The “R” word pretty scary at first but that doesn’t last long. In my case less than 24hours of 😱🤬💩😭🤷. Here is what I did to reframe the news.
TLDR; get the facts, do the maths, phone lots of “wise” people 🧙♂️, go for a loooong walk , make some notes, sleep on it, make a plan and GET ON WITH IT! 👊
Before I start I don’t want to make this topic seem trivial. I am poking some fun at my own situation and reactions. I also recognise that it does you no good to dwell and fester on the news. The faster you can get into planning and acting on that plan the better for you, your wellbeing, the wellbeing of those around you and the faster you’ll be back in the race (if that’s what you want) or enjoying a chance to stop, reflect and relax for while (if you have that luxury).
Step one – frantic panic 😨
This is normal, it’s a reaction to an unknown situation, it feels uncomfortable and you want it to stop. You feel out of control, angry, “why me” and all that nasty stuff.
So recognise it, allow it to happen and move beyond it ASAP. Then you start to regain control of what you can. When you do that you will calm down and start thinking straight.
List of things you always control:
- Breathing (take 3 deep breaths)
- Body language (try standing taller and looking up)
- Words (stay professional so either shut up or think about it)
- Actions (get your pen and paper ready or ask to take a break)
- especially if you’re feeling a bit fighty 👊
In the panic phase, my brain was basically a merry go round of…
money, humiliation, money, that holiday, fear, the mortgage, [feel sick] the car, the lifestyle, what will I say to people, what will they think, epic FAIL, ARRrrgh!
So I controlled the controllable’s, floundered for my pen with tense sweaty hands and shakily started making notes whilst maintaining the worst poker face ever seen 😂.
Step two – facts and maths 🧮
List of things you need to know:
- Why has this happened
- Who else is impacted
- What date will I leave
- What are my options can I apply for another internal role
- What is my package and how was it calculated
- What will I be doing until I leave
- When will my last pay-check go in
- What happens to my employment benefits
- company car, medical cover, insurance, bonus, shares etc.
- How long before I could come back if I wanted to
There are probably a few other key things that do not come to mind right now. If you share them in comments I will add them in ✅.
The “why” is important so you understand the context this helps acceptance later on or frames your challenge if you want to get legal on their 🍑
Date of leave, package, benefits and last pay date will all help you to calculate vs your personal expenses how long your severance (assuming you get one) will last 💸.
It’s always good to enquire about what is expected of you between now and your leave date. In some cases, you may get gardening leave or reduced duties to free up time for you to find a new role. Make sure this is clear so you know where you stand.
Options, returning to that business and applying for other jobs simply give you the full picture of what options you have if you wish to stay with this business. Sometimes you may be offered reduced hours, another role (maybe more junior) and if you leave you may not be able to return to that business for another year 📆.
Step 3 – Take a walk / get on the phone 📱
For me, it was a four-hour walk. After hour one I was able to start moving beyond the news. I took a note pad with me and thought of questions I wanted to ask 🗒️. Then I started thinking about what I could do next 🤔. All ideas are welcome do not dismiss anything.
My varied and wild ideas 💭:
- Simply apply for another role in the business
- Approach a recruiter
- Join the military
- Take some time off
- Sign up to go sailing again
- Set up my own business
- Get my racing license
- Do some volunteering
- Stay on this walk forever 🚶(like Forest Gump)
A quick note about the phone. Who are you ringing and why? What do you hope to achieve? You need to talk about this that’s for sure but just think about the topic, it may be best face to face if possible because if they will probably go through the same panic cycle you did! 👻
I basically ended up making a lot of people either worried or super awkward lol.
They don’t know what to say aside from “are you OK” and “it’ll work it’s self out for the best” which is nice and similar to what I would say if your cat had died but it doesn’t help very much 🙀.
In the end, the best people I phoned were mates and relatives who had actually been through the same thing. I ended up getting loads of great advice and ideas on how they approached the situation and even better what happened to them. Now I can copy or avoid what they did. Here’s what I learned 📚:
- Do allow one big drunken episode but then call it quits 🥴.
- Do continue to get up at a decent hour each day, shower and get dressed properly.
- Don’t become obsessed with money 💰.
- You can ask for payment breaks, cancel subscriptions and make small changes to create a leaner lifestyle but don’t live on pot noodle and beans 🍜.
- Do explore what your dream job is and what you might have to do to get it 💭.
- Read job adverts, phone people who have the job now and ask them how they got where they are. Become a journalist.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for favours, introductions and help. Work your network you will find people are nice, sympathetic and want to help.
After all of that, I was pretty tired, slept surprisingly well and woke up with a head of ideas which led to me creating this site and writing this 🤯.
Control what you can, collect the facts and start making a plan.
That’s pretty much all I know after 24 hours.
Good luck 🍀