If the title grabbed your attention, there can be two reasons- either you are or have been at the reeving end of this or you are at the end form where this will start! Irrespective of which side of the table you are, this is going to impact you and this article is about trying to see how meaningful this sordid affair can be turned into- how can we possibly create diamonds from the unwarranted pressure that loss of livelihoods brings with it! Rest assured this is no – sermon for the making everyone feel good- but more about how to introspect and make sense of the developing nonsense around you! So here we go!
Well, to begin with, let us get some clarity, the pandemic- the virus per say- is not the only reason- why you would have been discussing your job loss! Depending on your sector, which nation you belong to and the kind of business that you are working for, you would have been getting signals of something not being right for at least 4-6 months prior to Feb/ March 2020. The world economy was slowing down and it was well on its way to hit rock bottom- the only thing that happened differently – unlike earlier recessions this one got camouflaged and over-ridden by the global health emergency and headlines changed to number of infections and deaths from disease – replacing the usual financial headlines that come with an economic melt down! Now your job loss could have happened for multiple reasons- or actually in few cases- for no real reasons at all!– I mean large companies do have a qualified and experienced senior management and business risk advisors who are supposed to save the day for these companies for exactly the kind of scenarios that we are facing! So what were these enlightened ones’ doing as they were scouting for the proverbial “Iceberg event?” More surprising is the fact that their- risk mitigation strategy often starts with the reactive stance of suggesting job cuts- rather than having an ongoing preemptive and proactive stance of avoidance! – About this, I will write, some other time! Now that you kind of know, that you are not entirely to blame to what you are facing- let’s get started with the “dealing” stuff!
If you happen to be one of those unluckily-lucky fellows, who are under 30, the blue eyed resources for the corporations, armed with those enviable management and engineering certifications and as the norm is now- a-days goes- digitally certified- by everyone and anyone that can offer a certificate- well this is a the pivotal moment of your life and trust me you should embrace this as much as you can! No matter what sector you have been working- you took up the challenge- performed- if not excelled- at times surprises yourself and other s around- at times hit rock bottom- gone through the whole baptism of corporate world and just as you thought you were acing the game- well the playground is suddenly closed for you! So now you are angry, confused and in utter shock and disbelief- “Why me”, “What did I do to deserve this?”, “Why not the other person, why was I chosen over that one?”- As long as you remain stuck in these self-serving- defensive and consolatory state of mind- trust me- you will only find it more and more difficult to come to terms and focus on what you must essentially do- Stand up- Dust yourself- and Walk/Jog/Run/Sprint ahead yet again! This easier said than done – can be achieved by clinically dissecting what you have gone through and this is how you do it!
It has to start by understanding well- really well- like an external consultant would do to understand the business dynamics- what has really played out- there could be multiple scenarios based on the nature of business- supplier side issues- vendor payments- accrued debts, working capital issues- managing partner differences, ownership slug fest, failing quality of leadership, as long as these manifestations arise form the work arena- chances are there would have been signals- clear or subtle signals of the fact that- all is not well- and there will be a bump on the way- now the ability to predict the dimension of that bump- whether it will allow the organisation to pass over or will it wreck the momentum of the organisation and rip it apart- is something which comes only with experience- hence for the youngsters- this can be excused- but the plain fact remains that- part of the job loss problem- is because , as individuals we are connected to the task that we perform but often fail to scan the broader pictures around us that are constantly shifting and developing– Its like you are a pilot who is flying the plane- with all attention locked into the instrument panel- and missing the whole picture through the windscreen ahead! When people tend to pick these signals up- they leave and try to avoid getting caught up in the unnecessary corporate warfare which happens through methods! This, is essentially the first learning for your life- before you sign up for that next journey onboard another corporate vehicle- scan the environments around the ship that you wish to embark! Check for operational stability, check for essential fundamentals and check how the vehicle is driven- who has the controls and what does that mean for you as an Individual! You may have a great company with a bad team or a bad company with a great team; and the results through these two scenarios can be strikingly different and the outcome, needless to say would be miles apart! Anyone of these scenarios can make you a great hero or break you completely depending on what is your natural inclination to deal with- as in what you are great at- fixing people or fixing processes!
Once you have understood that there are contributing developments that lead to situations like a job loss- the next thing that you need to understand and figure out is, what is that you could have possibly done to effect a change- a different possibility?- did you do that?-was it possibly to impact a change through the position that you were at? If you have cleared this basic step of understanding that you did in fact give all you could have to the work at hand at the position that you were- than well I guess it is a classic case of having boarded a ship which had embarked on a journey to find icebergs and crash into one! So once you signed up- it really didn’t matter what you did or not, as with time- it was eventually going to break apart and sink- here what matters is or what could have mattered is- how close you have been to the lifeboats on the ship and how well you have understood the emergency evacuation drill! So, yes, it all boils down to having a plan for yourself- the fabled Plan B, which helps you navigate uncertainties of life- everything and anything- form the traffic jam in the morning to being able to find your livelihood back!
Finally the most important aspect,“Learning” what did the event/incident teach you, what did you learn- this is perhaps the most powerful tool and mindset to carry with us all through our lives- A learners mindset helps to develop patterns and decipher our environments more rapidly so that we are better prepared when shot hits us next time- because it will , that’s for sure- as long as humanity operates form cornerstones of greed and dominance!This learner’s mindset will help you clear the cobwebs in your mind- which try to climb and cloud your thinking with tons of self-pity and self-victimization for no real reason- unless you were the person who was in-charge and you screwed up the whole damn business! Even in that kind of extreme scenario caused by intelligence malfunction- a learners approach will do well, to ensure you stand back quick and don’t repeat the same mistake again so that you can recover and race ahead!
A job loss is a great thing to happen- because it presents to you unknown colors and hues of individuals, collective groups- called companies and the whole societal equation that goes around with it! You will see behavioral changes and attitudinal shifts among colleagues, mentors, peer groups, so-called- friends, you will know the power equations secret (the real power is always in the chair- not the person- when it is in the person- chairs don’t matter!– That’s the stuff that Corporate and Political Godfather’s are made of!). You will see how narratives about you change fast, before you and behind you! You will get support from unknown quarters and people whom you would have hardly counted upon, that odd client- whom you always discounted as petty, may come to your rescue with some great recommendations! You will see a lot of things happen around fast- it’s kind of graduating all over again in a short period of time! You understand the power of the contract that you signed up which allows/disallows you to do”xyz” for “abc” months post your severance!
Most importantly you will learn, “To value your Life” in a renewed context, perhaps more time for yourself, more time perhaps for your family an real friends! You will perhaps appreciate, there is no point running a race with no finish line! There is more to see, and experience by pausing and walking and just being around the wold that we have, because once you have exhausted a considerable time through corporate slavery– that time is gone and so are those many infinite opportunities to experience life which could have possibly created a completely different and better version of yourself! Perhaps this job loss, allows that ingenuity within you to arise,a waken and create an entrepreneur that the world has been waiting for! There can be multiple an many scenarios, what remains certain is – The job loss is not really a loss- if you see it from the space of having a learners mindset and if you convert this loss to your gain by connecting with people, things and places that really matter; Elements which will be by your side no mater what!
I leave you here, to reflect, introspect and see how even in a seemingly awkward situation (which largely is always painted with despair and grief), can one also find the seeds of the future, and by knowing the right ones’ to nurture,you can create the pathway to a future which provides better awareness and calibration through the experience digested through a learners mindset!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another interesting article! N, yes, If you are really hit hard and finding it difficult to gather your bearings back, drop me a mail, will be glad to help you- without damaging our mutual sanity and without serving unwarranted optimism and hope!
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