I recently had hand surgery which necessitated my being in a cast for 6 weeks. I had to take 2 weeks off work and am now in the stage where I am waiting to get the cast removed and for therapy to begin.
Why am I telling you this?
Well, it occurred to me that my hand surgery ordeal has similarities to job search following a downsizing – I bet you are thinking, what on earth is she talking about?! Well consider this:
Hand Surgery: “Sorry you need surgery – nothing you have done, just happens to some people”.
Job Loss/Transition: “Sorry – we have to lay you off nothing you have done, just happens sometimes”.
Hand Surgery: Day of surgery and for one week you feel really bad and are helpless.
Job Loss/Transition: Day of job loss, you feel really bad and THINK you are helpless.
Hand Surgery: One week after surgery, you start to try to get up and move around with a lot of help.
Job Loss/Transition: One week after you lose your job you reach out to those who can help, you contact your outplacement provider for help, you engage your network.
Hand Surgery: Weeks 2-6 you slowly get going with help and each day you feel better – you now understand and appreciate those people who are helping you during this difficult time.
Job Loss/Transition: Weeks 2-6 you slowly get going with help and each day you feel better – you have asked your network for help and realize that there are a lot of people out there helping you.
Hand Surgery: Week 6 – cast comes off, although you are rather weak – you feel hopeful that ultimately you will feel better.
Job Loss/Transition: Your recovery had lead you to job leads and you feel hopeful that your new job will materialize.
Hand Surgery: Weeks 8-12 – therapy begins to regain your strength. It hurts a lot but you realize through all of this that you are getting stronger and more self-reliant.
Job Loss/Transition: Your job search hard work has yielded results and you are getting leads, interviewing and know you will shortly land a great job.
Hand Surgery: Weeks 12 onward – back to normal self, feeling good, no longer in pain from the original problem that sent you to get surgery in the first place, in fact you are back better than ever.
Job Loss/Transition: You just landed your new job and realize how good you feel. Realize how much you disliked your old job, and you are back better than ever.
Hand Surgery: Finally – you realize that you did this with the help of your family, friends and doctors – you feel strong and have learned that progress is achieved with the help of those who love and support you.
Job loss/Transition: You realize how helpful your support system was and how much you were able to achieve with the help of friends and family.
The bottom line is, no matter whether its a health issue or an unexpected change in your career – believe in your inner strength and allow your network to support you through the tough times!