How to deal with Retrenchment

In today’s tough economy, retrenchment is no longer something that just happens to other people in other companies, the reality is that it may happen to most of us and in fact the statistics show it should happen to most employees approximately three times within their careers.

There are so many mixed emotions during the retrenchment consultation process ranging from; humiliation, fear and anger. For some people there may be positive emotions such as knowing that they will be receiving a severance package, be released from a restraint of trade or excitement on the pending change in their career.

With the recently amended labour law, the redundancy consultation process timelines have been extended, so employees will be made aware of the process, but the finalisation will not be a quick process. During this time, even though you may feel your days are numbered you need to refrain from being negative, demotivated and unproductive. Very often your emotions are taken out on your Manager who you might blame for the process, but take a step back and think about the emotions that they may be going through as most of these decisions are made from higher in the hierarchy and the poor manager has to implement wearing a brave face and the company hat.

Rather than complaining, venting and making your bosses and colleagues feel like they owe you something, be one step ahead. Make your last days count and don’t burn your bridges, your colleagues could be end up being your future boss and you still need to rely on your current company for a reference.

Never the less, the emotions you are experiencing during and after the retrenchment process are quite normal. Take time out to gather your thoughts and plan ahead, sometimes change, even if it is forced, is good. You need to be proactive to achieve your future career aspirations. Hitting rock bottom and not being in the mood to go for interviews or thinking that you will wait until you finish off with your current company is the wrong attitude. The job market is tough, so get stuck in immediately rather than finding yourself unemployed for months.

From the very day that you are informed that you are going to be retrenched, develop a priority list, in order to make your unemployed life as easy as possible.

Cut back on luxuries, make payment arrangements in advance so you do not receive an unfavourable credit record, as this in turn will prohibit you from securing a good job.

Make contact with at least three recruitment agencies in your area and register yourself on the top career portals. Another way of easing your mind regarding your financial situation is to apply for UIF, it may not be your full pay cheque, but it will most definitely ease the demand that is placed on your financial situation.

Make sure that you are readily available for interviews, get enough sleep, exercise and relax, to ensure that you are prepared to land your dream job. You never know what opportunity may present itself next, so go out there and make it happen.

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