Have you ever found yourself in, or following redundancy, a career break, being on furlough or starting retirement and struggle to find the words to tell your story positively?
I am spending a lot of time with my client at the moment discovering exactly this. Every scenario is different and the story we wish to tell is equally different.
My own story I tell and firmly belief is, I had the opportunity to leave my corporate career through a reorganisation. This provided me with the space and time to be more present with my family and start my own business in the area I love. I could tell the story in another way, I endured organisational change upon organisational change and worried everyday that I would lose my job. The pressure to be present and to deliver to my best, while being so distracted by the uncertainty exhausted me. The difference of the two stories highlights there are many ways to look at any scenario. Then apply the lenses of personal and others views and judgements, the number of interpretations is limitless.
The story that helps me to be at my best more of the time is the positive perspective, that highlights what was good for me about the situation. I focused on the opportunities, the possibilities and the positivity that the change could bring me.
Over the months of the reorganisation, I worked hard on my own story, so it flowed well when making introductions or if anyone asked what I was up to. I recall the first networking event I went to in my own company name, where I worked with a partner, who would then introduce me. I was fascinated, as I was introduced by my partner as, ‘This is Zia, she has just been made redundant.’ What was said was totally true, but I had worked so hard on my positive story I was surprised to hear this, as I only saw what happened as a positive, while redundancy can have tones of sadness or rejection, I never felt this at all.
Do any of these sound familiar to you?
‘I’ve been made redundant!’
Find some positive language around this? How can you flip any negativity to be positive? You may need to dig deep to find this, but there will be some. What are the possibilities and opportunities this brings to you?
‘I have clicked the Voluntary Redundancy (VR) box!’
You may think that opting for VR would remove any uncertainly, worries of what will recruiters, future employers, family and friends think. When opting for VR know your drivers? What led to you make this choice? What are your plans now? If seeking another role, which industries, what type of role and be very clear when applying for new roles share the positive perspective of your choice.
‘I left my job to protect my mental health!’
Be proud, this can be a very difficult choice to make especially at a time when clarity of thought and confidence can be low. Through making positive choices to be at your best this is a celebration to have done this for you. From here, what have you noticed to be at your best more? What triggers your health highs and lows? How can you aim for more positives? What help is available to you?
After a long successful career, retirement should be a time to enjoy, invest time into things that there was no time for while working. In retirement, the identity that you have carried throughout your working life is no longer valid. When making introductions at voluntary or social events, what do you now say? What are your hopes and fears for retirement? How can you make your retirement fit you to be at your new best?
In the examples I have shared, multiply this by the number of people you work with, the number of people who are friends and family. There is a lot going on out there and we all have our own story, our own drivers and our own needs which continue to change and flex.
If you find yourself in any of the scenarios and would like to work on your positive path, please do get in touch and we can explore your positive destination together.
Contact Zia on email at firstname.lastname@example.org