It is unfortunate that many people have lost her jobs in the last two years and there are still more organisations announcing job cuts.
This can be a very destabilising event and many people we have trained have told us that they did not know what to do.
If this is happening to you or somebody you know, here are a few things that may help you deal with this change.
Yes. It is change and you need to adjust to the change. It does not happen overnight. Feel what you need to feel so that those feeling do not control you later.
Just give yourself some breathing space to differentiate between the organisation and who you are. For example, the company retrenching does not mean you are a failure.
This is actually an opportunity to take stock and figure out what you want to do. When many people who have been retrenched allow themselves to get to this point, they actually admit that they were, in fact ,bored, didn’t like the job very much or had actually started thinking of what else they can do.
DO NOT SPEND MONEY TRYING TO MAKE YOURSELF FEEL BETTER
Spending actually spikes when people are retrenched. I know somebody who went out and bought a new phone only to regret it one week later. Resist it.
To help with this, move any money that you are not using immediately for your very basic expenses in the next one month out of your current account or anywhere where you have immediate access to the money. You can consider fixed deposits, treasury bills or money market funds.
DO NOT DO INVESTMENT NOW
You are very emotional and still looking for a good feeling. You want to feel like you are back in control so the temptation to invest is very high especially if you have been given a financial package.
Keep your money in safe places like those mentioned above. Many people have gone and invested in businesses that they did not understand or investments that were sold promising guaranteed and overnight returns only to lose it all.
You also do not know how much time it will be before you start generating money so be patient. Later, when the emotions and ego are under control, you can make more objective decisions.
CREATE A BUDGET
You need it more than ever. You can actually live on a lot less than you think. Right now, stick to the basics. Going out is not a necessity at this point. You don’t have to prove to people that you are doing OK. Do away with your subscriptions e.g. TV.
Not all the food you buy is a necessity. Nobody will die because they ate less sausages or ice cream. Stick to the needs and let go of the wants for now.
Also be efficient with your expenses. Look at buying things in bulk to make it cheaper. Be conscious on the use of electricity, etc. Just tighten the belt as much as possible. Try to make whatever money you have stretch. Talk to your family and communicate what is going on and the changes that need to be made.
Your next season doesn’t look like the last one.
Just because you are an accountant doesn’t necessarily mean your next opportunity is an accounting job. Look at your experience. What skills (not necessarily qualifications) have you acquired? You may be qualified as an accountant but you are good at working with people and ensuring projects get done. You could work in many industries with that. You could start a business and use those skills. Open your mind and stop identifying yourself as that previous career only. The new opportunity may not look financially like the last one. It could be more money for you (better case scenario) but as a lot of people have found, less money initially but with higher growth potential. Since you have now learned to live with less, don’t be enslaved to your previous pay check.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST…
Have a conversation with somebody who understands what you are going through. You are not the only one, not the first and not the last to experience this. Learn from them. How they coped but also how they bounced back. Be prepared for that fact that your colleagues or even friends may not be your immediate support for this season. Find the right people.