How to Handle the Stressful Uncertainty of Company Downsizing or Outsourcing

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For a variety of reasons, many companies are downsizing their employees, leaving some loyal workers jobless, and others wondering if they’ll be next. Others are taking their companies overseas, leaving all their domestic employees in the lurch.  During this time, the uncertainty of it all can make stress almost intolerable for everyone involved. Hours get cut, and those left over may work more to make up for the lost employees not being there. Tempers flare, and people become disillusioned with their jobs as they sense the company winding down. How can everyone cope? What to do? Even if it feels like it, this is not the end of the world. It takes not only being good to oneself, but planning for the future as well.

It’s better to be proactive instead of just reactive.

Instead of giving up, it’s best to get busy. It’s easy to feel worn out; stress can make us slow down and want to do nothing We all need our time-outs, to rest and recuperate, but don’t overdo it or it can become a habit. Give yourself a set amount of time to feel all those feelings of anger, frustration or stress. Then, get up, dust yourself off, and take action. Looking for jobs, networking with other people, writing a resume is always good to do – just in case the worse scenario happens and your job is ended. It’s better to be prepared than to wait until it actually happens, because then panic can set in, and make things much worse. Sit down and write out a list of what kind of job you want, what kind of benefits you need, and what type of company you want to work for. Be as specific as possible. Just write it all out. You may or may not need to get another job, but in the meantime, writing helps to clarify what you want, and dispel some of that stress. When job hunting, don’t expect to get everything on that list, but use it as a guide in choosing between positions that you find interesting. Choose one that most suits what you’re looking for.

Don’t let company loyalty hold you back

If people are dropping like flies around you, then the writing is on the wall. It’s time to kick the job search into overdrive. The sooner you start to search, the better. The internet is a treasure trove of resources for you, when it comes to job searching. Submit your resume and look at jobs on different employment-related websites such as Monster.com, HotJobs.com, JobsOnline.net, or others. Don’t rely on one site. It doesn’t cost anything to submit a resume usually, or to get results sent to you in an email on a weekly basis. Even if you don’t want to leave your present job, it doesn’t hurt to look, and be aware of what else is out there. Doing this will make job hunting less intimidating and give you hope for a better day ahead.

If you’ve been miserable in your current position, maybe it’s time for a change

Are you sick and tired of listening to bickering customers on the phone all day long, or do your arms hurt from typing too much? Think of what type of job would be a better match for your personality and needs. If working forty hours in a windowless roomful of cubicles is unappealing to you, think of alternatives. Be practical, though. If finances or tight, don’t think that starting your own business will be an instant flood of cash on a consistent basis. Being a freelance artist, myself, it takes time and planning to build a business and see profit in the art world, unless you have high-powered connections. Would you like to open a coffee shop, gymnasium or start a camp? Whatever you long to do, plan and work towards doing it. Years ago, friends of mine were high-powered Manhattan executives, who chucked the city life and bought acreage in rural Pennsylvania. They started a camp for kids, on the top of a hill, with a big barn, a farmhouse and animals. This camp is now over thirty years old. They’re living their dream because they took a chance, and fled jobs that didn’t make them happy.

Whatever you do, the goal is to re-empower your mind, to feel better and get energized. Give yourself time, and patience to get through downsizing or outsourcing. You’re strong and you’ll get through it. The sun will come out tomorrow. It’s up to you to help yourself, by not giving up hope, being good to yourself, and being practical about the future. Trust your instincts, and give yourself time to decompress and relax, to keep from burning out. A better day will come, until then, just take it all one day at a time.

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