitude list – and do it daily to support the move back into positive territory. It keeps you in action and in the present.

Ready. Steady. Action.

Now’s the time to act. So, all that practical stuff that you already know you should be doing – do it. Update CVs and bios. Network. Make phone calls … yes actually speak to people, don’t just send emails. Emails don’t secure jobs, conversations do. Be open and be honest. Don’t ever feel ashamed. Engage and get straight to the point.

‘Hi Jo, unfortunately, I was retrenched and I am looking for an opportunity, can you help me – or do you know of anyone else who could?’

Being direct, will communicate a great deal about your state of mind and confidence. And to be clear – most, if not all the work we secure, is from people we already know and those who know of us. It’s all about networking and leveraging our social network, so get all that stuff done and sorted. Reach out and ask for help. Be vulnerable. Be human.

Learn new skills

Sometimes, the retrenchment highlights that we have to up our game.  So think about learning new skills or acquire new tools. One of the positives of the global lockdown is that all learning and development has gone online – and a lot of those courses are absolutely free. Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, and many others, provide excellent short programmes. So use the moment to improve the version of who you are. Put the effort in and the reward will soon show itself.

Become more relevant

Part of that renewing of who you are and what you offer the world may require coaching. Again, this is about you becoming more relevant to the market place, increasing your market value, your marketability. Products, services and businesses have to reinvent and innovate all the time to stay competitive in their marketplaces. People are no different. Invest in your development. Reinvent yourself.

As one door closes …

Don’t underestimate the power of the universe.  It is said as one door closes, another opens. But that can only occur if you take the right actions, take care of all the mental challenges and – importantly – believe, have faith that it will all work out. And then let it do just that.

In a nutshell

“Accept, move on, prepare and network, invest in the development of a better version of who you are,” sums up Graeme, adding “be grateful of the opportunity – it may prove that this retrenchment turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to you. It was for me.”

Details: [email protected]

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