Preamble: The following poem about redundancy draws from my own personal experience working closely with many clients. My best advice is to anticipate the worst, have a plan and be prepared – just in case it happens to you too!
Baffled and bewildered, she sat across the table.
She couldn’t move or speak. She simply was not able.
Her employer, a manufacturing giant, had just made a bold decision.
One that would cause her life, her whole world, to spin into collision.
She’d started with the company when she was just sixteen.
A sweet, young, brown-eyed girl – and oh, so very keen.
She’d been loyal to this employer for over thirty years,
Found her life-partner there – raised two kids – even shed some tears.
Working as a Night Shift Operator, she had no reason to fret.
The conditions were terrific; she had no mortgage now, no debt.
She’d made so many good friends – perhaps some enemies too!
Life with this company had been fantastic – so now she felt quite blue.
In spite of massive profits, management now had a great idea:
To shut down manufacturing here – and move it to South Korea.
Chasing cheaper production costs – not to be misunderstood!
Inspired by the movie Wall Street, where ‘Greed is really good’.
Isn’t business all about making bucket-loads of money?
Isn’t that what shareholders expect? It’s true – so not that funny.
But what about the consequences of this foreboding intention?
The sadness, livelihoods lost, blurred futures – no hope for redemption.
She was one of several hundred whose lives would change forever.
The outplacement programme provided her was really very clever.
I was her assigned career coach and would support her through all this.
I’d motivate and guide her every step – there’s nothing I would miss.
So what should be the first thing to help this broken creature?
What should I tell her? On what aspect should I feature?
To begin, let’s look at all her unique talents, skills and strengths.
We talked about all these things and elaborated to great lengths.
But still she remained tearful, bewildered and confused.
She felt betrayed, her spirit battered and, oh, so very bruised.
How could this have happened? What was she to do?
Was all this just a bad dream – or was it really true?
I did my best to give her hope and build her confidence.
I honed in on her attributes and areas of competence.
We explored all possibilities and other lines of work.
How she could be her own boss – what a terrific perk!
After a couple of sessions, her eyes began to sparkle.
I’d shown her that her future could be really quite remarkable.
Together we prepared a plan, a strategy to make this happen.
For her dreams to be reality, she really couldn’t slacken.
She’d become quite keen now, rejuvenated and excited.
I can’t pretend – I too was just a little bit delighted.
What a privilege it had been to turn her attitude around.
What a privilege to find her lost and then to see her found.
But she was one of the lucky ones whose story ended well.
What about all the others whose lives would be pure hell?
If they failed to snap out of that inevitable depression bubble,
Their hopes, their dreams, their futures, would surely be in trouble.
Manufacturing has left our shores, chasing the almighty dollar.
Aircraft and auto builders cut jobs – both white and blue collar.
Aluminium and cigarette makers, each a powerful force,
Shut down their Aussie operations – with no hint of remorse.
There is a recurring theme here, in this all-revealing tale,
That change is the only constant – anticipate it – or fail.
Plan for it – be ready – in every aspect of your life.
Have several options up your sleeve – or surely there’ll be strife.©
Fay Libman is a Career Coach and Consultant at Flair Careers. She lives and works in Melbourne Australia, where she provides face-to-face and virtual career coaching services. You can find more of her work on her blog at www.flaircareers.com.au
© 2016 Fay Libman