Tuesday, February 09, 2010

When I Lost My Job!


Losing job can be counted as one of the most difficult situations in life. Earlier people had life-time jobs and retired peacefully. Of course, even then people lose their orientation after suddenly finding that they have nothing to do the next morning.

But losing the job when employer shows the door can be petrifying. And fortunately or unfortunately it is a reality, today. Indians have been slow but have woken-up to the rude truth. It is often blamed on capitalism. I would not say employers are wrong in asking employees to leave the job. The business dynamics demand organizations to be more responsible towards investors and are forced to sever the weakest link in order to run faster.

While on the other hand, employees are also not saints. Employee attrition in many industries is abnormally high. When unhappy, move. While handovers do happen, every attrition is a set back to the employer.

But as they say an organization is bigger than employee and since I am also an employee who has borne the brunt of employer harshness, let me deal with the problem of the member.

First of all, it is not that employees are thrown out all of a sudden. In most cases, there are signals. Every employee has to be alert to these waves.

1. Promotion denied
2. Increments lesser than your peers
3. Responsibilities being taken off
4. Change in superiors attitude
5. Even the changes in the business environment

I am sure there are more than those listed above that one should watch out for. While these are not signs necessarily that one will be given Pink Slips, but these are indicators that management is not happy with employee’s performance. But in most cases when such signals are not heeded to, then the calamity does strike.

The problem for an individual is more psychological than anything else. A person’s self esteem takes a big beating. There is a blinding sense of insecurity. One questions his or her own capability. The next immediate is the social pressure, the need to explain to stakeholders concerned. What will tell your family and friends? Then there are financial reasons. Most of us have commitment - expenditure, investments and debt. Sudden disruption in income can cause havoc.



So what can one do?

1. Avoid: Look for signals. But more than that perform, perform, perform. Become an asset. Two, take initiatives to become ‘indispensible’.
2. Accept the reality: Even CEOs are thrown out of jobs.
3. Think positive: In many cases, a break from a place where you are not appreciated is the best thing to happen to you. You get an opportunity to relook at your career. You can explore newer opportunities.
4. Manage your finances: Always save for the rainy days. You may have to sell the car or lose your house. You can get them again with the new job.
5. Fall back on your ‘circle’: Whether it is to get a new job or to seek financial help. You can always depend on your ‘circle’.

Losing a job is not the end of the world. It is only a step to new beginning. And you can make the new stint far better than your previous ones.
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