You’ve lost your job, what now?
Headlines in the past few weeks have screamed about more job losses in South Africa. But beyond the headlines, for the people who have lost their jobs, it is an incredibly difficult space to find yourself in.
Typical responses start with anger – why me? You feel sorry for yourself, helpless, anxious, panicked, and depressed. You just don’t know the next step. There is a sense of loss with many questions about what comes next. You may feel stuck and drained and it feels as if you are in a dream. You just hope to God that it will just take care of itself.
But if you are at the center of this particular storm, you need to ground yourself for long enough to examine whether there is anything you can do about your situation. At the exact point where everything feels out of control, have you identified what is in your control?
It is critical to acknowledge and be aware of your feelings at this juncture. Why? Because it plays a major you decide to move forward. When you are in the anxiety-panic mode it can be a bit difficult to think clearly and see possibilities to explore.
Here are some of the key questions you need to ask:
do I want to look for another job in the same field I was in before retrenchment?
- Do I want to continue to explore other careers that I have always wanted to?
- Do I want to explore other opportunities or possibilities?
- Do I know what other skills I have if I’m unable to get employment?
- Do I know which companies I would like to work for?
At a certain point in my career, after being at home for a year, I had to start looking for employment and made a list of companies that I would have loved to work for. I listed the areas that I wanted to explore. I had been in marketing for more than 10 years and I had been thinking about changing and exploring other business areas. So I updated my profile on LinkedIn, looked at my network on LinkedIn and contacted the connections that worked for the companies that I had identified.
When I contacted my network I was very specific about what I was looking for, which made it easier for them to check within their organizations if there were opportunities within those areas. Fortunately, my strategy worked and one of the companies I had identified ended up being my employer. My new role was in a new space that was an area I was keen to explore.
I believe that sometimes retrenchment can push you to explore other opportunities and possibilities you have always wanted to. But perhaps you might not have had the courage to do that while you were employed.
Of course, I recognize how difficult a time it is and you must be pragmatic about your finances. Speak to experts who can help you make good decisions during a bad time. Busi Selesho, an internationally
accredited money coach and author, runs an online course, “How to utilize your unused skills to make money”
If you have received a retrenchment package, get some advice on how to invest it wisely. Phume Ndumo is a straight-talking, no jargon financial advisor and author who will take your needs into account. Email
her on firstname.lastname@example.org