Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Been laid off or fired? Process the grief.

The opportunity is too good to pass up! So, although my plate is full at the moment, I'm going to take advantage of this opportunity to process a bit more about my experience of being Reduced In Force almost four years ago.

A friend just told me about a local actor and director who wants to write an original performance piece based on the experiences of others in being fired, laid off or retiring. This person wants to gather information from people in the community before he writes his performance piece, and he is seeking input from those who have been through this.

His questions are excellent to consider, whether you have yet experienced these things or even if you fear them. Or if you're looking toward retirement soon. Grief accompanies each of those events, and it doesn't matter whether you chose the outcome or whether it was done to you.

The actor/director asks things such as: At what stage of life did this occur? Did that make your adjustment more severe? How? How important to you was your job or career? What did it mean to you and your family? Describe your last days of employment. Describe your emotions. How long did that stage last? What changed from that initial response? Were you offered support? Did you accept it? Has your emotional reaction changed with time? How and when? If you could say anything to your employer, what would you say? Would it make you feel better? Why or why not? If you could say anything to someone about to experience what you did, what would you say?

Aren't those excellent questions? They're just ripe with possibility. I can definitely see a play being built on the responses. But more, I can see real growth coming from answers to them if you are processing your experience of being fired, laid off or retiring. Pay attention to the grief—and it will be easier to move on.

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