Retrenchment and the uncertainty it creates can cause emotional, financial and mental hardship. Dealing with retrenchment is challenging. We share 5 practical ways to handle the challenge.
For many of us, losing a job can be shocking and upsetting. We feel the loss of our daily routine and structure, of our community and social network, and even our professional identity. All of these losses contribute to an overall sense of insecurity and uncertainty.
When dealing with loss, it bears remembering that everyone experiences emotions differently. Most people tend to go through the five to seven stages of handling grief surrounding the loss of a job and part of one’s identity.
If you have been retrenched, here are some practical ways of handling the situation.
Manage your emotional and mental health
Despite being retrenched, remember to prioritise and take care of your emotional and mental health.
On a practical front, this means setting up or keeping to a routine, getting exercise, taking meals and having adequate sleep. This is important for you to create space to process the new situation you are finding yourself in.
Observe how you are thinking and feeling about the job loss, and identify if it is a fight, flight or freeze response. Reflection on the response can provide insights into the stress trigger, whether it stems from family culture, or a need for security or identity. Understanding the trigger can help provide more clarity.
e2i runs many workshops focused on helping jobseekers understand the transition, resolve frustrations, identify opportunities, network and create an action plan through goal setting. The workshops seek to equip participants with perspective and steps to take to secure a job. These workshops include the Career Resilience Executive Workshop (CREW) and Employability Camp.
A previous article shares about what a CREW session entails, and how the trainer can help as well as a review by a fellow jobseeker.
By attending a CREW session, you are gathering information and new insights about the industry and creating actionable steps to get yourself back on track and searching for your next role.
Take the time to do a review of your personal finances
Reviewing our personal finances tends to get procrastinated upon. While being retrenched might seem like the worst reason to review finances, this step provides you with (yet more) clarity.
It can help you understand where you have gaps in terms of critical areas such as insurance and retirement. A positive review for areas such as savings and investments might provide you with a timeline on how soon you have to secure a new role, or even provide you with the confidence to turn a passion project into a new business.
Activate and seek help from your network
There is a difference between perspective and perception. If your mindset is focused on your retrenchment, instead of seeing that you have been provided with opportunity, you react accordingly.
With more time on hand, it allows you to plan something new for yourself. While validating your choices, why not refresh relationships, while also letting your network know about the type of roles you are looking for?
Indulge yourself and pick up new skills
Apart from mandatory training and workshops with your previous employer, when was the last time you treated yourself to learning something new and interesting?
During this transition period, it is the best time to pause and reflect on whether you have interests that can add value to future employers. If there are, consider checking if there is a course available through SkillsFuture. Make a commitment to use the time wisely, learn new things and improve the range of value you can provide.
Consider taking on temporary or contract roles to bring in some income that will continue to sustain your lifestyle and other considerations. When picking a short-term role, look for opportunities that can help you learn new skills or refresh and practice current ones.
Learning or improving on skills can be the shot of confidence you need to get over the loss of purposeful activity in your life at the moment.
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Find out how e2i provides retrenchment support to individuals.
If you are unsure on your next career steps, make an appointment to meet an e2i career coach now.