Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Burning the Career at Both Ends

You really get to understand what certain people are made of during times of crisis. Maybe that's where the idea of "fight vs. flight" originated. When times are tough, people will usually either "fight," with determination to push themselves and do whatever it will take to persevere, or they will opt for "flight" and obsolve themselves of any responsibility and resign themselves to a fate, they believe, is unchangeable.

Lately, every day starts with the same news. More layoffs.....oops..i mean "corporate restructuring." Companies are implementing strategies of stop-loss, the work force has been decimated by job loss and financial loss, and all this has likely resulted in confidence loss.

People commonly (mistakenly) identify themselves through their career. Take away the career, and these same people are left to put the remaining square pegs into downsized holes.
When i was informed of my job loss in 2001 due to corporate restructuring and the closing of our office, I immediately left work and started developing a plan. When I say I "immediately" left work, I mean literally. The company announced the office was closing in 60 days and I left before he could finish his announcement and went home to work on my "workforce re-entry plan" (sounds militaristic, doesn't it?). Updating resumes, hitting the pavement, working with job recruiters, etc. Doing whatever it took, I dedicated all available time to marketing my skills. The payoff, was when i landed a new job, 45 days later.

Sadly, there are those affected by layoffs that may experience symptoms of depression, anger, resentment, and lack of motivation that become an obstacle for them re-entering the work force. What was a month, quickly turns into a year without a well designed plan. When I went through the layoff process in 2001, I networked with all resources available. Family, friends, colleagues, etc. It was "all hands on deck" and sitting at home comfortably collecting unemployment was not an option I was comfortable with.

For those people who are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst, congratulations, at least you are preparing. For those people hoping for the best and assuming the best...well...you know what they say about people who "ass-u-me", right?

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