Nothing Like Getting Laid Off

Getting laid off, fired or let go in any capacity sucks.  It peaks emotions and some folks lose control.  Our mental model for life begins breaking down.  Our house of cards tumbles down and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with thoughts of, “What am I going to do?” or “I didn’t see this coming.”  We enter into our individual emotional tunnel of loss.

There are always multiple perspectives to the unfolding story in our lives.  The organization had to make a tough choice due to whatever constraint causing the RIF (Reduction In Force).  When companies care about their people, losing some folks can feel like cutting off family members.  The managers who invested years in building a team feel like they have to start over depending on how deep the cuts are.  The human resource people don’t like dealing with it either.  It’s not easy bearing witness to the drama peaking before their eyes. The people walking out those who were let go have to carry not only the weight of some of the belongings but help escort the emotional baggage out of the building.  Then there are the explanations given by those in charge which necessarily can not convey the whole truth as some information is simply confidential.

Being let go is difficult to say the least.  Imagine working on the weekend until late at night to get a job done as expected for your job.  You come in late but feel like you did something good for the company only to find out it is was you last day.  This situation happens in various guises around the world in different industries.  Change and periodic letting go is natural whether that be a beaver in the woods building dams, a bird with a nest in a tree, someone building a life with family and kids, or a company building new business.  When it happens to us we take it personally but it’s part of the life unfolding around us.  This type of change is also an opportunity those affected to build anew, grow and evolve.

From the biz of you perspective, it’s important to remember change will happen and it’s up to us to meet it when it does.  To not see it coming is to not be aware of the changes in the systems we integrate with.  To feel let down after sacrificing so much of our time and energy for the company is to not realize it’s just a job which can end at any time.  We are all replaceable when it comes to organizations moving on even if we are replaced by some new process, person or team.  We are not managing our biz if our family, health and close relationships are negatively impacted.  Sometimes we have to get things done, make those sprints, or even save lives depending on our profession but doing this for the long term has potential impact. Only we as individuals can manage our particular situation.  If we are okay with the impact of committing all of our time to work then go for it.  Work those extra hours, lose friends, health and whatever else as long as you gain value in life for the commitment.  If we are not tolerant of the risk of losing friends, family and health then it is our responsibility and ours alone to do something about it and make different choices. We may not get the awards or recognition for working 80 hours a week or putting in that extra mile, but we will be grounded in the fact we have managed our personal biz as we decided to whether we write out a contract with ourselves or not.  We simply need to make a decision appropriate to our life and follow it through.  The rest follows and unfolds naturally.  And, when change comes, we meet it head on and see opportunity instead of loss.

Decide and Follow
It’s up to you to manager you time spent at work. No one else.

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