Right now you may be feeling angry, disappointed and let down. You may
also be feeling anxious about the future--especially if you are over the age
of 40. You may be concerned about your ability to successfully
complete a retraining program.
Becoming retrenched or being made redundant is a traumatic experience which can lead to depression and other debilitating psychological symptoms. The more unexpected the retrenchment or redundancy, the more profound the trauma.
If you are faced with such an unfortunate event,, you will need to muster all your emotional strength and mental power and take action--the best first reaction to any disaster is to take a realistic stock of the situation and plan your best defence strategy. Note that I have underlined the word "realistic".
Managing Your Reaction the first step
There are healthy and unhealthy ways to react to a sudden retrenchment or unjustified redundancy.
Seeking the support of friends and loved ones
Seeking professional counselling
Exercise (even long walks with a friend or loved one will do)
Seeking legal advice and the support of Government agencies and Unions if appropriate
Sessions of "self-counselling". Visiting a beach, a park, a church or any place where you can sit quietly and meditate
Denial (some individuals have been known to hide the redundancy from their friends and families and pretend to go to work in the morning only to wander aimlessly)
Drinking or taking drugs
Blaming, guilt and attacks on self (self-doubt, name calling, derogative remarks aimed at self)
Episodes of violence
Clearly there is only one way to go.
Managing Your Reaction the first step
After a brief period dedicated to mourning and grief (decide how long you want to grieve) you need to take ACTION
Write down all the assets that you DO have.
You will be surprised how many of these there are when you start looking. Suddenly--being over 40 can be an advantage!
Experience: If you have worked in any one field long enough, you must have accumulated an enormous amount of product knowledge, successful marketing strategies (what worked and what did not work with your former employer)
Ideas for improvement: You must have thought about ways that would have improved your former employer's productivity, profits etc
Methods of production, marketing, merchandising, storing, distributing
Occupational and Health Safety issues
Do you see where I am getting at? In your head there is a wealth of knowledge that is priceless. No classroom in the world can deliver the same amount of value that real life experience gives--and you have it all.
Better still no one can rob you of this asset--it is in your head.
Remember to include your friends, loved ones and supporters in your asset list--also include your health, strength of character and all other positive things or qualities that you can think of.
Find a market for your assets
Would a competitor of your former employer be interested in your knowledge (be careful not to break any confidentiality laws)?
Can your information help future market players?
Who could benefit from your information?
Is retraining an option? If so, what are your interests--what do you really enjoy doing?
Not long ago I sat down with a new student, a public servant for over 30 years, who had been unceremoniously retrenched (sacked) at the tender age of 47. The poor fellow was devastated. I asked what he had learned in those 30 years and, after a long think, he told me "it is a jungle". I asked him if he could write a "Public Servant Survival Manual". His face lit up at the idea. Here was a well educated, articulate, wise, ex-public servant ready for action.
Yes -- the purpose of this web page is to sell you one of my Corporate Trainer Packages. I know that once you have achieved the skills needed to prepare a training session, to deliver it and to assess the outcomes, you will have all the tools you need to make yourself employable all over again.
Better still--if no one is smart enough to employ you, you can start marketing your own courses or even write a training book on the subject of your interest.
Think about it, the future is in your hands and sometimes the greatest economic or employment tragedies are blessings in disguise--the proverbial kick in the pants that so many of us need to catapult us into a better life.
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