I recently said to my partner, “Oh I’ve picked up some work on a factory closure that starts next week”. He replied, “What a shame for the workers!” He’s absolutely right. He went straight to the heart of the situation – the emotions the staff members will experience when facing the prospect of finding a new job.
As a Career Coach, my role is to soften the blow for the people affected by organisational restructures by guiding workers to think about what’s next, get their resume updated, build their interview skills and their confidence throughout the redundancy process.
I find with the people I meet and work with the hardest part for them is managing the emotions of this change. Often the decision is taken out of their hands and not only do they feel disempowered they can’t help but take the news personally. An array of emotions such as disbelief, denial and anger are commonly felt and expressed, and I work with people to look at ways to manage their stress and build resilience at this tough time. In 2015 I wrote about taking care of yourself when facing change and the key tips I give are to:
- Set up regular meetings with a career coach to help keep on track with your career transition.
- Talk with trusted and supportive friends and family about your situation.
- Seek financial advice and prepare a budget to help with future planning.
- Take care of your health by exercising at least three times a week and eating cleanly (try to keep sugar, refined/process foods and alcohol to a minimum).
- Make job search your “job” by creating a daily routine of activity. Each decision you make or action you take is an achievement and a step in the right direction.
- Keep up your regular interests that you enjoy – these are part of your routine and can be a mindful and creative outlet for you.
- See your GP for a mental health check up and discuss options for counselling, if needed.
I’d also like to add a couple more tips that are recommended for managing stress and anxiety.
- Make it a daily practice to think about what you are grateful for – it may be family, your pets, home, sports team winning, feeling proud or happy for a friend. You supported someone in need (or they supported you!). Just the act of thinking about gratitude sends positive signals from your brain to your body.
- Making decisions, labelling your emotions and human touch are also beneficial ways to boost happiness levels and is explained in this article, New neuroscience reveals 4 rituals that will make you happy.
By adopting these tips and allowing yourself time to get through this period, you’ll soon find yourself feeling more positive and enjoying a healthy momentum towards your new career goals. I speak from my own experience in dealing with change, plus coaching others and hearing their stories. Everyone I’ve worked with has found a new role they enjoy and are suited to. I feel grateful for being part of their transformation and making their lives a little better.
If you, a friend or a loved one needs help, confidential crisis support is available via: