Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Job cuts, recession - What to do next

2011 is well off the blocks and it looks like the year is going to be an eventful one for the world. There are changes all around - from the BBC being forced to cut back significantly on its well-known World Service international programming and the natural disasters in Australia to violent political revolts in Tunisia and Egypt.

A number of my friends and colleages have been given the axe over the last two years. Some have not managed as well as others - particularly those in the banking industry where the recruitment slump appears to be unhappily stable, and this despite the increase in investment banker bonuses (how does the government still allow them to get away with these one can only wonder). The more successful amongst those, are those that saw the change as an opportunity to take on something new that they always wanted to do. They were too afraid to leave their jobs to actually start it before, and now nothing appeared to hold them back.

Those that did not manage to adopt such a positive attitude did not fare as well. The market is tough and approaching it in the same way as you've done for many years before just doesn't cut the mustard. It is important to have a contingency plan in place and to be prepared to try something new. In this regard it is worth spending time and money on a coach or solutions-focused counsellor. It helps to see the wood from the trees and during these down times it is important to rediscover a more optimistic outlook on what opportunities lay ahead.

My situation is somewhat different from theirs but I found myself in a bit of slump toward the end of last year. Somewhere along the line I had fallen off track. The recession had taken its toll on the small PR business I had started after completing my studies. Add to that some personal relationship setbacks that aggravated matters and I had the perfect ingredients for a depression cocktail.

Following my positive experience with executive coaching in the last quarter of 2010, I decided to go the whole hog and sign up for a series of sessions including a combination of coaching and mentoring. Of course, this wasn't before an overly optimistic attempt at recovery - I had decided to 'invest' a few dollars to play lottery in India first... but - no guessing how that turned out right - unfortunately no quick fixes for Nayna!

Since I had a relatively clear idea in terms of what I wanted to do and it was just the motivation and energy I lacked to pursue it, I got some results surprisingly quickly.

After 2 sessions I had already established a daily routine which I was sticking to like glue (which, by the way, is invaluable for those of you who find yourselves just recently out of work!). A week later I had begun working on a business plan and speaking to people that will help me get my venture off the ground. I am determined that 2011 is my year - I will set up my own venture and persevere with it until it becomes a blazing success. So far so good with my New Year's resolutions and I can safely say 2011 is off to a start like no other!