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Dealing with Corporate Liposuction

By: Jason Pereira

You are in the best shape of your life. You look great and feel healthy as reflected by your Body Mass Index (BMI). People start to shower you with compliments and eventually this gets to your head. You lose focus and begin to indulge in rich food quitting your daily exercise in the process.

Before you know it you start experiencing serious health related problems and your BMI cries out, “You’re obese!” Given the situation you are in what would you do? Wouldn’t you want to get rid of that excess fat? Most people recommend the quick fix, liposuction, which involves surgically removing the excess fat from the affected areas of the body.

Organisations today act in a similar manner adopting ‘corporate liposuction’ or rightsizing, by reducing the workforce to an optimal size until the ‘Organisational BMI’ or ‘Balance Sheets’ looks healthy again. In recent months, downsizing, rightsizing, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions have become a common practice. As an employee who has been identified as ‘excess fat’ by your organisation, you feel hurt and angry. Usually when layoffs are announced, people are in a state of shock, feeling as though someone has dropped a bomb on them.

In his book Winning, Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric writes ‘… for the person being let go, it can be the worst day of his or her career. For some, work has been their central routine or second family, and being forced to leave is a kind of public death. For others, work may mean less economically but it is a financial necessity and the prospect of unemployment is frightening.’

Most employees blame their organisations for the layoffs. The truth of the matter is that no organisation can guarantee job security. Only satisfied customers can do this. Hence the popular adage ‘customer is king’. A high customer satisfaction is reflected in the organisation’s healthy balance sheet.

However, if you find yourself a victim of ‘corporate liposuction’, remember that the only way to deal with this is to change your mindset. You may want to follow the below ‘7-Up’ approach which will help you think of the ‘ups’ rather than the ‘downs’ associated with the change.

Believe in your support group

Tell yourself that your support group which consists of your family and friends are immune to this change. No layoff will ever be able to change the way they feel about you. They will stand by your side and be your source of strength during this period which in turn will give you the courage to move on with your life.

Aggressively look for jobs

Jobs don’t come to you. You have to aggressively hunt for them. Therefore, use the transition period from being ‘employed’ to ‘unemployed’ wisely. Don’t get disheartened by the economic situation in the country. Remember perseverance always pays off.

Work on your budget

Now that you are or will be unemployed things will be different in terms of your spending. So work out a realistic budget as you accustom yourself to a more frugal living. Remember that without a job you cannot enjoy the luxuries that you once did.

It’s therefore time for you to cut back on your spending.

Don’t isolate yourself

Start networking and meeting people. Just because you are unemployed doesn’t mean you should confine yourself to a ‘leper colony’. Get out there and face the world.

Surround yourself with positivity

Tell yourself repeatedly that this change is not your fault. It’s not the organisation’s fault either, so try not to blame them for it. Desperate times call for desperate measures and rightsizing may just be the way some organisations deal with the economic downturn. Surround yourself with inspiring and positive people. Avoid the “haven’t you found a job yet” camp.

Get involved in productive work

Consider getting a temporary job or volunteering to build added skills.

You could start your own business, write a book, teach at the neighbourhood school or university, attend seminars and training programmes, and the list goes on. There are so many productive things you can do with your time.

Safeguard your self-esteem

Your self-esteem is one of the most precious things you possess therefore guard it. You will only be able to land yourself a job if you believe you are worth it. Otherwise how could you convince someone to hire you when you are having trouble convincing yourself that you are the best person for it?

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