Unfortunately, for many now, dismissal is a reality. This event raises many questions to yourself and others. Kira, a young woman, approached me about the experience of being fired. She worked in her previous place for three years and is now forced to look for a new place. But first you need to put your thoughts and feelings in order.
Kira: The employees of our design company traditionally worked in teams of five. We all possessed similar knowledge and, if necessary, could replace each other. And two months ago it became known that the management had to cut one person from each team. Nobody knew who it would be, everyone was in suspense.
Yulia Vasilkina: Have the layoffs already taken place?
К.: Yes, and I ended up among those dismissed. I can't understand why they cut me. It seems to me that there were other candidates. I am far from the worst employee.
Yu. V.: You say that you cannot understand. Did your supervisor explain their decision?
К.: Yes, the leaders talked to me. They said that it was not an easy decision, that they value me as a professional and are confident that I will find an interesting job. I took it all as the usual "blah blah blah."
Kira spoke about her experiences. She became disillusioned with her leaders and with the team in general. She always saw the team as a kind of "family". The management has always tried to create and maintain a warm and trusting atmosphere. When it became clear that the company could survive only by cutting the team down, it came as a shock to everyone. No, Kira's bosses have never been cruel and cold. She saw how hard this decision was given to them. The team was destabilized.
Yu. V.: Kira, you said that you were disappointed in both the leaders and colleagues. But at the same time, talk about them with great warmth as about family. What and who exactly are you disappointed in?
К.: I thought that there is mutual support and trust among colleagues. But then I find out that some details reached the management that no one knew, except for some personalities. And it was blurted out on the wave of "who will be fired." I understand that everyone survived as best he could, but realizing that you were set up by blurting out what was in a private conversation is very unpleasant. And what about the leaders - it's bad that they were actually guided by rumors and opinions of other people.
I asked what, in Kira's opinion, was the reason for the dismissal. She recalled that there were several episodes with delays (although all colleagues sometimes had them). Then I remembered a client with whom Kira could not find a common language, although this did not affect the implementation of his project - just another colleague took over the communication responsibilities.
К.: Perhaps the main thing was that I have one feature. I always say it as it is. Some will be silent, but I'm not like that. I and the authorities could always ask a question, if something "sharp". And in the last year, salary interruptions began, it decreased. Actually, that's why it became clear to everyone that there would be layoffs. I talked about this with my colleagues, expressed my dissatisfaction with this situation with money. Now that I’m fired, I ask myself a question: maybe it was necessary, like some, to sit, be silent and smile?
Yu. V.: Kira, before we discuss this, I would like to ask: what would you like from our meeting today? How could I help you?
К.: I would very much like to come to my senses. I am mentally ill. I was in the "family" and treated like a "family", but now it turned out that I was not needed. My self-confidence collapsed. It seems to me that I will not be able to find a job.
Yu. V.: Okay, your request is clear. Indeed, it is very difficult to break with the team that was so close. And a surge of self-doubt is a frequent thing.
When a person is fired, faith in himself often leaves him with work. Not for long, but a drop in self-esteem can be observed almost always. And perhaps, when it comes to psychological work with the dismissed, it is on this that the focus of the work should be focused. Having “found himself” again, a person will be able to restore efficiency faster and find a new job. Falling self-esteem, doubts about the correctness of their behavior - the effects are quite functional, but only for a short time. They help to stop and analyze the situation in order not to repeat mistakes, if any. The main thing is not to stop in this state, but to come out with a new understanding of yourself.
Yu. V.: You said that perhaps it was necessary to behave differently. Could you?
K. (pensively): It seems to me, after all, it is unlikely. I have an active life position.
Yu. V.: Has this tendency to speak honestly and openly ever shown its usefulness for the cause? Or was it always just getting in the way?
К.: Actually … yes, it was useful. Of course! That is why it was I who communicated directly with many clients at work. And my colleagues knew that I would designate everything that was needed, and I would not play around. And if it was necessary for the good of the case to talk with the authorities, even if it was unpleasant, I was never afraid. And the conflict was resolved.
