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Sailing through lay-offs

Unemployment is often considered to be the ?dirty word?. But, adopting a positive outlook and not losing hope, is the only way to tackle a lay-off

india Updated: Jan 21, 2004 16:18 IST

Unemployment is often considered to be the ‘dirty word’. But, adopting a positive outlook and not losing hope, is the only way to tackle a lay-off.

Being unemployed in today's 'work-based' economy is considered bad and is definitely not a positive sign. The first question is — “Oh, you are not working, then what exactly do you do…”

To answer such a question is difficult. It goes without saying that unemployment is a stressful experience that often makes people feel worthless. This is more so if there is a sudden loss of job due to retrenchment. The effects of lay-offs can hamper personal relationships, self-esteem levels, thereby fostering recurring bouts of depression. The best way to deal with 'unemployment' is to accept the harsh reality and accordingly, adopt a realistic approach.

Accepting the reality
It's not easy to handle the situation if one day, just out of the blue, the employer informs you that the company has decided to go in for retrenchment — and that you’ll be the one to face the axe. Retrenchment can happen due to a loss in the company's sales or budget or whatever. It's like a “Catch 22” situation, wherein you don't know whether to quietly leave or rebel. The best bet nonetheless (and in majority of cases) is to accept the reality. There is no point reasoning with the employer/company and playing an “emotional card.” But, at the same time, don't leave harbouring bad feelings; try to see the situation from the angle that your employer is just doing his/her duty. This way you will be better equipped to take charge of your life and forget the loss of job as a bad dream.

On new grounds
Being out of the job is by no means an end. Fine, you will be feeling worthless and depressed for some time (it's natural), but don't let this trauma continue for long. Rather, forget the past and move on. It means activate your social contacts and networking skills to get a new job. Hiding away for the fear of avoiding embarrassing queries will definitely not get you the job. You need to be out of the shell. However, while looking for a new job, try to work out a schedule (or plan) so that, even while at home, you remain in touch with the industry news and happenings (relevant to you). Also if possible, and if your financial circumstances permit, take a cooling off period. In other words, don't rush into another job immediately. On the contrary, use the period as a boon to re-group your thoughts and update your resume.

Perhaps by following these tips, you might just get a much better job than your previous one.