All of us dread the words – being laid off, given the pink slip, you have been sacked!
Of course, it is never easy to have been told these words, it hits at our ego, it makes us feel bad about ourselves and it propels one towards apprehension.
The COVID-19 crises have made this an even bitter pill to swallow.
We are hearing about how organizations are trimming their operations, we know people who have been given the marching orders, and we pray that the same does not happen to us.
But what if it does happen to you, what if there have been talks and tension prevails whenever you join the office network or if the office operations are open and you are reporting into work knowing that many may be asked to leave and you pray that you are not one of them.
You sit and secretly evaluate your performance, what could have been done, and where you lacked and combine this unpleasantness with the current situation where the pandemic is already unleashing its havoc in our lives.
This is not the time to be told that you have been given the pink slip. However, this could be the reality for many people in many organizations big or small in various sectors across the industries and not limited to a country but the whole world is dealing with its consequences.
So, if it happens to you or you know someone who has lost their job what is it that one can do to deal with this situation.
Firstly, understand that it has happened to you and the emotions that it might be bringing up in you is only natural to feel. Feeling sad or upset is part of the natural process so allow yourself to feel these feelings.
However, do not berate yourself, do not get into the cycle of what could have been done i.e. how could I have fixed the situation, do not punish yourself by thinking endlessly.
Blaming oneself or asking questions – why me? is this what I deserve? It is only going to worsen the situation. It is good to analyze constructively, to be objective about a particular situation, and to see the missteps to work on them but to go into a victim mode is a negative way of seeing things.
Accept it happened, it happened to you and this is the time to review and take stock of what is needed, what you want, and work towards it. Commit time to yourself, invest in yourself, and keep moving forward.
This is also the time to evaluate your skills. This pandemic has forced us to assess and perhaps in the process let go of the old modes, old skill sets that are not relevant in the present and propelled us to think of more innovative and viable activities both professional and personal.
Therefore, take stock of your skills, your work experience, and your competencies – are they relevant in today’s context, is there a need for you to upgrade and reorganize your skill sets?
If the answer is yes, then do so – this is an excellent time for you to commit towards that new course you wanted to take or something that you knew would be an excellent combination with your already existing competencies but could not because of lack of time or opportunities.
Yes, it may be difficult. Loss of income is always a difficult scenario and one may be propelled towards thoughts of can I afford this? Is this the time for me to spend money on courses when I do not have a steady income? What about my household expenses?
The answer here is to sit and explain the situation to your dependents, tell them that this is the time for you to upgrade and invest in the future with learning’s that are or would be relevant.
Form a group, your friends’ family who can teach you the skills that they have and are relevant. Everyone has something unique in them that others can learn and vice versa.
Think carefully what is the objective here – is it another job or is it that you want your experience and skills to be such that it finds a fitment in today’s business needs and hence the chances of being laid off again become less.
Take a step back and see what is needed in the present and look ahead to what may be needed in the future and strategies accordingly.
Do not let the money in the present let your chances of the same in the future be impacted hence take stock of your competencies, skills, and experience.
It is necessary to build a nest so that the eggs can be laid in it.
Last but not the least, do not be myopic if you are not in the above situation but you know someone who is, lend a helping hand. Ask if there is something that you could do and if they want to learn something from you, be generous.
After all, nothing is permanent and if the situation were reversed you would be most receptive and thankful if someone else lent a helping hand.
Finally, allow yourself time to come abreast of the situation. Do not expect results immediately for Rome was not built in a day!
Most importantly, overthinking and wanting to analyze and revisit the situation, again and again, is not going to do any good.
Stop, take stock, review, understand what skills are relevant and needed in today’s work environment, learn them or sharpen your skills if you already have them, do not be hard on yourself and help others if you can.