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How To Approach Being Downsized From Your Job
Recently, I was downsized by my company and advised that my position had been eliminated. My boss calmly called me on the phone and said that it was nothing that I did wrong, just part of the ongoing restructuring of our company. How did I feel about the situation and what am I doing to get back on my feet? Please read on and you will see how I am coping and may find some ideas to help you or someone you know who is going through the same.
Corporate downsizing, which is now firmly established in our culture, has been around for awhile and is not something new. It just is targeting a new and wider audience. It’s still all about cutting expenses, eliminating redundancy and making shareholders more profit.
Downsizing is one of the levers that you hear executive management talk about. Every company has a set of key levers that can be pulled, or not pulled, to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace and maybe guarantee future performance. It is interesting that the impact of job losses due to corporate downsizing gets little attention these days. Downsizing is probably effecting everyone in some way or another. It is not a pleasant experience and for Baby Boomers it can seem downright painful.
So what have I been doing now that I am no longer an executive with a large corporation? Well, I was a little fortunate to negotiate a severance package. Not enough to live on, but enough to survive on providing time to find a new position. I’m busy working with an outplacement firm that is helpful with things like my resume and job-hunting plan. I am also assessing what I want to do.
I do not relish the position that I have been placed in, but I am excited about what the future will bring. My concerns? Well, I do not want to see my savings, or 401K, depleted to pay living expenses. I have one daughter with a year of University left that I need to figure out how to pay for that. I have two little children that are in elementary school and I do not desire to subject them to moving. Sounds like the normal things we all would worry about if we lost our job. Right? Paying the bills and keeping the house.
For the most part, I’ve been upbeat and optimistic. When down, I take a walk. Usually around lunchtime. Can’t breath very well, certainly out of shape, but making progress. I return from my walk refreshed and mentally ready to tackle the afternoon. I have to admit that I am on that “job loss roller coaster” however, and hard as I try, I do get down occasionally.
Other things that have my attention and that are helping me cope with the job loss, may provide some value to those of you also subject to the “downsizing”.
First thing I did was taking a look at my expenses, did a new budget, and determined how far my severance and unemployment will take me. I know when it will run out. I’m trying to get the children to turn off the lights when not needed. I did drop the electric bill last month from $199 down to $169. It’s a start. Now I know why my father always told me to turn off the lights. I believe that looking at the expenses is a good way to reduce some of my stress.
The outplacement firm that I am working with is very helpful. I did not think that it would be beneficial, but it is. Provides focus and pumps you up to sell a great product. Yourself.
I believe that for me, to be successful in landing a new position necessitates spending a good amount of time networking. So I am reaching out to people that I know who can help me position myself with hiring managers. It’s a plan and it’s started. I’m not waiting till the money runs out. Desperation is not a factor that I desire to play a part in my job search.
Right now, my confidence is high and I plan to keep it here. If it takes awhile to find a new position, I plan to take on temporary work that will help secure benefits while continuing my search.
I am positive about my previous employer. My being downsized was not their fault. It’s just business and I realize that fact. I am assessing what I like to do and thinking about what I am good at.
I’m putting in about 20 to 30 hours per week on job-hunting, since over 70% of jobs landed come through networking. Their help is needed to find and get in front of hiring managers.
You may think that downsizing is a set back. I view it as opportunity and reflect on how many times I have proved myself valuable and good at my job in the past. Now is not the time to sell myself short.
I work at keeping my spirits high and feel pretty good about myself. I’ve gone through the normal feelings of shock, anger, denial and acceptance. I try and quickly work though any anxiety experienced. When depressed or feeling disconnected because my familiar routine is gone, I’ve instituted new ones.
I Accept and acknowledge what has happened to me. I left my position, my job, and the situation behind me. It is in my past and cannot be changed. I am not a victim. My view of downsizing is that it is a great opportunity to start over. A fresh start.
Every major job change that I have gone through in the past 30 years in my work career eventually lead to something better both personally and professionally. I hope that you found this insight helpful.
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