What would you do if today you got fired from the organization you work for?
In the 2009 movie: “Up in the Air”, Ryan Bingham (played by George Clooney) is hired by different organizations to meet with downsized employees face to face and tell them they had been fired. Of course none of the employees took it well. They often had questions like: “What do I tell my family?” “How can I afford to pay my bills, I have a wife and three kids?” “What do I do with my life now?”
We all never think or ever prepare for being fired from our jobs, you know. That’s understandable considering the fact that we all consider ourselves great employees, even those of us who suck at what we do but never admit it. Secondly, the longer we stay in an organization, the more secure we consider our jobs. “How can they fire me after five years of active service?” oh yes they can! Actually there are a number of reasons why you can be downsized and none of these are personal:
- The workflow of your organization changes, and your job becomes unnecessary
- Your organization is acquired by another firm in a merger, and the parent organization chooses to downsize
- Your company discovers a new machine or software that can do your job better and faster i.e. bank tellers replaced by ATMs
- A freakish accident leaves you paralyzed and incompetent
Some people wake up one morning employed and by noon they are unemployed. Anyone can get fired from new recruits to veterans. Therefore, it’s smart for employees to wake up and develop a plan or prepare for such an event. It’s not faithlessness, it’s just being smart
Suddenly finding yourself out of work attacks three main aspects of your life: your relationships, your finances and your self -worth.
Relationships: most people with very demanding jobs often pay so much attention to work that they neglect family and friends. The once important people are relegated into the background and family members now become strangers. It’s really an unconscious transition. You only realize when you’re fired, you retire or you resign how bad things have become.
To avoid this, go out of your way to connect with the important people in your life. Facebook and twitter don’t count. Call them, visit as often and as much as you can, when you can’t, genuinely apologize and make up for it as soon as possible.
Finances: many of us are financially illiterate and corporate world employees are often big spenders without control. The assumption that in another 28-30 days, our accounts would be credited is the common excuse. When you are out of work, the plunge in lifestyle can become embarrassing and depressing.
Saving is good but really not enough, set up an Investment plan, talk to financial gurus and get some advice as to investment vehicles where you have money working for you apart from the one you saved, and be disciplined to set aside a good percentage to this cause, you won’t regret it.
Self-Worth: Wake up! Your work is not you! Many employees laid off often cry that they cannot do anything else. “Accounting is all I’ve ever done. That’s all I know, what do I do with my life now?” moving from active workaholic to unproductive couch-potato even if for a little while can be both horrific and depressing at the same time.
This is why it is good to have a hobby apart from your job. Now for hobbies, cinemas, watching football or endless hours on the Internet, do not count! Not that they aren’t advisable but it’s best to do something productive like gardening, writing, photography, catering, volunteering to a worthy cause, etc. these hobbies can easily be converted to a career in the event of a lay-off or early retirement. The further the hobby is from your career, the better.
Being fired is not the worst thing in the world, it’s a setback. But if handled correctly, can turn out to be a blessing of some sort.