It can be a shock to your ego, bank balance and lifestyle to be suddenly shunted from a life of alarm clocks, traffic jams and regular income to having “nothing to do”.
It’s not personal
Don’t take your retrenchment personally! It was a business decision that had little to do with individuals. Some experts claim that, in today’s dynamic workplace, we can expect to be retrenched up to three times.
Having “retrenched” on your CV as a reason for leaving a company is nothing to be concerned about; however, it’s a good idea to obtain a letter of testimonial from the company, explaining the reason for the retrenchment. In the Labour Relations Act, retrenchments are defined as “dismissals based on the employer’s operational requirements”.
- If your medical aid cover ceases on your last day of work, don’t allow your medical aid to lapse. Ask your existing fund for a basic cover or a hospital plan until you can upgrade. Some employers allow you to stay on the fund for a few months after retrenchment.
- No matter the amount of severance pay you received, curb your spending until you have some form of fixed income. Try not to borrow money; if you have many bills to pay, consider phoning your creditors to explain your situation, or ask your bank manager for a period of grace. You will have to pay the funds back with interest later, but by then you may have a job or your own business up and running.
- Assess your current skills to see if they are still relevant in the modern job market. If they are not, upgrade your skills with extra training.
- Refresh your résumé writing and interview skills to help you clinch the next job.
- Continue to network with friends and ex-colleagues to be in the know about what’s going on in your industry. Ask them to look out for a job opportunity for you and get their recommendation.
- Seek help at employment agencies; they may offer you a “temp-to-perm” job. Start with the temporary position and if you do a good job, you will be employed full-time.
Being retrenched can be a blessing in disguise so don’t waste time feeling sorry for yourself. If the initial negative emotional effect on being retrenched is replaced with hope and positive thoughts linked to new initiatives and positive plans, retrenchment will open the door to significant personal growth, and may also result in a higher quality of life and a feeling of fulfilment.