Retrenchment and Resilience


Retrenchment isn’t something new in my family’s lives.
– From age 18 to 34, I’ve been retrenched 4 times in my career.
– In 2007, the Singapore Armed Forces let go of my hubs, Jon, after 13 years in the military.
– My dad has been retrenched in his 40s after serving a company faithfully for 27 years. This year, he almost got retrenched again, if not for the grace of his boss who intervened and asked him to go for job retraining.
Retrenchment SUCKS big time. The first time when I was retrenched when I was 21, whoa, I remembered I spent 1 month dazed and ashamed at home. I remembered feeling defeated and thinking that I wasn’t good enough, why is this happening to me, the world isn’t fair and so on.
As I got older, I woke up. Especially there was this time when I was laid off from Thomson-Reuters at the same time my dad was also laid off. Whoa. That was a double whammy. That was also the time that my hubs was already jobless from the army. Triple threat.
The sudden real need to struggle and worry about finances.
My mom asking me for money to pay the bills.
Funding my sister’s education.
Feeding a family of five (parents, hubs, sis and me).
When I landed into Citi 4 months later, I remembered walking in with a very clear head. The contract I have negotiated for was very attractive. I have gotten a 50% pay raise and I was promoted to manager.
Sounds peachy right?
But I remembered sitting down at my desk and thinking… “The life of an employee is not the life I want. I want more control over the source and creation of my income. I want to choose how my environment is like. I will not tolerate to be sacrificed just because of a change of company direction / outsourcing / reorganisation.”
The book Rich Dad Poor Dad literally changed my outlook on my financial life. Then Young Living came 3 years later and the rest is history till today.
Some things I’m actually grateful to RETRENCHMENT for:
1. It taught me A LOT about RESILIENCE and GRIT.
2. It got me very clear on my strengths and what skills I can leverage myself on to get to a better place.
3. It literally opened my eyes. How many colleagues do you have that is in their 60s, 70s? Especially in senior or managerial positions. Don’t count the tea lady or the cleaner. My guess is, very little. Or none.
4. It pushes me to expand my life view beyond just my job, my performance metrics, my boss, my team, paying the bills and putting food on the table.
5. Focus on the present. This very moment. Am I breathing? Yup. In good health? Yes. Do I have my brains? Oh yes. Then everything is possible and nothing is impossible.
6. S T R E E E E E T C H me outta my comfort zone.
7. Challenge me to dare to hold the belief that I can thrive in adversity and not just be a passive and resigned participant. After all since I’m already paying the price for retrenchment (hello shame and doubt, I don’t welcome you!), I want to look back one day and say, I’m grateful I got retrenched because…..
Regardless what happens in my life thereafter, what I’ve learnt above, will never be taken away from me, unlike an income.
I wrote this post not because I wanted to champion how strong or how brilliant I am. And ya, this post isn’t about the YL products, knowledge or the business building part of it.
Rather I wrote this post because I understand there are people out there, perhaps in this group, perhaps people you know, who ARE worried / stressed about losing their jobs or getting a pay cut. Or already have.
I get you. I do. I’ve been there too. That anxiety, that despair, the bone gnawing worry that keeps you up awake at night. Breaking down. The tears.
((( Hugs )))
If you are in this space, I invite you to take a step back, mentally, where you are at.
One breath at a time.
Even if you are bitter, angry, resigned.
This soon (maybe not soon enough for us all) shall pass.
Till then, CHOOSE to find that gem of wisdom within your experience to grow from.
Forge ahead, no matter what, because I believe in the best version of you.
You are seen.
You are heard.
You are loved.
With all my heart,

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