5 Things being retrenched makes you wonder about
1) Was my job really that pointless and fickle in the eyes of the company?
As one sits for the umpteenth day at home, or at a coffice (yes, that is a real word!) doing something that seems important at the time, this question is bound to pop up, possibly even a few times a day. When being retrenched, one is naturally geared to go through the cycle of accepting change; and somewhere between denial, anger, and acceptance, it sinks in that the company probably had no real idea of what each person was doing or what it meant i.t.o. of the bigger picture. It often just comes down to the technicalities of headcount and companies doing marathon swims in that murky pool labelled cutting costs.
As I have mentioned in a previous post, I feel that the whole HR-arena is a completely misrepresented area of business. The Company is not a human, or even a collection of humans. It can’t possibly know what each of us are doing or care about it in an emotional, human kind of way… why do we expect it? My job was not that pointless and fickle in the eyes of the company… because the company doesn’t have eyes 😉 Haha! OK, jokes aside; one must get to the thought-process that retrenchment is not a personal attack. It’s a technical exercise that most companies go through every few years, and us humans just get in the way.
2) Did I add any value in my role?
Now this one is a real whopper… AND certainly a question one shouldn’t leave in File 13 until retrenchment is a reality. We would probably find a lot more happiness in our careers if we thought about this properly at least once a month, and made changes accordingly. I’m not suddenly blooming into some supremely amazing career coach, but I just think that some proactive conversations relating to job satisfaction, expectations and realities could really make a positive difference in the long run (for you and your boss).
3) Did I enjoy what I was doing there?
How many of us stay in posts because we feel we have no other choice? Because we have been promised a promotion that simply seems to have evaporated? Because we feel trapped?
We all have bills to pay. But we’re only here a short while, and we shouldn’t have to sacrifice our happiness and personal fulfilment in order to keep the aircon working or to put tyres on the car. That same car that we only pay for in order to drive to the job that we so often despise. Take some time and think this through properly!
It’s worth your time having a look through this post from Forbes: 14 Signs It’s Time to Leave Your Job
There can also be a good balance struck if you have a full life with after-hours hobbies that you truly enjoy – where your passion can really come alive. For me, my exercise regime, my writing, and music power my engine and keep me going more than anything else in this world. I won’t necessarily be able to find that sort of fulfilment in a corporate job, and that’s OK with me!
4) Did the company make a huge mistake?
Probably. But refer to point number 1. The company will quite possibly add your role back in the next round of restructuring! By that time, most of The Retrenched will be happily working at other companies or pursuing personal interests. So, the company did make a mistake, but it is to its own detriment. BREATHE. RELAX. LIFE GOES ON. It may not be easy initially, but life really does go on.
5) Should I make a drastic career change while I have the chance?
Here I am a little biased, if only from a hypothetical perspective. I saw the writing on the wall at work and started doing some courses that aligned me more to my creative side… but alas, looking for work in the new line, the salaries promised and my expectations just don’t add up. Sometimes it’s just not practical to make a drastic career change. The creative arena seems to be full of posts where you’re expected to work ALL THE TIME, for about 1/3 of the money that you would expect. Sorry guys, I won’t be signing up to work at an advertising or marketing agency any time soon. I like to live a balanced life, and I will rather wait to apply for a post at a company that can appreciate and value that more than squeezing every living moment’s work out of me for a pittance.
However, if your finances are in order and you’re willing to take a step back regarding salary, you may just take flight and soar into success in a new direction.
It’s JUST your life. It’s probably worth it. 🙂