Nobody wants to be sacked. The desire of every worker is to remain in service until a better job comes. But most times, the things we desire aren’t what we get. So, no matter how much we want it, we have to prepare ourselves in case a sack letter is dropped on our table.
Losing a job is never a delightful experience. Each time I remember what I passed through the one time I was sacked I shudder. It’s the sort of experience you don’t wish for anybody. The confusion that came with the dreadful words and the unanswered questions that flashed through my mind cannot be described with words. Only those that have passed through this bitter experience can fully understand what I’m saying here.
Truth is that the best way to avoid being sacked is by reading and understanding the danger signs (some of them can be found here). But if you happen to receive the letter before you resigned, knowing about the impending dismissal will help you to cushion the blow it will land on you.
But a lot of workers do not really believe they are not indispensable. They believed their hard work, dedication and innovative ideas could forever keep them in their jobs. What most of them didn’t know about is the evil known as office politics and its brother called bankruptcy. These two could send the best of staff out of an office.
Before I suggest ways people can manage the effects of job loss, I’ll like to mention wrong ways people handle this situation.
Fighting their Superiors and Destroying Employer’s Properties: I’ve witnessed and heard of cases where those who were dismissed fought the persons that handed them the letter or those that signed it. There are several reasons why this attitude is uncalled for. Even if you feel the sack was unjustifiable, as it is in most cases, kindly accept the letter and wish them well. Trust me, your next job may demand for a referral from your former employer and I don’t know how you will get that if you left the office with this type of drama.
Apart from getting referrals from your former boss, you never can tell where you will meet again and what favour you might need from him, or he from you. Besides, if I were a recruiter and I witnessed or learnt that you fought your boss, I won’t offer you a job. So, take a deep breath, and move on. Life continues.
Speaking Ill of your Former Employer: Most disengaged workers easily say bad things about their former employers. This attitude has made many of them lost the opportunity of landing good jobs, especially if they do this during interviews.
If you happen to find yourself in this situation, never speak badly about your former boss, no matter how bad he is. The logic behind this is that if you can castigate your former employer, you will still do the same to the current one. Besides, speaking ill of people is a sign of bitterness, and nobody wants a bitter employee.
Hating People: This might sound strange but it is true that people that lose their jobs most times become hateful. A lot of people that are close to them suffer the effect of this job loss too. Most men turn aggressive and make the lives of their wives and children unbearable. Some attribute this behaviour to frustration and depression, but I believe it also has to do with the anger that is buried deep down because of the feeling of being cheated by the employer. These people transfer the hate they have for their bosses to those around them.
If you found yourself in this situation and noticed that you are taking it out on your loved ones, kindly remember that job loss is one of the rungs you will meet on the ladder to success. You don’t want to lose your family too, I believe.
Petitioning your Superiors: Some people write to the company’s CEO to complain about their dismissals. I don’t see anything wrong here except that I’ve noticed that even if the person was returned to active service, it will be a matter of time before he or she is kicked out again – this time with reasons that will ensure that he/she stays sacked.
Like someone said, when you petition any of your superiors, the others will see you as an enemy that must be dealt with. So, instead of working in an uncomfortable environment where you know you are being watched, kindly find another job and move on.
Feeling Worthless: This is one serious problem dismissal causes. There is always this nagging feeling that you are insignificant and that was why the company didn’t need you. You may keep trying so hard to picture yourself fitting in into another company but your mind wouldn’t just let you. It may get to a stage where you lose hope and believe that you are indeed unemployable. If you are passing through this, all I can say is don’t let despair take the best of you.
Contemplating Suicide: This is the height of it.
Having seen the wrong ways to handle the emotions that come from losing a job, it is now time to see some of the ways it could be rightly done.
#1: Talk to no one in the office: There is a good reason for this. If you receive that letter, quietly leave the office and go home. Don’t talk to any of your colleagues, be it a junior or senior colleague, because he or she might incite you into fighting your boss.
#2: Evaluate yourself: As one of my bosses used to say, “look deep down inside you where there is no deceit” and find out if you gave them reasons to sack you. The essence of this is to avoid making such a mistake again.
#3: Send your boss a “thank you” message: I didn’t do this during my own time but people that did it said it was worth it, especially when you wanted to keep the doors open. Draft a note or an SMS and send to your former boss to thank him for giving you the opportunity to work with him and to wish him well.
#4: Job Hunt: Definitely this will come. Whether you go for any job that comes first or you sit back and wait for the big fish is a personal decision to make. In my own time I went for bigger fish but I didn’t get lucky so I settled for one that was smaller than what I had before (and started the journey up again). But, it is up to you and your account balance to decide. If you have been dreaming of starting a business, now is the time to do so. If you land another job, it may not be possible again.
#5: Go for further studies: You can go for higher certification or learn more skills. Don’t just jump into any open opportunity to acquire more skills; look for those that will enhance your performance in your new job, or business.
#6: Visit your former office: This is the fastest way to forgive your former employer. Pay them a visit and spend a little time with your former colleagues. The only thing is that you should go there when you must have gotten something doing – say another job, a business or further studies.
Other ways you can handle your emotional turmoil that comes with being sacked is to seek redress (I’m not sure this works in Nigeria) and to pursue your payoff (may also not work here).
Always bear this in mind if you ever received this dreadful letter, “Job loss is not the end of the road. A lot of people have been there and came out victorious. You too will win the struggle.”