Updated: Oct 14
The ‘job for life’ is a thing of the past.
Developments in technology and the global economy have seen to that.
Increased financial pressures and lean organisational structures means companies are much less likely than they were, to tolerate employees with high sickness absence levels or those who they perceive to behave and/or perform badly.
These days, most organisations are relentlessly on the lookout for ways to boost business performance or seek efficiencies, and headcount reductions are a regular feature of strategic activities such as mergers, acquisitions, or outsourcing.
Losing your job, regardless of whether you expected it or not, can be shattering.
Even if you receive a reasonable pay off, losing your job when you don’t expect it can be a huge shock and for many, will bring about the stress of financial worry.
There may be concerns about how to get another job, particularly if you’ve been in an organisation for a long time or if you’re more senior and established in your career.
Your well-being may be affected too.
You may feel angry towards the people who made the decision or resentful towards those that are left behind.
You might also start to question your skills or capability, and this can in turn affect your self-belief.
While there is a place for objective self-reflection, repeated negative thinking can be very damaging over time and can lead to feelings of isolation and even depression.
It can be hard to move on, particularly when your confidence levels are low.
Make sure you give yourself time to work through what has happened. If you have doubts about the process followed by the organisation, or the reasons given for your dismissal, speak with your HR department. If you are still unsure or feel there could be an issue, seek guidance from an employment lawyer or your trade union.
Some other considerations to help you start moving forward:
Get on top of your finances. If you received a lump sum, consider whether you can use some of it to pay off any debts. Calculate how long you can afford not to work and put a plan in place to meet that deadline.
Give yourself time to process how you are feeling. Talk to other people about your worries and what you are experiencing. Sharing your thoughts and talking about how you feel really can lighten the load.
Take care of your well-being. Avoid self-medicating with food, alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs. Try and find time for exercise – even if it’s just going for a short walk each day.
Take time to reflect and come to terms with what has happened. Without being too hard on yourself, is there anything you can learn from the situation?
Update your CV and LinkedIn profile. If you need to get back into employment immediately, consider temporary or interim opportunities at the same time as applying for permanent roles.
Take a strategic view. Think about how you can build a career skillset for life. Can you enhance your skills through recognised qualifications or accreditations? Is there specific job experience or soft skills you need to acquire to increase your attractiveness in the job market?
Losing your job unexpectedly undoubtedly presents a personal challenge.
The good news though is that it also gives you an opportunity to take time out and strategically consider your next step so that – if you choose to do so – you re-join the job market with a more considered and resilient outlook, that will stand you in good stead whatever you decide to do.
Finally, remember you don’t need to tackle workplace issues alone. If you are experiencing challenges at work and would like to explore working with a Career Coach, I’d love to hear from you. You can book a free 15-minute video call via my website.
Sian Morgan is a Career Coach and senior HR professional. If you are interested in finding out more about working with Blooms Coaching, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or take a look at www.bloomscoaching.com