How to tackle downsizing your job
I was recently downsized by my company and was informed that my position had been eliminated. My boss calmly called me on the phone and told me that it was nothing I had done wrong, just part of the ongoing restructuring of our company. How did I feel about the situation and what am I doing to recover? Read on and you’ll see how I manage and you may find some ideas to help you or someone you know who is going through the same thing.
Corporate downsizing, which is now firmly established in our culture, has been around for a while and is not something new. It simply addresses a new and larger audience. It’s still about cutting costs, eliminating redundancy, and making shareholders more profitable.
Downsizing is one of the levers you hear executive management talking about. Every business has a set of key levers that can or cannot be pulled to gain competitive advantage in the marketplace and perhaps ensure future performance. Interestingly, the impact of job losses due to downsizing receives little attention these days. The downsizing is probably affecting everyone in one way or another. It’s not a pleasant experience and for Baby Boomers it can seem downright painful.
So what have I been doing now that I am no longer an executive of a large corporation? Well, I had a bit of luck negotiating a severance package. Not long enough to live on, but enough to survive by providing time to find a new position. I am busy working with a relocation company that is helpful with things like my resume and job search plan. I am also evaluating what I want to do.
I don’t like the position I’ve been placed in, but I’m excited about what the future will bring. My worries? Well, I don’t want to see my savings, or 401K, depleted to pay for living expenses. I have a daughter who has one year of college left and I need to figure out how to pay for it. I have two young children who are in elementary school and I don’t want to subject them to a move. Sounds like the normal things we’d all worry about if we lost our jobs. Right? Pay the bills and keep the house.
For the most part, I have been upbeat and optimistic. When I’m down, I take a walk. Usually around lunch time. I can’t breathe very well, certainly out of shape, but making progress. I return from my hike refreshed and mentally ready to face the afternoon. However, I have to admit that I am on that “job loss roller coaster,” and as hard as I try, I occasionally get depressed.
Other things that stand out to me and that are helping me cope with job loss, may provide some value to those of you who are also subject to “downsizing.”
The first thing I did was take a look at my expenses, make a new budget, and figure out how far my severance and unemployment will take me. I know when it will end. I’m trying to get the kids to turn off the lights when they don’t need them. I lowered my electric bill last month from $199 to $169. It’s a start. Now I know why my father always told me to turn off the lights. I think looking at expenses is a good way to reduce some of my stress.
The relocation company I am working with is very helpful. I didn’t think it would be beneficial, but it is. It provides focus and encourages you to sell a great product. Yourself.
I think for me, to be successful in landing a new position, you need to spend a good amount of time networking. So I’m reaching out to people I know who can help position me with hiring managers. It is a plan and it has begun. I’m not going to wait for the money to run out. Desperation is not a factor I want to play out in my job search.
Right now, my confidence is high and I plan to keep it here. If it takes me a while to find a new position, I plan to take a temporary job that will help me earn benefits while I continue my search.
I am positive about my previous employer. My downsizing wasn’t his fault. It’s just business and I realize that fact. I’m evaluating what I like to do and thinking about what I’m good at.
I am devoting about 20-30 hours per week to job hunting as over 70% of jobs obtained come from networking. Your help is needed to find and get in front of hiring managers.
You may think downsizing is a setback. I see it as an opportunity and reflect on how many times I have proven myself worthy and good at my job in the past. Now is not the time to sell me shorts.
I work to keep my spirits up and feel pretty good about myself. I have gone through the normal feelings of shock, anger, denial, and acceptance. I try and work quickly despite any anxiety experienced. When I get depressed or feel disconnected because my familiar routine is gone, I have instituted new ones.
I accept and acknowledge what has happened to me. I left my position, my job and the situation behind me. It is in my past and cannot be changed. I am not a victim. My take on downsizing is that it’s a great opportunity to start fresh. A new beginning.
Every major job change I’ve made over the past 30 years in my career eventually leads to something better both personally and professionally. I hope you have found this information useful.