Dealing With a Job Loss? Read this Supply Chain Director’s Advice

September 2, 2014

In our recruitment practice, we often help candidates who’re undergoing a career transition because of a restructuring or downsizing. Today we bring you some information about how to deal with the immediate aftermath of a restructuring from a candidate’s perspective: a guest post from Glenn Gray, a senior strategic Supply Chain professional with a number of years experience in the Food Production space. Read on for some great advice with a human touch. 

So You’ve Just Been “Restructured”

It’s probably a Wednesday or Thursday morning, and you’ve been unexpectedly pulled into your boss’ office.  Sure enough, sitting in one of the chairs—next to where your boss has politely asked you to sit—is your HR representative.  Several things run through your mind right then, but they all end with, “this can’t be good.”  Let’s be honest: it isn’t. 

Or is it?

Getting terminated is not a fun thing to endure.  You’re going to go through a myriad of emotions, many of which have been compared to losing a family member, or going through rehab.  Probably the best thing for you to do right now, as you sit there in shock, is to just relax and listen.  Your boss and your HR representative know that your head is in the clouds right now.  They’re probably going to explain a severance package to you, and tell you about the next steps of cleaning out your desk, etc.  If they’re good managers, they’ll get your essential things from your desk for you, and make sure you get home okay.  You can call them tomorrow to figure out when you can come back in to get the rest of your stuff.  They’ll give you all the documents to review (they won’t—or at least they shouldn’t—expect you to sign anything right away. In any case, DON’T sign anything right away).

So now what?

You’re going to be feeling some strong emotions right about now: anger, embarrassment, panic, self-doubt, and a host of others. Everyone goes through the exact same cycle of feelings—it’s natural and expected.  But the best piece of advice I received when I was recently terminated, was that ‘this happens all the time.’  It’s an unfortunate part of business, and has no reflection on how good a job you did.  Simply, your number came up, and you shouldn’t feel bad because of it.

So when I questioned earlier whether this was actually a bad thing, this is why:  There is now an amazing opportunity staring you in the face.  You have a chance to rethink what you want to do next.  It’s like your career has come to a fork in the road, and you get to decide which way to turn! 

Get your finances straightened up with your employer (If you feel the need for some professional advice, see your lawyer, or your accountant, or your mom).  Take advantage of any outplacement services that may be offered—you have no idea how helpful they can be!  They’ll teach you how to network, update your resume, how to interview well, how to negotiate, and how to find that perfect job for yourself.  Go to any meetings they offer—it’s a great opportunity for you to network, but more importantly, to talk to other people that are going through the same thing you are.  You’ll quickly find out that you’re not alone, and there are a lot of people out there that are willing and able to help you through this.  This isn’t the end of the world.

Take the time you need to determine what you want to do next.  Before moving on, you need to look inside yourself and figure out where your skills are, and what you envision your next role is. There’s something cathartic (and at the same time, esteem building) when you ask your friends, “What do you think I’m good at?”  You’ll probably be surprised at some of the answers, and it might help you determine which direction you head, from that fork in the road.

Once you’ve determined the direction you’re going, you’ll need a map.  Outplacement services can help you immensely with this.  Align yourself with some reputable recruiting firms, and partner with them.  They can be an asset in opening a lot of doors for you.  Be committed to the task of finding that job.  Get into the same routine you had before you were let go—don’t be staying up to watch the “Late Late Late Show”, and then crawling out of bed at noon.

With a solid plan in place, it will only be a matter of time before you’re signing on the dotted line.

Thanks to Glenn for this post. Here’s some further reading from the Argentus Blog about how to navigate a career transition: 

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