All about Me…

Sense of relief that accompanied terminations in ongoing recession

Posted by vishalsinghal on February 10, 2009

Quiet a few recently laid off executives expressed the sense of relief that accompanied their terminations. But that’s just one of the feelings that often includes anger, disbelief and grief. Self-care is particularly important during this time, with many experts saying that a short, temporary “quiet period” helps replenish positive energy and calibrate focus.

These executives identified two specific sources of their relief: no longer stressing over job insecurity, and a new opportunity to find their passion and reinvent themselves.

Many executives have been in careers of default, starting as a young employee in a company and then moving up as skill sets and experience develops. Not many children dream about growing up to be the senior vice president of a large corporation so some executives find their layoff to be liberating.

A layoff can act as an intervention, prying us off an unfulfilling path and allowing time for self-exploration, and sometimes, a new direction. But all employment transitions are not equal; many have to recover from the pain quickly and find the next job.

You Lost Your Job: What’s Next?, experts from ExecuNet (an HR consulting company) outline the steps to get started:

Accept the loss and then move forward. “You can’t allow yourself to mire. That is deadly,” says Andy Borkin, president of Bridgewater, NJ-based Strategic Advancement Inc. “You’re just using up precious severance or unemployment pay. This is a full-time effort, to first get stability psychologically. If there is anger, you need to work through it because it can affect your search.”

Make a plan. Michael Jeans, president of Boston-based New Directions Inc., says he suggests that his clients take a step back and look at their careers from both a long-term and a holistic perspective. Ask yourself what you want your life to look like in five, 10 and 15 years. “Apply a strategy to what you want from your career,” says Jeans. “The holistic dimension is not about the job or career, but how it fits into your life.” It’s about regaining balance with everything you have in your life.

Don’t stop with your résumé. “Building your brand goes way beyond your résumé,” says Meg Montford, an executive career coach with Kansas City, Mo.-based Abilities Enhanced. “This process is something you should be doing throughout the life of your career.” She suggests giving presentations to professional and industry groups, and writing white papers and blogs to establish yourself as an expert in your industry.

Notify your network. Nicholas “Coach Nick” Papadopoulos, executive coach with New York City-based Sky’s The Limit Corp. suggests starting with a blast email to let your network know what’s happening and then make calls every day to schedule meetings. “The majority of jobs are found through networking and the people you know,” says Papadopoulos. “You have to be aggressive about leveraging your network.”

(Source: News – letter of Robyn Greenspan, Editor-in-Chief, ExecuNet)

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