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Guest Blog : Jeanne Roode – Dealing with retrenchment: all storms eventually run out of rain.

I am very excited to feature my friend Jeanne Roode as a guest blogger on Mommy In Cape Town.

Jeanne wrote a wonderful piece on retrenchment and how to deal with it. Retrenchment is very topical at the moment with many South Africans facing loosing their jobs. Covid-19 has played havoc on the South African economy and we are officially in a recession.

Jeanne shares her experience with retrenchment and gives some valuable guidance of how to dust yourself off and get up again.

Dealing with retrenchment: all storms eventually run out of rain.

In case you have never experienced being retrenched before, it sucks. Not only is it alarming and humiliating, but it can give your confidence a serious knock and make one feel like your hard work and skills are undesirable, rejected and essentially, well, not essential. It is crushing.

I have been through two retrenchments within the span of two years. It does not look great on a CV. Friends and family (all in senior and clever jobs, so they know their stuff!) assure me that a good recruiter will look past this and that I can land something awesome and soon. But I can’t quite silence the small voice in the back of my mind: will they though? Having worn the recruiter hat myself I know that too many job titles within a certain span of time, lets say two years, is a warning flag and that, if overwhelmed with applications, the too-many-titled applicant will be buried in the Please Try Again Pile.

So now what?

Life goes on and so should you. First, grab a bestie or your mom and have a good cry and/or b*tch session, whichever you prefer. Get it off your chest and process what has just happened. Secondly, while the adrenaline is flowing, write down a few things that you can do immediately to cushion the emotional and inevitable financial blow. You’d be surprised at how creative you can be. Put it up on the fridge or next you your bed to remind yourself everyday that you are a #boss and that you’ve got this. Lastly, take a few deep breaths and accept what just happened. Get some glowing written references from your company and update your LinkedIn. You are probably going to be job searching for a bit, but don’t overlook that you have been given a break from the rat race and that you can choose to embrace this down time and do something positive with it. I wish I had adopted this specific mindset sooner.

To help you with that list, here are a few things that I would recommend you do:

  • Give your CV a dust off and put yourself out there.

In this day and age, a solid digital CV is your golden ticket to your next happily ever after. Make sure that all your experience is up to date, and add your work accomplishments for quick and easy reference for scouting companies. A good way to make your CV stand out is to show what work you have accomplished rather than just list all the things you were responsible for. #credibility

  • Take the time you have been given to up-skill.

With myriad courses online, free or otherwise, now is the time to invest in your skill set. Plus it really does work in your favour to show that you levelled up in your down time. Check out your next desired job description and see where you could brush up your talents to make you a little sharper than the rest. and are great places to start looking.

  • Get in touch with a good recruitment agency.

Here you will need to do your homework as not all agencies are created equal. There are agencies that specialise in certain fields which would be the preferential way to go. But do the research. Chat with colleagues and see who they suggest. If your company has an HR person, then tap into that resource to get your CV updated and your name on some reputable databases. It is an arduous task completing profile after profile for recruitment databases, but stick to the agencies who offer direct support and communicate well so that you can be on top of the pile and hopefully be noticed by a future employer in no time.

  • Treat yo’ self.

Pinterest the heck out of homemade face-masks and cunning DIY crafts to make your home a beautiful place. Find something that delights you. It is also a great way of unwinding and getting those creative juices to flow a bit. Maybe you might even start your own little side hustle out of your hobby...

  • Start a business or side hustle.

And speaking of, what a great way to reinvent yourself! Ever thought of being your own boss? Well now is the time to give it a try. Find something that you can put on Instagram, like rusks or car washes that your friends and family can support. Teaching online classes or proofreading articles are also well within the sphere of possibilities. Check out places like Upwork or Fiverr to see where you can start applying your experience and skills.

  • Exercise.

I cannot emphasise this one enough. Get enough sleep and get your booty moving. This will help you to cope with any anxieties you might be experiencing due to your sudden job loss. Find something that you enjoy! Not a runner? Then don’t run. Don’t dig pumping weights? Then toss them (figuratively). There are lots of online resources and classes that you can follow to help you find the perfect workout for your fitness level and to help you find your motivation. My personal fav is Pop Sugar Fitness who have a variety of dance and fitness classes for you to try out from the comfort of your own home.

  • Find a mentor.

If you are able, find someone you can talk to when you are overwhelmed and who can give good advice on what to do next. It need not be a qualified professional such as a psychologist or therapist, but it certainly helps if the person you are seeking advice from knows you and has had some experience with what you are going through. Find someone who can talk you down when you are feeling raw and vulnerable and someone who is able to motivate you and get you going. These need not necessarily be the same person. Find your support person/s to walk alongside you in this difficult time.

  • Don’t beat yourself up.

Stuff happens and one needs to learn to roll with the punches. It is true that nothing lasts forever, even this turmoil that we all are experiencing. So take it one day at a time, have some mini-goals that you’d like to achieve each day, and on the good days be good, and on the low days be kind to yourself.

Remember you will get through this, just give yourself time. All storms eventually run out of rain.

About Jeanne :

Born and raised in the beautiful Cape Town region, Jeanne has risen through the digital ranks and now leads a team of developers at a global company. As a career girl, she's had her share of triumphs and failures and has become well versed in dealing with the things that life throws at you. With a drive to share her compassion and aid young professionals in a similar plight, she founded Lamplight as a source of advice, guidance and inspiration that she wished she had access to once upon a time. Here she shares her knowledge on dealing with career issues, choosing a positive lifestyle, and brightening ones day with thoughtful words of encouragement to keep you going.

Read more from Jeanne on her blog Lamplight blog :

Instagram: lamplight_inspiration

#guestpost #motivation #retrenchment #carreeradvice

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