Many people think it’s the end of the world when they are terminated, so this is the story they tell themselves and others. Would you want to hire someone who acted like they’ve been rejected or thrown away?
I encourage people to tell a new story. Look at the situation from a different angle, as an opportunity to secure a new position where you will be happier.
In today’s global economy where all indications are that hiring is good, your attention should be drawn to eliminating the negative thoughts of “why me?” and focusing on advancing your career.
Your first step should be to give yourself the confidence and security of knowing your needs will be met during the sometimes long and arduous job search process. Ensure that all your ducks are in a row and you have your severance package reviewed by an employment lawyer.
Now, start rewriting your employment story. Many people are unaware of the power of their personal brand, and the value they can bring to an employer. Being terminated doesn’t take anything away from that. It doesn’t affect your brand. Invariably, it was a business decision that came from the highest levels of the company, meant to save money or possibly change direction.
March forward with strength, confidence and honesty. It’s not a negative to be in career transition as a result of downsizing. In fact, some of my executive coaching clients have been downsized more than six times, and have swiftly bounced back, got their act together, and moved on to capture a new opportunity. Many have in fact used it as a reason to be promoted to a position with higher compensation.
Yes, being downsized can be disheartening, heartbreaking and can cast a lot of negativity, but it’s a fact of life. If you find yourself stuck in a negative story, that’s a time to seek out a champion, either a friend, peer group or coach to guide you through this period. The longer you wallow in negative thoughts, the more it will inhabit your advance forward.
Downsizing can be a positive story if you tell it right. Take this chance to review your career and look for new ways to match your strengths to your job. If you have a good severance package, maybe take a break to spend some time with your family and friends. Then you can get back to the work of planning and executing a strategic job search.
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