I got retrenched – now what?

In this era of downsizing and mergers, job loss is something we all fear. If you find yourself waiting for news regarding your employment status, try to avoid conjecture. Instead, ManpowerGroup South Africa’s managing director, Lyndy van den Barselaar, suggests that you should be mindful of your emotional and physical needs.

“With South Africa’s employment landscape experiencing notable pressure in the past couple of years, paired with the unstable economic backdrop, retention and hiring prospects are often uncertain for local employees and job seekers,” she says.

If you are retrenched or your have lost your job, van den Barselaar provides some practical steps that can help you get back on your feet – emotionally, physically, and professionally:

Take care of yourself. On the day of your notice, nothing is more important. Most often your employer will provide direction regarding packing up personal effects, company assets, and leaving the office. “Give yourself some time to absorb what has happened, so you can deal with your initial emotional reactions in the best way possible,” she suggests. “It is important to be open to support from those who offer it.,” If offered the support of an outside company – such as a transition firm – take full advantage of this resource.

Defer any significant decisions. Research suggests we will make the worst possible decisions on the day we lose our job. No decisions regarding your career are required today - that can wait until you are feeling more centred.