So you have been retrenched – pretty hectic stuff, but without being flippant, it is a common occurrence in companies today and immersing yourself in doom and gloom will only make it worse. This is not your fault – it is a process, beyond your control which you need to detach and move on from. There are two important things to remember:

  • Firstly, you choose the way you react to setbacks or life events.
  • Secondly, you are accountable for the quality of your own life and only you can create a sustainable and rewarding alternative career for yourself.

Your toolkit starts with a big dose of the right psychological and mental ingredients which include the following: self-worth, positivity, gratitude for the enforced opportunity to re-invent your career, resilience, determination and a “can do” attitude. Take yourself in hand, snap out of self – pity and dread mode, face your fears and understand that you choose the way you view and react to setbacks. Immersing yourself in the negatives will only immobilize you and bring you down, so view this as an opportunity to re-invent yourself and start believing that you are able to create a far more exciting alternative career.

The second ingredient is your skills – your technical and behavioural competencies which can be honed, re-applied and marketed for you to add value in what you choose to do next. List and review these and consider potential options for which they might be utilized.

The third element involves the conscious and structured creation of a Plan A as well as a Plan B. These might include researching, preparing for and then pursuing formal employment options as well as drafting a business plan for development of entrepreneurial work opportunities. In planning both of these, match requirements to your skills, do a gap analysis and work on the required self -development to fill the gaps.

Fourthly, no career venture is likely to be successful without suitable documentation thus once your options are clear it is important to work with a professional in developing this. A CV should be well formatted and adapted to the selected field or niche area targeted – it is not a case of “one fits all.” Given that many employers may question whether you were actually retrenched, it is important to ask the person to whom you reported for a written reference, provided of course that this will be a positive one. If you intend working as an entrepreneur or consultant your documentation should include a business plan, a list of services or product offerings, business cards, a brief professional profile and possibly a brochure or letter to potential clients – all of which should be done prior to launching.

The fifth component involves building your market awareness and consolidating your planning re potential approaches and networks. Study job adverts in your field, work with professional recruiters and utilize well known career internet sites. If planning on working independently, research competitors, build referrals and work on structured self -marketing and follow up.

Given that the above require simultaneous and intensive focus, there is no denying that finding a job, is a fulltime job in itself. However given the fact that you now have the opportunity to seek a rewarding and fulfilling career matched to your capabilities and interests, job is the wrong word. You can do it – start moving forward step by step and you will not look back.

A Career and Business Coach, Facilitator, Consultant and Teacher, Jennifer Ritchie runs Retrenchment and Employment Programmes for companies and individuals at all levels and can be contacted on 084 5112258.