A few years ago, I went to work as usual. It was a beautiful sunny morning. I had my tea and donut for breakfast and was feeling good about life. When I got to the office, there was an awkward silence. I could not put a finger on it. My coworkers who were always friendly and bubbly were unusually quiet. They said, Good morning politely, but would not make any eye contact.
After five minutes, the secretary informed me that the Manager wanted to see me.
I walked into his office, and he told me to have a seat. He then proceeded to tell me that they were downsizing the company, and there was no job for me.
I did not walk away like most people would. I decided not to argue either; I simply told my boss that he could not fire me.
I was really confident and said I needed the job at this time because I had enrolled back to college and was in the middle of my exams. I did not want his pity, all I wanted was for him to give me some more time, and once I was done -which would be in eight months, he was free to fire me.
What he did surprised me and was nothing short of a miracle. He called his assistant and asked her to give me back my job. He did not tell her to give me the job for eight months only, -but just to reinstate me.
I worked for that company for another two years and finally quit when I got a better paying job.
In current times where businesses face cut-throat competition and economic constraints, job losses have become a primary concern. Restructuring, downsizing, the introduction of performance-based contracts has led to an increase in the number of individuals being laid off. Your financial situation could abruptly change once you are laid off?
The experience I talk about is the closest I got to being laid off.
What would you or I do if we got fired without any warning?
You have to believe that nothing happens to you by accident. This is what I firmly believe. So I don’t waste my time worrying about being laid off.
You will certainly experience a wave of mixed emotions like anxiety, surprise, frustration, self-pity and worry. Learn to shake off those feelings.
Focus on positive thoughts and believe that something better is just around the corner waiting to come to you.
Recently, a friend of mine got laid off work. She thanked her boss for the opportunity she had working for the company. She then bought everyone in the office a thank you card for being so helpful and wished everyone well.
She said her goodbyes and left with a positive attitude.
After one month, the company called her back and asked her to work part-time.
She was thankful because she could make some money, and still have enough time to look for another job which she eventually found. She still works for the same company on a part-time basis.
Your outcome greatly depends on your attitude.
It’s not what happens to you but what you do when it happens that determines your happiness. Look at the situation as a new chapter in your life.
Turn your hobbies into profits
Your favorite hobby could turn into a profitable business now that you have time at your disposal. You may be able to turn a previous hobby like event planning, sewing clothes, or baking, into a full-time business.
Remember those workshops or training you wanted to attend but could not find any time? You can now get to develop yourself since you have the time. Use the time you have to develop your knowledge, skills and even network. Join various groups and meet people; you may get to see or hear about an opportunity for a business deal or a job.
Have some ‘away time.’
At times, adjusting to a new life can be frustrating, and being in the same surroundings can make you even more frustrated. Having a change in your environment will help you get some time to reflect on the situation and learn lessons from it.
Go for a retreat or visit your relative who lives by the beach.
When you are away from the usual surroundings, you can plan your next move, accept the new normal and rejuvenate yourself. Alone time will give you renewed inspiration, and a new idea may be born.
Remember your identity
We tend to identify naturally with what we do, yet our identity truly lies in who we are. It will be hard to respond to the question; ‘What do you do?’ or ‘so! Where do you work?’
These questions are quite redundant, but most people begin their conversation that way if they don’t know you.
Previously, you answered without much thought, now, you have to sell your personality and build potential contacts. Remember who you are and your strengths.
Tell yourself you are smart, resourceful, experienced, kind, a great communicator, handsome or beautiful.
Do not let your situation make you lose confidence.
Get up and get going
Success is about getting up and not giving up. Make this set back your comeback. The loss of your job may hit you hard, but do not stay down for too long and allow depression to visit and stay in your head rent-free.
Look for opportunities and believe there is something better waiting for you. It may not be what you expect, but it’s out there waiting just for you.
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