Hi my name is Jackie Lenihan and I’m a Life Coach at Inspiration Activated. Over the last few years I’ve experienced a situation that has the norm in working life these days - RESTRUCTURE.
Business restructuring is frequent, it is swift and it can be brutal to the employees involved. If a restructure does occur the impact can be prolonged because following a restructure there is then an internal restructure of teams. The internal turmoil cannot be underestimated as your workplace friendships, tea and coffee break buddies and other workplace routines get muddled with.
It can be a very frightening time for people, being very unsure about what is going to happen to their jobs, how they will be able to manage. It takes a huge toll on people’s self esteem and if it goes on too long then it also can bring the worst out in people because they go into self-preservation mode. Often people in this situation think that if “I don’t have this job then I am worthless, a failure”. It’s almost like you are letting your job define who you are as a person. This couldn’t be farthest from the truth.
I’ve been through a lot of these restructures over the last 20 years, in fact I’ve been made redundant four times and each time it has been frightening. Being a solo parent and wondering how I was going to support my children and keep a roof over their heads kept me awake at night. I felt like such a failure and didn’t know what to do. I felt like I was very much alone and had no one to turn to. But by taking one day at a time I managed to get through, I learned to see the things that I did have, the people around me who loved me and were there for me and the skills I had obtained over the years.
I’ve learnt that being made redundant or being disestablished doesn’t define who I am as a person. But that this is a journey that has grown me and gotten me to a point that I understand my value and learnt that I can take control of my life and destiny and not be subject to the whims of corporations. Even if you’ve never been in this situation, wherever you are in life you need to know your own value as a person. There are essential things that you need to understand and do to prepare for a restructure:
One - ENGAGE:
When you hear that there is going to be a restructure, don’t react quickly but engage with the process. Find out what the company executive has in mind and don’t be afraid to ask questions. A lot of the time the executive will benefit greatly by your input because you are the one who does the job and know the important things that need to be thought of (it’s important that you don’t underestimate your knowledge and understanding of your roles). Also, if you get as much information as possible it will give you a better understanding on whether you will fit into the new structure or not, and you can make decisions that will benefit your future.
Two – EMOTIONAL MANAGEMENT:
This is a very emotional time, and when you are afraid its so easy to get taken away with your emotions and the emotions of those around you. Something I’ve learnt while studying to become a life coach with top coaches Tony Robbins, Cloe Madanes, Mark Peysha and Magali Peysha of Robbins-Madanes Training, is that emotions are things that we do! They don’t happen to us. We have responsibility for and control over our emotions. It was quite and eye opener to me to see that I don’t have to be ruled by my emotions but I can control them.
There are things that we do as human beings to create emotions, it’s called a triad:
For example, when you feel sad you will be focussing on a something particular (not being good enough) , then you may notice your head will look down, your shoulders will draw down and close, the next thing is you will be saying things like “I’m useless, I will never be good enough” to yourself, generally quietly in your head. Well if this is true for sadness then it’s also true for feeling happy, afraid, ecstatic or for any emotion.
Knowing this gives power to a person knowing they may be feeling really bad or afraid, but they don’t need to stay in that emotional state. You can think of a time that was really happy for you and you will notice your shoulders will come up, your breathing will slow down and you lift your head and smile, practicing doing this helps you to change your emotional state and bring you to a place where you can think more clearly. It doesn’t take the situation away but it enables you to deal with it in a more lucid and constructive way and then you can start making plans for your own future - You have taken control.
This is also helpful when you find your fellow colleagues crumbling around you and if they are getting nasty you will deal with this better because you can be empathetic toward them instead of taking their emotional state as a personal attack against you. This is a time when all staff need to be kind and mindful of each other. Be sensitive and you can only do this if you are in control of your own emotions.
Also don’t be afraid to get some help, to talk through things, and have a positive support network around you. Having one person who you can confide in and just be real with makes all the difference.
Three: EVALUATE YOURSELF
Restructure is not the end of life, it can be the beginning of something fabulous. It’s an opportunity for you to think about what YOU WANT TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE.
Think about what you love to do and what brings you joy in your life. Can you make a career out of what you love? Do you want to retrain? There maybe some hard work ahead but I know it can be done as I did that last year while working full time going through a restructure. It was hard but I started out by thinking of what is it that I’m most passionate about in life and always have been. For me it’s always been people, no matter what job I have been in, looking after and caring for people has always been a priority for me so when I saw the Life Coaching course come up in my emails I thought this is what I want to do for the rest of my life, it’s something I don’t have to retire from and I can feel like I contribute something worthwhile to this world we live in.
It’s not all straight forward but working through each issue that arises one at a time I am making progress forward. Going through this training has helped me work through the things in my life that had me stuck; low self-esteem feeling worthless and incapable because of my not taking responsibility for my responses to the situations I had been through (restructures being one of the areas). Being coached through this time made all the difference and helped me to be brave and face myself. I am very grateful for this although at the time is was quite hard.
If you think about the things you have been drawn to all through your life you will find there are some things that keep coming up, take a look at those areas and see whether there may be potential for you to do something with them as a career. This is where getting help from a Life Coach helps. You get to work through the things that may be stopping you from moving forward, discover why you react the way you do to things that really frustrate you, and discover a new dawn to a very exciting life.
That’s what we love to do here at Inspiration Activated, help people discover themselves and to live a full and joyful life. Unlock the dreams that may have been put aside and learn to embrace you value as a person and where you can make a purposeful contribution in life.
Take it from me, having gone through many restructures I always know there will be a new dawn.