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In some cases, the retrenched go through a grieving process that lasts many months, or even years, similar to a death of a close friend or family member
Are you dealing with retrenchment? It's a dirty word, but one that an increasing number of Australians have had to come to terms with.
Very few people are equipped to take retrenchment in their stride, no matter their age or how financially secure they are. It's an abrupt and often unexpected change to lifestyle that comes with a period of readjustment.
For those of you who aren't cheering all the way to the bank with a fat termination cheque ready to retire and take it easy, what are the options? Can there be a silver lining under that black cloud? Can retrenchment be a chance to re-group and re-focus and study for a better career?
According to psychologists, retrenchment is a major psychological adjustment for the retrenched as well as for their families. Being retrenched can bring on a variety of negative feelings and, in some cases, leads to depression. Feelings such as low self-esteem, shock, disbelief, loss, anger and confusion are common.
Some people feel incredibly guilty they've disappointed others or let their family down by no longer being the main breadwinner. Other people, for whom their work has been associated with their social life, slip into despair and social isolation not wanting to talk to anyone.
And, as one TAFE psychologist explained, in some cases, the retrenched go through a grieving process that lasts many months, or even years, similar to a death of a close friend or family member. This ‘death' is the loss of a formerly happy working life.
Many retrenched workers are convinced that they're too old to change careers, or start a new job. But these days, age is irrelevant. It's how skilled you are that determines your success in the world of work. The other factor is how well you market your skills to potential employers.
Here are some concrete suggestions for overcoming the retrenchment blues:
At the end of the day, retrenchment has the ability to make or break you. It could be the best thing that ever happened to you, or the worst. Which one will it be for you?
Beyond Blue, put out an excellent online publication called Taking care of yourself after retrenchment or financial loss. This is an invaluable free resource for anyone who has been retrenched. The Beyond Blue website also has other great information about coping with depression, anxiety and life's changes.