Breakdowns Are Breakthroughs

She works for a large media house and was recently handed the pink slip. Last month, she clocked the highest sale numbers in her department and had a superlative track record. Her clients respected her and looked upon her as the organisation. Her team mates adored her. Her superiors valued her. And, on a warm October morning, after 9 years, she was made redundant. It happens to the best of the best. She was called by her department head with the ominous, “let’s talk”. She was numb. Her boss lamely spoke about a few lapses but none were convincing to prove the fateful decision that was taken. Tears welled her eyes. She wondered, what made those you respect and work with so closely, not share the signs or was she so taken up by her busy-ness to neglect reading the writing on the wall? The conversation ended in a blur and the words resounded like a sledgehammer, “You may let Navin in Admin know when can you hand over.”

The room where she announced her wins and achievements now seemed claustrophobic. The axe had fallen hard and shattered her dreams. She nodded and slowly moved towards the door. Her boss did not make any eye contact, perhaps hiding his own emotions.

The office was bubbling with the festive excitement. It was the mother of all festivals – Diwali. The festival of lights; and all she could see was a thick, grey haze of despair.

What do you say to someone – a friend, colleague or a loved one who has been asked to move on?

There’s a lot.

Say that you understand. It can be hard and uncomfortable for no words can assuage the pain. Say, “I’ll be in touch.” In the days that follow, say, “Let’s go over your resume.”

Help them with any opportunities that you may come by, ask around your circle of influence. By doing this, you’ll display the strength of your relationship.

For those who are bearing the pain of loss of a job. I understand, truly what you may be going through. I have been there, too. The loss of identity is hard to shrug. Getting up with the lack of routine is enough to make you despondent. The insecurity of the pay check not coming while you have that looming home EMI is frightening. The worry of not knowing whether you’ll get a job soon eats into you, everyday while you put up that smile for the world to see. A smile that says, “Hey, I’m okay. I’m trying and I’ll get out of it.” Praying that you truly well.

There’s a way that you can do without allowing the cloud of darkness to swallow your sunshine.

  1. BELIEVE you will get out of this. Just like the transition of day into night, this too will pass. WILL yourself to say it – again and again and again!
  2. Create a routine similar to your work days. Plan your day the night before. Be up and about. Exercise, shower, dress well and sit at a desk at your home. DO NOT lie on your bed or sofa. Open your computer and get to work.
  3. Do a self-assessment. It’s a great time to introspect and find out where your strengths lie and what is it that you’d love to do. What did you learn through this experience of change? Build on that. In case you notice a gap, fill it. Take this time to get educated, upgrade yourself and enhance your brand value.
  4. Recraft your CV. Seek help from a friend or an expert. Prepare a CV that gives glimpses of your personality and your work – why should anyone hire you? Sell yourself, smartly and let it convey in tangible terms the difference you have made. Add what’s relevant, subtract what is dated. Update your profile on #Linkedin and actively participate in discussions. This could enhance your visibility.
  5. Encash your goodwill. Connect with those who are your fans and are supportive. Seek their help in getting a foot in the door for any openings.
  6. Network with friends, colleagues and clients that you’ve known. Be seen and heard. Importantly, let them know you’re looking for a change. The chances of an opportunity are higher through referrals. If nothing, this engagement could be of help in future. Reconnect and nurture old bonds. It’ll just make you feel good and elevate your spirit.
  7. Monitor the cash flow. However, don’t be obsessed by it. It’s the time to conserve and spend, wisely for the moment.
  8. Keep your health in focus. Maintain an exercise routine, meditate, cultivate a hobby and adhere to a diet plan. Take the time out to socialise and catch up on your sleep as well.
  9. Lastly, spend time with those who uplift your spirit, not with those who crush it. Do not give up, ever!
  10. Maintain a Journal of Gratitude. Write 3 things, 3 people and 3 situations that you are grateful for, EVERYDAY.

Remember, what you’re going through is a course correction because something better and purposeful is on its way. Use the time to prepare and get ready when it sashays through your front door. Because, I am so sure that you will embrace it with all you’ve got and be happy things went the way they did.

You are awesome and blessed. Don’t you ever forget that!

As Viktor Frankl states, “The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”

Chest out, shoulders back, stand tall with your chin up.

Wish you victory – every day and all the way!


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