How to cope with a shattering experience?

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I remember many years ago when I received a retrenchment letter from a company where I was working. I had an ideal job at the time and was enjoying what I was doing. Plus, I was reasonably well paid. It was enough to support a young family.

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The retrenchments included almost all the head office staff. The retrenchment process was initiated by a new CEO who wanted to get rid of everyone. I don’t know if it was about cost or whether he didn’t like everybody. Years later, by the way, he ended up hanging himself on his own petard and left the company in disgrace. But that’s another story.

The retrenchment created a lot of uncertainty and big worries about my financial future and high levels of anxiety about where I would go to next.

The upside of all this upheaval in my life was that I eventually got cracking on two or three entrepreneurial projects and was planning a new future for myself.

Out of the blue, someone from a subsidiary company made me an offer to join their company in a different position. I took the position but it wasn’t exactly easy going. The traveling was problematic. But it did give me time to recover and set myself on a new path.

It was really a biding time position and of course I learned many skills that I didn’t have and would need in my future career.

I’m thinking about retrenchment at the moment because good people I know are in a business rescue. They haven’t been paid their salary since February and it’s already April.

They have high levels of distress, uncertainty and anxiety about their futures.

Retrenchment, business rescue, closure of a business creates a period of great angst in one’s life.

I don’t want to draw any trite conclusions from the pain that it involves except to say that it’s no use speculating about the worst for your life while you are going through this very difficult time.

There is light at the end of the tunnel and you can find new paths for you and your skills somewhere else. Often far better than what you had where you were working.

It’s just that you need to be strong and handle the uncertainty, cope with the hardship and handle your feelings.

If you have positive feelings of any sort they will usually help you through the crisis.

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