It used to be that you graduated from high school or college, joined a reputable company, worked for many years, received a gold watch, and then enjoyed a comfortable retirement with a nice pension. As we all know (some more painfully than others!), those days are long gone. We are on our own. Corporations are no longer the paternal entities who look after our well-being and reward our loyalty, and employees are no longer the committed laborers who will stay through thick and thin. Despite this realization that most of the world has moved to an “employment at will“ labor marketplace, I am constantly amazed at how many people are totally unprepared and bewildered when their jobs are eliminated and they are thrown into the ranks of the unemployed. It shouldn’t be this way.
Ask yourself a question: How would you react if you walked into your place of employment tomorrow morning, and your boss handed you a letter informing you that your employment is terminated and that you are expected to serve the three-month notice period? Would you be ready to immediately launch your job search strategy that has been sitting on the shelf in case of such an emergency? Or would you be shell-shocked and left wondering how you will ever deal with such a surprise? Bad things inevitably happen in life, and job loss is one of them. What is important is how prepared we are for the bumps in the road, and how we react and move forward. For some people, losing their job is a traumatic experience ranking up there with death and divorce. For others, a job loss is simply another one of life’s transitions that can lead to a cathartic and rewarding experience. Don’t let yourself become a victim. Take control of your career and become empowered to successfully deal with any curves that come in your career path. That’s what this column is about, and that’s what I will be talking about in coming weeks.