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Do the Drill: Brain rehearsal for job loss


(Photo courtesy of Lebatiheim)
This is more for people who still have their jobs. For those people who have unfortunately lost theirs, I’m going to point you to the post called “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” Kevin Bacon

You have a job and you are determined to hang onto it like Indiana Jones hanging off that cliff. But what I really want you to do right now for the next five minutes is this: Imagine…

— it is another day at work – you walk in, exchange pleasantries with the receptionist, and go to your desk.
–you have an email or voice mail on your phone from the boss asking you to ‘stop down this morning’.
— you do that, walk into his/her office and you are asked to close the door and sit down.
— you are given a packet of materials, a cardboard box for your belongings and told that you need to be out within thirty minutes.
— when you get back to your desk, your computer access has been cut off completely.

Quick. What do you do?

If you are like most people (and I’m with you here because Aunt Toby has been through this experience twice in her working life), you are numb/angry/lost. You don’t know who to call first: your spouse/SO, your lawyer, or the State Labor Board. All you can think about is your mortgage, car payments, your kid’s orthodontia bills, and your other kid’s college tuition. You want to cry, but notice that there are others with cardboard boxes on their desks also. There are also company security people milling about making sure that everyone who has ‘gotten the sack’ gets their time, gets their stuff crammed into a box, and gets out the front door without there being any blood spilled, loud words expressed, or physical damage done to the facility.

I want you to wallow in those feelings right now. Get right down to the bottom of them – you are lost; you are in major debt; you don’t have a current resume and if you did you still would not know what to do with it; you don’t want to go home and have to face the rest of the family to tell them “I’ve been sacked”, and you are feeling just a twinge desperate(you will feel a lot more desperate later). If you are feeling more than slightly nauseated or have the urge to run for the bathroom — Aunt Toby feels she has done her job.

Come back…come back…it was all just a dream, Dorothy. You actually still have a job.

Today.

And the thought I want to inject into your brain matter right now is this: Even if you love your job. Even if the job loves you. You could wake up tomorrow and go to work and go through that scenario that you just ‘rehearsed’ for your brain.

Brain rehearsal is very important activity. It prepares us for all sorts of things. This is why, for example, we get sent to Lamaze classes before babies are born. This is why, for example, guys stand in front of mirrors preparing their pick up lines. This is why girls stand in front of mirrors rehearsing various looks. Rehearsing helps us to get through experiences and it also puts thoughts into our heads that we can act on.

I’m hoping that this little drill put some of the following thoughts into your heads and and that you will take steps to act on them:

— I don’t have a current resume. I need to sit down and update mine.
— I haven’t written a resume in years; I need help to write a resume. Where can I find ideas on how to write a resume now(rather than the style of resume you might have written 10 or 20 years ago. Like hemlines, resumes can change with fashion also).
— I have not kept my network and contacts current. I need to get back together with people who are like me. Or with people who use my sort of knowledge and skills.
— I don’t have a network at all. How do I go about meeting people who might be helpful to me? Where can I find ideas on doing that?
— If I were to lose my job, would owning my own business be an option? is this something that would be right for me? How would I find that out? Who would I talk to? Where can I find information on starting and owning a small business?
— If I lose my job can I get Unemployment Insurance? How long will that last?
— If I lose my job, how will I pay bills? How much money do I have in the bank? How long with that last? How much in the way of outstanding bills do I have? How can I get help paying them – can I negotiate with people I owe money to?
— If I lost my job who would I call? Have I ever spoken to my spouse or SO about my job and the chances of losing it? What would happen to us if I did? Perhaps it is time for a family conference to get people thinking about these issues.

Your local area will probably have some resources to help you:
Local library
State job center
Chamber of Commerce (ours does monthly get togethers for networking – get the suit out, get your business cards and get out there)
Local business tips clubs
Local professional society meetings (engineers, accountants, etc.)
Local college career offices and alumni groups

All of these offer opportunities for you to meet people, tell people who you are and what you are doing now and leaving them with knowledge that they will save. You never know when it might pay off.

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