Monday, August 3, 2009

Pink Slip Advice #1

In my first year of non corporate life I have gotten more calls than I can count from those who have joined the ranks of what I like to refer to as the Pink Slip generation, one that is not defined by demographics, but instead by a Cobra package and a letter of separation agreement.


I listen to the uneasiness and apprehension in their voices. Even those who were expecting it or see it as a door opening instead of one closing have shaky voices as they wrap their arms around the idea.


While the consensus in this past week's news seems to be that we have reached a turning point in the recession, one pointed up, it is expected that unemployment will be the last to recover, in fact it might still get a little worse.



So I have decided to impart what I have learned, my advice for those with pink slips in hands, in a series of blogs. It's my collection of all those things no one advises you when it happens. If you are not a pink slip holder (and I hope you aren't) you probably know someone who is. In which case, please pass these on to them.



#1 Mourn


Give yourself a set amount of time to mourn your loss. This is a big deal. It was your livelihood, your income, perhaps it was and still is your passion.


So really mourn. Once the numbness of the initial shock has faded, feel sorry for yourself. Do nothing. Dress in black if that makes you feel better. Write a hate letter and then take the shredder out. Watch those pages ripped to ribbons and let go of that anger and resentment. It serves to hurt no one but yourself.


But keep the timer on . Decide in advance how long you want your mourning period to be. The Greeks believe in 40 days to mourn a loss. ( Hence the name of my first book) They believe that is the amount of time a soul wanders the earth, making amends before it ascends to heaven. Yes, this is a job, but really, it is also a death in another form.


For you, mourning may be a week, two weeks, maybe a month. If you are financially able I always suggest taking a good long break before the job search ensues. Even if you can't, you still need to mourn this, only in a shorter period of time.


After which, let go of the sadness, the anger, the resentment and the fear. It WILL be alright. Besides, it's almost time to start thinking about what is next and what's that is going to look like.
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