By Debra Gould, MS
Now that the economy is on the slow road to recovery, you might be breathing a big sigh of relief. You avoided the last round of layoffs, so you should be feeling on top of the world, right? But instead, you might be feeling down or unmotivated.
Many people go through intense feelings of guilt after a round of layoffs. They're glad they still have a job, of course, but they often wonder "why me?" They feel guilty they're employed when their friends and co-workers are not. Or they feel remorse in that they're left to pick up the slack and sometimes take on additional roles they were never meant to do.
Experts tell us that feelings like this are quite common after layoffs.
So, what can you do?
1) Stay motivated. Understand that your job exists for a reason, which means you're doing something that benefits someone else in some way. Figuring out how you're helping someone else can dramatically improve your energy level and productivity on the job.
2) Keep your morale up. One way to do this is by volunteering. I know what you're thinking, more work? Think of it as a work 'investment'. You could help someone learn to read so they could get a better job. You could teach computer skills, or mentor a teenager to ensure they get a leg up in their quest for a good job. There are hundreds of ways you can get involved to help others succeed. Volunteering is an incredibly rewarding way to spend your time, and it can really help you keep up the motivation and morale at work (and at home).
3) Reach out. Sometimes being social with people on the job is the last thing on people's minds. But getting to know your co-workers (and even your managers) as people versus just 'work people' is a good strategy. So get out or go out with people from work. It's a fact most of the internal information is still shared outside of the office. Winding down from work with a social outing with your co-workers may be your remedy for seeing work in a different light. But be forewarned, be on your best behavior because work outing behavior may come back to haunt you in the workplace.
It's important to actively combat low motivation and morale after a round of layoffs. You, and your role, survived for a reason. Finding out how you're helping others at your company, and volunteering to help someone else get a better job, can help spark your motivation and make you feel good about what you're doing.
Debra W. Gould, MS is the president of Debra Gould & Associates, Inc. based in New Orleans and provides management consulting and training services to commercial and government clients. Debra is one of the founders of The Ebony Speakers and co-author of the book, Real Women, Real Issues - Positive Collaborations For Business Success. Debra can be reached at: (504) 244-6576, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and website: www.gouldassoc.com
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