The Chinese Proverb says “May you live in interesting times.” Many also consider it a curse, and you may feel that way if you are an employee at the following firms: Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, AIG and perhaps Merrill Lynch.
When pink slips are circling overhead like vultures over a rotting animal, there are several things a Wall Street vet could do:
1. Be the calm in the storm and focus on your job. It’s so easy for less experienced people to get caught up in the hysteria of it all. If you are a vet, you’ve seen these times of crisis before and you know that we’ll all see them again. Remember the crash of 1987, the layoffs of 1991. We all remember 2001 & what happened in 2002 .. when unemployment benefits were extended to 1 year! Then came 2003 and by 2004 & 2005 companies were hiring like mad again. So live in the present: you have a job … bring all your positive energy to work every day and focus on accomplishing things.
2. Be proactive at work. Think about how to streamline processes and build teamwork. Think about any moral boosters and bring them to your bosses attention. They would be very welcomed during these tough times.. update that resume. it always feels good to have a resume ready to go. It cuts the stress significantly to be able to start networking asap versus.
3. Network with others in your field. If you belong to a professional organization (and we all should join some organization) ensure that you attend these meetings and meet as many people as possible. Networking isn’t about looking for a job, it’s about building relationships. So put a little more time into this area of your life. It’s all about the network!
4. Do not call in sick, do not take 2 weeks vacation at once, do not complain about your job or about your coworkers. Stay connected and be reliable at all times. Make your boss feel like they could not do without you.
5. Do things to lower your stress now … should a pink slip act like a “heat seeking missile”. Forgo that $4,000 vacation & don’t eat out if you can avoid it. Keep your older car instead of getting a new one right now. Keep a “saving log” showing how much you have avoided spending. Make it a contest in the house and have fun with it. Do anything you can NOT to spend money right now. It’s great to see a savings account build up because having 6 months of living expenses in a savings account is a wonderful thing.
6. Spend quality time with family outside of work. Bring the stress down on the weekends and at night by having fun. This will no doubt lower your stress and you will look more relaxed and you’ll be better able to stay calm when and if layoffs come your way.
7. Work out regularly! Endorpins will only make you feel better during this time. It will keep you centered and able to handle whatever comes your way.
8. Find religion! Believing in a higher power brings down the stress. There is something very empowering when you say “I’ll give it all up to you God.” 95% of this country believes in a higher being, so I don’t think I’m out of line to suggest tapping into that higher being for a sense of peace and wellbeing.
Good luck & may the pink slips fly by without even looking your way!
Filed under: career coaching, life coaching, philosophy, AIG, Baby Boomers, Bear Stearns, Family, Fitness, gen y, Generation X, Lehman, Merrill Lynch, Millennials, Pink Slips, Religion, Working out