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‘Sometimes the simplest and best use of our will is to drop it all and just walk out from under everything that is covering us, even if only for an hour or so—just walk out from under the webs we’ve spun, the tasks we’ve assumed, the problems we have to solve. They’ll be there when we get back, and maybe some of them will fall apart without our worry to hold them up.’
~ Mark Nepo

Photo Courtesy of Teddy Kelley on Unsplash

Work Colleagues or Friends, Employer or Family?

Business exists to make money. When all is well employees have work, but if the business loses contracts, or work runs out, job redundancies can occur, even to long-term employees.

Some companies promote a culture of belonging to a family, and some employees form relationships  they perceive as friendship with colleagues.

What does an employee experience when he or she is made redundant? Some see it as an opportunity, a new chapter or new beginning, while others experience emotional distress. For employees who see themselves as valued, loyal members of a company family, the level of distress can be quite high. If they also perceive work colleagues as friends, and those relationships drop away following redundancy, distress worsens.Consider your job and the culture of the company you work for. Have you misinterpreted what being part of the company family means, or made a flawed interpretation of what constitutes friendship in the workplace? Do you socialise with management and peers on a regular basis outside of work? Will you continue to be part of the company family once you are made redundant? If the answer is no, then they’re not and never were family or friends in the normal sense. Quite simply they always were employer and work colleagues; respected, liked and valued, but still work based only. The true meaning of family and friends lies at the heart of your life, those 24/7 relationships with people who are there in good times and the not so good, year in year out.

Explore! Dream! Discover!

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

H. Jackson Brown Jr.

What are you doing to improve yourself?

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If you were asked this common question at interview, ‘what have you done to improve yourself in the last twelve months’, would you be able to give a winning answer?   If you are not value adding to your qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience, you run the risk of getting left behind, especially in a competitive market.

Using your own initiative, have you undertaken additional training or upgraded qualifications recently?  Do you put your hand up for training when it is offered through your employer?  Time and personal budgets can be tight, so don’t underestimate the free options of volunteering or seeking out a mentor as commitments that may be well received at interview.

Returning to work following a bereavement

candles-209157_640One of the challenges in life most people experience is returning to work when recently bereaved.   A loss can come in many forms, the physical loss of a loved one including miscarriage, breakdown in a relationship or loss of home or property in difficult circumstances.  Sometimes, you, the bereaved person, feel naturally vulnerable and experience anxiety or stress about facing colleagues.  Much of the reason for this lies in worrying you will be asked questions about what has occurred with fears it may trigger a loss of emotional control.

Some of our colleagues will respond to our loss with a simple touch of the hand on our shoulder, others with quiet words of condolence.  But then there is the person who will want to know every detail, whether or not you want to talk about it.

One way to handle unwanted questions about your loss on your return to work is to prepare a simple response, a polite line that will set a boundary and deflect any further questions.   The night before you return to work, choose and practise your words. Use your prepared response where necessary and repeat if needed.

Grief is an individual and often private experience. Take care of yourself at this time by setting your chosen boundaries.