Have you ever had one of those days where you look at yourself in the mirror and think – what am I doing?
Today, that happened to me.
It’s been just over the week since being made redundant.
The crazy thing is I have known more about this for longer than I probably should have.
Due to my role, I was part of the project board overseeing the changes. For obvious reasons, I eventually had my participation in the group concluded.
The most challenging part was managing work associated with the redundancy, managing large-scale projects from the day job, and managing the team once the news was delivered.
When you’re faced with this type of situation, people act in different ways. Some will accept and continue as per usual; some will be in the state of flux where the anxiety and uncertainty can become a distraction, and some may choose to ignore and be in complete denial.
The difficulty with the latter stage, in my experience, is how it can shut people off from facing reality and developing a pragmatic solution.
Over the last week or so, it’s given me time to reflect. It got me thinking about what it took to get through this experience while also ensuring to continue to deliver on tasks and build my professional portfolio (a must for the next step).
I have a poster on my wall which outlines the life lessons from the Dalai Lama. One in particular really resonates with me:
“Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.”
For anyone wanting to see something through, resilience is a defining characteristic which demonstrates how you handle stressful and unprecedented situations.
It’s not an easy thing to do. I guess that’s why I have written this blog. It will be a record of this moment in time for me to look back on. But, if my experience can help you then that’s also a bonus.
Remove the emotion and stick to the facts
Having studied martial arts for many years, one of the core teachings is to stay calm in hostile situations.
When sparring or meditating, the principle is to learn how to manage the adrenaline, keeping yourself in a neutral stance and the mind focussed. As humans, we are driven by our instincts and emotions – me probably more than most!
Yet, we need to learn to move away from this initial impulse. The best thing I learnt was to listen intently to what is being said and ensure I have the information to hand. Pacing myself in my responses and referring to the facts, helped me maintain a sense of control.
“Do the do-able”
When I was studying my A levels, I had a brilliant teacher who would come out with all sorts of memorable life lessons which just seemed to stick with me – “do the do-able” was one of them.
When waiting for decisions it can usually stop your flow, but there is always something I found I could do – support a colleague, engage in research for another project, apply for other jobs etc.
It was the act of doing something practical, which helped to put my mind in a more positive space.
Always have solutions and talk them through
Simply highlighting an issue isn’t enough; a solution needs to be pitched.
I found that talking to others (colleagues, family and friends) who may not be aware, or necessarily understand the situation in context, can provide a good sounding board.
My philosophy was if I could explain the scenario to someone who isn’t involved, pitch the idea and it resonates with them, not only does this provide a confidence boost, it’s also good practice before pitching the concept to decision-makers.
This helped when preparing for various meetings through this process.
Channel your energy into something positive
Whether it’s work-related, a hobby or even venting your frustrations through a blog, doing something positive maintains motivation and momentum.
From experience, when you feel you’re hitting a brick wall, it’s beneficial to find something, even if it’s a small task, which you have control over and can see through to completion.
Never lose perspective
Finally, in the grand scheme of things, it’s important to remember work is only one part of our lives.
We are here for a finite amount of time, and we need to make the most of all the opportunities that are presented to us.
We live in an incredible world where good and bad things happen every day; we need to maintain perspective with everything that challenges us.
We always have choices.
Share your thoughts
See you next time.