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Loss and HR

Charles Darwin said – It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives.  It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

When you lose your job, you not only lose your source of income, but also your work relationships.  Unemployment is a rude shock to your system, like a life-changing event, read loss of limb?  You experience anger, stress, anxiety and depression, not to mention feeling disheartened.

Why do we work?

  1. to earn money,
  2. to use our talents, education,
  3. to have some purpose in our lives,
  4. to be a useful member of society

When I found myself ‘in transition’, I initially felt free.  As it stretched on, I got bored.  My good friend, Bonni, kept a close eye on my yo-yoing moods and suggested I meet with others in my predicament to get a better handle on things.  Believe me, it was the best advice I ever got.  Meeting and talking to others meant I could recreate the lost relationships with like-minded folks and brought back purpose to my life.  The second piece of advice was don’t waste time learn something new.  I signed up for a couple of courses.

I also started attending the HRPAP ENG monthly sessions to meet more folks.  At one of these sessions I learnt just how lucky I was.  Thanks to the good advice I had received, I had not hit a nadir of self-pity and depression.

As I write, I’m trying to recall the good advice I’ve received. Some that touched a nerve or just made me think :

Financial prudence : Be aware of the loss of a regular pay-check.  Learn to cut your cloth by the new measure. 🙂

Social Intelligence : Forget your natural instinct to crawl into a shell, go out and meet people, either in your field or just volunteer – be amongst people.

Game Plan : Plan your day just as you did when you were in harness.  Set up your calendar, have deadlines and organize your papers, desk and thoughts.

Upskilling : Learn something new – you can find a lot of ‘free’ courses that are not a drain on your pocketbook.  You could try; the courses are 10-weeks long and you have weekly quizzes and tests – keeps you on your toes!

Emotional Intelligence : It’s EQ that enables you keep it together.  EQ is self-awareness plus self-management, takes practice, motivation and discipline.  A bitter pill at first but pays off in spades.

Shalini’s 14 point blog about emotional health had a good point at number 11 – never give up.  Someone I met earlier this week mentioned – never get disheartened if you don’t get a response to an application, you need to try again, but change something to keep it fresh and new.  It’s this which makes me go on…and believe that I will succeed to get back in saddle, sooon……I hope!!!


  1. Hi Usha,

    I have been through it myself few times in the last couple of years. As such I fully understand how it feels. The pain and suffering of rejection after rejection, you start losing confidence on your abilities and then it start affecting your family life, your relationship etc.
    Here is what I reminded myself, the brief of a story I read, when I found myself on career transition.
    A $20 bill will always remain a $20 bill, even if it is dirty and has passed through few hands. Better days are ahead just keep pressing forward. Handle each day as it come as every day bring new challenges as well as new opportunities.

    Regards, Dinesh

  2. I too was let go and restructured in my HR career after having done it a hundred times to fellow employees. I went through all the emotions of anger, sadness and panic of not having a pay check especially after just buying my first home with my husband. After taking a month to myself I started volunteering, staying active and doing the best I could in my job search. I then realized that being laid off and seeing what it was like to be on the other side of the fence has become an invaluable lesson in employee relations that I take with me each time I have to make the difficult decision to let someone go.

  3. Hi Usha,

    How courageous of you to write this blog. It is indeed an act of courage to acknowledge one’s struggles and share it as an inspiration for others.

    Very inspiring blog! Especially, your opening quote, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

    All the very best in your endeavor.

  4. Hi Usha,

    The very fact that should help us to keep going is that this trasition is a conscious decision that we’ve made, also knowing the challenges associated with it to a large extent, even if not totally. Having made this far, it clearly shows our openness to adapt. These present predicaments should not undermine our journey this far, and we should only look ahead to learn and grow, without ever giving up.

    The future can only have better things in store.

    Wish you all the best.


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