Many people tend to want to lash out at their now-former employer, or whoever is delivering the retrenchment message, but this is a very bad idea. No one knows what the future holds, so burning bridges is never an option, no matter the circumstances.
Rather than telling your former boss everything you think he or she needs to know about his life, vent only to your close friends and family members. Choose people who will listen to and support you. You don’t want to go around telling the whole world via social media about your misfortune because unfortunately not everyone has your best interests at heart.
Know what you will tell people
Those not part of your inner circle will probably start asking questions about why you are not at work. You don’t have to give them the whole story. Prepare an impersonal version and keep the emotion out of it. Also remember that you don’t owe anyone an explanation.
Evaluate your financial situation
Now that you’re out of a job, you obviously can’t spend money the way you used to. You have to be very deliberate about saving as much money as you possibly can from your severance package and your UIF payout. This means you have to draw up a list of essentials and luxuries, and find ways to cut back on costs – you need to strictly account for every cent from now on.
Make use of LinkedIn
As a modern professional you should have an active LinkedIn account. If you don’t, then create one. If you do, then update your current position to something that indicates that you are looking for work and be specific about the type of work you’re looking for. For example: “Marketing graduate looking for . . .”.
Always make sure your LinkedIn account is complete and honest. There’s no need to be modest on LinkedIn; this online platform is there for you to sell yourself, your skills, your talents and your accomplishments.
Never lie about your qualifications. There are many ways for HR practitioners to check whether you have the degrees and/or diplomas you say you do and there is no quicker way to blacklist your name than to fraudulently claim qualifications you don’t have.
After being retrenched many people tend to focus all their job-seeking efforts on online job ads. But bear in mind that research has shown that less than 10% of people find work this way, so explore other avenues and don’t give up.
Be kind to yourself
After getting retrenched it’s very easy to see yourself as the biggest failure the world has ever produced. Many people suddenly forget all they have accomplished and the obstacles they have overcome in the past.
This feeling is natural, but don’t dwell on it. Make a list of your accomplishments and your skills to remind yourself that you are more than capable of overcoming this challenge. Make your list as long as long possible, making a note of great things you have achieved, even going as far back as primary school if necessary.
This list will give you greater clarity about what you are good at and what you want to achieve going forward.
Most importantly, remember that we learn from our experiences, both good and bad. Highlight the top three lessons you learnt at the job you have just been retrenched from and use those lessons to grow in your next position.