Guide for the Retrenched

I am speechless when I was informed that a friend has been let go from his job. I have personally witnessed a few rounds of layoffs. Losing a job is never fun. It throws a lot of uncertainty into the person’s life. It is not only stressful to the person but to everyone who is around the person. Emotions will run high. There will be tears. There will be fear. There will be anger.

There is no such thing as job security anymore. Any job function can be downsized and moved to somewhere else. Accept that the company that you work for does not guarantee lifetime employment.

If you are at the receiving end. Here is some quick guide to help you land on your feet.

Talk to your family. If you have not done so. Please talk to your family immediately. Do not sugarcoat the challenges ahead. Be honest with everyone in the house, including the children. To pull through, you need all the help that you can get.

Reach out to your network. However small is your network. Try reaching out to them. There is no shame in telling people that you have lost your job due to retrenchment or re-organization. To reach out to seek opportunities and advice on coping.

Watch your budget. Immediately cut out any unnecessary expenses. The gym membership, TV cable etc… Find places that are cheaper to shop for your groceries.

Start working. Treat your search for the next opportunity like a job. Wake up early and put in the necessary hours every day until it is done. Without a job, it is easy to lose your sense of self and waste the day away watching television and feeling sorry for yourself. Set a goal to sent out 10 resumes or contact your networks every day. You will not stop until is done.

Soul searching. You have been working all your life. Do you know what you want to do? Spent some time thinking about your life. Do you still want to go back to the old lifestyle or your old job? Is there a way that you can pivot into something that your heart desires? Take out a piece of paper and start writing it down.

Upgrade yourself. Use the downtime to improve yourself. Search out the industry or the job that you want, and study their requirements. Go to online courses such as Coursera or CreativeLive and take up those courses. Some of the courses are actually free.

Spent time with your family. No more night conference calls. No more Monday mornings where you wish is Sunday. Wake up with a smile and sent your kids to school. Try making a meal for the family. Visit your parents. You may have lost your job, but you may gain memories that are worth a lifetime.

Talk to your lawyer or Union. The process of letting go employees is a complicated legal matter. Talk to your lawyer or Union to make sure you are not being shortchanged.

Exercise. You have no more excuses not to exercise. Join a neighbourhood running group. Or, start running at the nearest park, make friends with the familiar faces. Challenge yourself with bodyweight exercise. There are many good bodyweight exercises on the Internet.

Meditate. Losing your job is stressful. Take time to meditate. Meditation brings many benefits. It brings calm to the mind. It allows you to concentrate better. More importantly, it helps the mind to accept life. Yes. Here are more benefits of meditation.

Do not blame your manager. It is very easy to blame your manager for losing your job. Your manager is doing what has been told to do. Maybe it could be your manager’s fault. But, you need to take ownership of your reality. The pressing matter is to land on your feet and not to find blame.

Volunteer. Give your time back to the society. Help out at the local religious group or volunteer to coach your school’s sports team. Through volunteering, you can expand your network and experience something beyond your own job.

Get creative. Crayons, colouring pencils, watercolour, clays, music instruments, papers and scissors. Those made up part of our childhood. Think back the days where you would lose yourself doing something creative. Maybe is time to reconnect back to those moments. When you start, you will struggle. If you put enough time and effort, you will get better.

Losing your job can feel like the end of the world. Yes. I would agree with you. As long as you are breathing and healthy. There is always a fighting chance to turn things around. Good luck.

Daily Goals for a Better Life

I want money. I need loads of it. I want to send my kids to good schools and bring the whole family to travel around the world. I have a full-time job and I have side-hustle to pay for my children’s school fees. I count and look at my budget nearly every day.

Yet, I am not happy. I am always afraid. I am afraid of losing my job. Losing my side-hustle. Losing my money. Losing my family. And I am really losing my mind.

I measure my life with a dollar sign.

Money solved many problems in life. It is also the root cause of many issues.

Certain achievements and goals in life are actually free. The only cost is the effort and willingness.

Here are my daily goals. Nothing sophisticated. Just some activities for me to get by a hard day.

Play. I grow up playing toy soldiers. I enjoy building Legos and play badminton with my children. There are trash talk and laughter. When I play, I laugh the hardest.

Listen. I am a lousy listener. When I in a conference call, I would be checking emails or day dreaming. It is a challenge for me to be a good listener. I try to listen with intent. I listen to my family’s day. I listen for words and the unsaid words. Sometimes, the unsaid words are more powerful than said words.

Meditate. I work long hours. There are many issues need my attention. Meditation helps me to stay focused and stay grounded. If I am not careful, I ended up fighting a battle that does not exist. Twenty minutes of guided meditation from Tara Brach. That’s all I need.

Exercise. Exercise get the blood flowing. It promotes new growth of brain cell. I learn better and remember more. For me, all I need is a good pair of running shoes and floor space for push-ups.

Sleep. I love sleeping. Due to my busy schedule, I get about five hours of sleep. I do my best to have quality sleep. Before lights out, I plan out my next day and write down things that I am grateful. During the weekend, I try to get an extra hour of sleep.

Goals can be simple. It does not need to be a long stretched target. I know I need to achieve at least three of my daily goals. Otherwise, I would be very miserable.

The post is edited from my write up in Quora.