Chronicles of the axe and the five senses

Axed
With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Axed!  This doesn’t happen out of the blues.  There are usually a series of events that lead to it, that if someone was to pay attention to, the person would be able to prepare the next move—for a smooth career transition.

One way of doing this is by actively using the five senses—sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch—to understand and perceive what is happening, or is about to happen to you.  Each sense plays the role of sending messages to the brain, and if you are able to capture and make an interpretation of the messages being conveyed, you will be well positioned to see the axe coming your way, which will then help you to prepare your next move.  The turn of events usually follows a pattern—but not in any particular order, and could be something like this.

Sight.  One day you suddenly realize that you are not invited to participate in key meetings that have a direct impact on your work.  If this happens repeatedly, you have every reason to worry.

Hearing.  Your appraisal discussion goes south, and shortly after, you are told to provide a detailed account of what you are doing—because nobody knows what you do.

Smell.  At this point you begin to smell a rat, because you are either being micro-managed or totally ignored—which was not the case before.

Taste.  The seat is now getting very hot, and you begin to receive feedback and comments that are in bad taste.  To discredit your work.

Touch.  This is the final blow.  You loose touch with what is happening, because you are no longer asked for input on decisions that have a direct impact on your work.

There are many ways of dealing with the situation to help you have a smooth career transition, and this can be done at three levels.

  • Level one. Prepare for the worst by having a good conversation with your ego. To help you do this, instead of asking—Why is this happening to me?  You should ask—Why not me?  Remember, change is inevitable.  This is the time to update your CV and sharpen your skills, by enrolling for a professional course that will help you to advance your career.
  • Level two. Start removing your personal belongs from your office.  This helps to prepare you psychologically, to detach from the known as you slowly begin to venture into the unknown.  You should then cut down your expenses and start living below your means and not within your means, so that you can boost your emergency account.  This will make things less stressful should the axe fall and you have not found another job.  (Experts suggest that the minimum funds in your emergency account should be able to support you for six months).   You should also start building your networks, as you intensify your search for another job.
  • Level three. Things are usually very stressful for you at this point. You should therefore focus on taking good care of your health, so that you can be strong physically and mentally, to be able to direct all your energy on improving your life.  Make any medical appointments you might need, before your health insurance is cut off.  Last but not least, think of plan B – and C – and D to cushion you, should you not be able to find a job before the axe falls on you.

After doing all this, could it be that the axe is actually going to fall on you, or are you just being paranoid?

Much love and all the best!