Yu. V.: That is, we can say that your directness and honesty played a positive role. They were effective with clients, probably setting the tone for realism in lead times …
К.: … and sometimes clients just fantasized about things that could not be realized! They have changed performers more than once, and apparently no one told them that this was impossible. I knew that it was necessary to clarify this and that it was necessary to achieve realism and understanding of our capabilities. Therefore, our customers were rarely unhappy.
Yu. V.: But if this is so, is it worth saying that this quality needs to be eradicated in oneself?
К.: It turns out that it is impossible. It's useful.
Yu. V.: Yes, this is part of your professional experience and competencies. This is what sets you apart from others, maybe just as professional. Everyone is strong in their own qualities. In general, this is your strong point.
К.: But in particular because of this I was fired?
Yu. V.: Perhaps, it is worth thinking only about the proportion of manifestation of this quality. Somewhere and someone should not speak directly. Now you know this and can take it into account for the future. But there is another interesting aspect. I want to know: when your bosses talked with you about the upcoming dismissal, how did they, so to speak, “sweeten the pill”?
K. K.: I already said - they said that I was a professional in my field, that they were sorry to part with me. That they are ready to give me written recommendations. And perhaps I deserve better - in another position, higher and more responsible, which they do not have. But I decided that these are standard words.
Yu. V.: Having met you, I could assume that this is not so. You give the impression of an active, independent, confident person (even if you are a little lost now). So let's take a look: did your superiors have reason to doubt your professional competence?
K. K.: I think not. There were never any serious complaints, only some working moments that everyone has.
I summarized that Kira was called a professional for a reason. She admitted with a smile. Further, we figured out whether the words that it was a pity to part with her were "empty". It turned out that no - the bosses were worried and sometimes called with words of support, like some of their colleagues. We also talked about the idea that Kira deserves more. We went back to the quality of honesty again and discussed that it is an important quality of a strong person who can organize others. Kira perked up noticeably.
Yu. V.: Kira, do you still think that what the authorities said were formal words of consolation?
K.: Now it seems to me that no. I think they appreciated me. Now I remembered an interesting phrase. They said that I could definitely find a place for myself, unlike others.
Yu. V.: What do you think was meant?
К.: My colleagues are good professionals. But in terms of "survival" and really different. One has a small child and no husband. The second is very timid. The third is sensitive and always very worried about trifles. The fourth is "in itself" and does not really like communication.
Yu. V.: So it turns out that the additional “for” your dismissal could not have been negative reasons connected with you, but just your characteristic of “survival”? In other words, was the “family” less scared to let you go than someone else, because they were confident that you were able to act in this situation?
К.: Wow! I didn’t think that way! But it turns out that out of all ours, I really can cope faster.
Yu. V.: Now you have to look for a job. Have you already had this experience?
К.: Yes, I had to get a job twice. Each time I was worried and looked for a place for a long time.
Then it turned out that “long” is “almost a month and a half”. This became a reason to joke and laugh a little, telling Kira that for someone this term would be designated in other words, for example - "I found it almost immediately." Kira, laughing, agreed. Next, we discussed whether, from her point of view, there were job offers in her specialty. It turned out that there is. I asked Kira a little about how she would look for a job. It became clear that the mental rumblings had subsided, that Kira was practically talking about what proposals could be accepted and what would not suit her. She was ready to look for something new.
Yu. V.: Well, Kira, it's time for us to finish our meeting for today. I see that your state has changed, but still I want to hear what you are leaving me with.
К.: I want to say thank you very much. From the moment of my dismissal, I lived in negative emotions: I blamed myself, the girls, the bosses. Now I realized that actually being fired is an unpleasant thing, but I can survive it. I became convinced that I have qualities that will help me, as well as professionalism. Don't doubt yourself. I think I'll get some rest, and it will be like a vacation. And in two weeks I'll be busy looking for work.
I wholeheartedly supported Kira, and we ended the meeting. When she said goodbye, I noticed that her posture and gait even changed: they became more confident. However, internal sensations are always reflected in the body.
PS Kira found a place for herself during the first month of the search and is now happy with her work.