Retrenchment refers to the reduction of staff, or a sometimes reduction in force, by an employer as a part of a cost-cutting measure. It is befalling employees who are retrenched to face emotional setbacks and other challenges before they resume their lives. In Singapore, this is a common phenomenon among working adults. Many would think that they would be able to resume their lives after the ordeal of retrenchment.
The following are tips to help you cope with retrenchment;
1) Look for a job
The biggest challenge facing the retrenched is the need for employment. They are mostly those who have made up their minds to stay in or rejoin the workforce and are regarded as good workers by their employers as well as colleagues.
2) Stay flexible
Retrenchment is not easy to face alone and can be very traumatic for many people, including those who have no family support or merely relatives who do not understand the need for retrenchment. If you are retrenched don’t let the fear of retrenchment stop you from taking the opportunities that come your way.
3) Get support
Support comes in many forms, including the presence of a caring spouse or friend to listen, a talk with the HR Manager, a financial adviser who will give unbiased advice on your finances, a mentor who can help you choose your next career move, and local support groups whom you can meet up with.
4) Remember to revive yourself
Personal development and taking care of yourself are important factors in coping with retrenchment. Remember to refresh and revive yourself by exercising, reading, meditating, and doing other things that make you healthy. Dealing with retrenchment is not easy at all. It can be very painful, especially when the news was broken personally by the HR Manager himself or herself.
5) Face it head-on
Never be ashamed of retrenchment, even if you are the one who is retrenched. Look forward to taking up other opportunities that may come your way. Remember, retrenchment is only a means to an end. Do not let the harsh words of the HR Manager or the people around you ruin your motivation and self-esteem. Continue to remain optimistic, seek new career opportunities, and continue with the job search exercise.
6) Ask for referrals
For those who have no family or friend support, it is recommended that you seek referrals from your former boss. Do not be discouraged by another employer’s response. Best of all, ask for a referral from the Human Resources Department if you have any complaints against your former employer.
7) Use skills you have before retrenchment
Now that your job is no longer available, have a go at re-training yourself for the job market. An IT professional who has been forced to retrench due to a major IT problem can be trained into a full-fledged network engineer. If you are a nurse and are facing retrenchment from your current employer, consider retraining as a phlebotomist or another healthcare-related profession.
Retrenchment is not easy to handle. It can be very stressful and scary. With the right attitude, however, and some strategies in place, you should be able to look forward to retrenchment without feeling defeated.