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YOUR WORK AND YOUR IDENTITY

10th January 2017  |  Career Management , Individuals

Going through a major workplace restructure or redundancy is never easy. Both organisations and individuals are seeing major changes in the way workforces evolve.

We are seeing less of the traditional approach where a person is hired at the age of 18 and spends their entire career working for one organisation however, there are still workplaces out there with employees who have spent up to 20, 30 or even 40+ years in the one company.

Our environment is ever-changing and therefore so are the needs of business. Required skill sets are constantly undergoing transformation. Work is being outsourced to save on wages and the competition in the employment market has reached unprecedented levels. As a result of such factors, we are seeing an increasing amount of workplace restructures throughout Australia.

In this issue of The Career Chronicles, we’d like to take a closer look at the emotions you may experience if you have, or will be affected by a company restructure. Let’s focus on how this experience can help to develop yourself not only professionally, but also on a personal level.

What’s the longest you have worked for an organisation? 5 years? 10 years or more perhaps?

When working for an organisation for that long, their practices, culture, and even the people can become deeply ingrained in you. It’s as if it has become a part of your DNA.

To suddenly have this ripped out from underneath you can be very traumatic. Work is not just somewhere you spend 8 hours of your day to receive a salary.. it forms part of your identity.

Workplace restructures can be a time of reflection and learning.

 

One of the first questions you may be asked when you meet someone new is “What do you do?”

Certain traits and personalities are drawn to certain occupations so by finding out what a person does for a living, you can get some idea as to what an individual’s personality type may be.

A sudden loss of part of your identity can even prompt you to ask yourself questions such as “Who am I?” and “What is my purpose?”

When you initially hear news as life-changing as redundancy notice, what are some of the emotions you may experience? Denial? Shock? Anger? Stress? Frustration? All of which are normal and you may continue to experience these emotions whilst grieving the loss of a role.

As clichéd as it sounds, time will help with the healing process, but what else can you do to effectively manage these emotions in the meantime?

 

Try these effective Career Transition tips:

  • Remember that attitude is a decision. Your attitude can make or break any opportunities which come your way. It’s more than just being positive, it’s believing you can add value if given direction, encouragement and trust.
  • Listen to what you’re telling yourself and erase any negative messages that may affect your job search efforts.
  • Have a supportive network around you such as family, friends and other job seekers.
  • Map out the steps you need to put your plan into action.
  • Be prepared to cope with rejection as well as attain success.
  • When you receive feedback, use it to better yourself.

 

Redundancy can be an incredible opportunity

Going through an ordeal such as this can be incredibly overwhelming, so bear in mind that you have gone through challenging situations throughout your life before and yet you’re still here.

By overcoming these challenges, you will have learned an enormous amount of lessons which contribute to building a stronger character. Use your experience to give you the strength and wisdom to overcome the next hurdle.

Another thing to consider is that when you have been in a role for a long time, getting yourself out of your comfort zone can be difficult.

Being made redundant is an incredible opportunity to expand your horizons and look for a new challenge. This is an opportunity to find an occupation or industry that you are truly passionate about

Focus on the positives in taking a redundancy package. Pay your bills, your mortgage and maybe even take some time to rest and review your career. Find something you are passionate about and choose a career transition path that enriches your life.

 

Matt Appassamy

Career Coach

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