You’ve been called in to someone’s office and told that you’re being relieved of your post. You are not being walked out the door within the hour, but rather, you have been advised that you are part of upcoming cuts and that you have a couple of weeks before your last day. It stings. It hurts. Your anxiety kicks in as your mind races through the images of bills piled up on the kitchen counter and the savings goals you had been working on going to hell.
It’s human nature to want to know why this is happening and to begin gathering as much information as possible to justify, reconcile and absorb what might stabilize the shock. I’m here to warn you that spending the remainder of your employed time processing why this is happening to you is throwing away a great opportunity.
Inspired by a question on our Now What?® Community Call last month, I want to help you focus on what can make a profound difference to your future while you are still on the job. The young woman who posed the question told us that her time in her position was coming to an end. Her first instinct was to find out who knew why this was happening, and if they had anything to do with it. She was naturally upset, confused, and defensive.
“Don’t get sucked into a drama,” I responded. “Spending your time figuring out who did what and why will waste energy and deprive you of a golden opportunity.”
She saw immediately how easily she was headed down the drama path. She shifted as we spoke to see that instead, she could use the time to cement relationships she’d been meaning to improve anyway for which she had never had the time. She saw that she could gather industry knowledge from colleagues and bosses while she built bridges instead of burning them.
As she had these conversations, she learned she was liked and that the job really wasn’t a fit, so she felt more confident knowing she would find the next thing AND leave good mojo in her wake.
If you get this news, should you also start looking for a job right away? Absolutely! However, remember how you leave a room is just as important as the first impression you make upon entering. Try to calm your fear and anxiety about the unknown future and make a graceful exit. Network, say goodbye, get advice, share appreciation, and if asked for an exit survey or asked to give feedback, be truthful but gracious.
“We are letting you go,” does not have to be your cue to rage. It can be your cue to begin strategically reaping the good that’s left from your current role (no stealing please). Deal with the emotions outside of work and make the process of finding your next move as strategic as your exit. Let us know how we can help.