Monday, February 02, 2009

Motivational Monday

Dealing with Layoffs



It seems like every time you turn on the television or read the paper more companies are laying off more people. If you are like me, the bad news feels like someone punched you in the stomach. You feel for the people who are losing their job and you grow even more concerned about our economy and future.

It's times likes these where we have to be mindful of the collective “doom and gloom” and not let it seep into our mindset. We have to remind ourselves that the media reports the negative news, not the positive news. They announce that a company is laying off 3,000 employees but they don’t say that 300,000 people are still employed. They don’t say that millions of people are still working every day and contributing to the global economy. We have to remember that even if the unemployment rate approaches 10% that still means that we have 90% employment. There are still a whole lot of employed people who are making money, eating at restaurants, paying for college, fueling up their cars, buying houses, and purchasing every day products.

Imagine if the headline read "Employment rate closing in on 92%" rather than saying "The Unemployment rate is soaring to 8%." Two different headlines and two very different perspectives, thoughts and emotions.

Instead of listening to all the negative voices we have to focus on our choices. The choice to be optimistic or pessimistic. The choice to focus on 92% employment or 8% unemployment. The choice to stay positive in the face of all the negative news. And the choice to take positive actions to deal with the current situation.

But what if you are someone who has to deal with a layoff first hand? Perhaps you are in a company that is dealing with layoffs. Perhaps you have to do the layoffs. Or worse, perhaps you are the one who has been or is being laid off. The reality of the situation is that layoffs are happening and you might be wondering how to deal with it.

In next week’s newsletter I’ll share specific suggestions on how to deal with layoffs, if:

1. You are a leader or manager having to do the layoffs.
2. You are someone who is staying in a company where layoffs are happening.
3. If you are someone who has been or is being laid off.

There is certainly no positive spin on having to fire someone or be fired. But there are ways to turn the bad and use it for good. There are ways to maintain trust, integrity and optimism. Having been laid off during the dot.com crash a number of years ago I know this situation well and hopefully I can share some lessons from the most fearful and uncertain time in my life.

Until next week, stop listening to the negative voices and focus on your positive choices.


Stay Positive,
-Jon

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