One of my coachees met me yesterday and she looked horrified and stressed. She had been going through a rough patch – late working hours, very high targets, no appreciation, health issues due to stress and above all, political battles to survive. All of this was also affecting her quality time with family and hence personal issues with the spouse. She had worked for more than a decade in this organization and had given her blood and soul to its success. Lately, there were leadership changes and the effects had started showing up at all hierarchical levels. She had been living under the fear of losing her job while being there was also taking a huge toll on her life for past 8-9 months.
She said she along with a few other peers have been finally informed about the mutual separation agreement. She was so worried that all she could see was fear and confusion about what she should do next. I could see a chaotic messed maze in her head. And I knew that needs to be sorted out.
I asked her – What does the agreement say? What is the offer?
She said – 3 months of notice period + a month pay for every completed year.
I: So that means you get more than a year’s pay? Right
Her: Yea. But what do I do now?
I: What options do you have?
Her: I don’t know.
I: Do you think you can or even if given an option, you would want to stay back?
Her: There’s clearly no such option. I have struggled for the past 9 months and know it. It had been humiliating every single day.
I: So is it not good that it finally got over? Were you expecting anything different?
Her: No I knew this was to end. But I have been given a mutual separation – What do I do?
I: What’re the options do you have than to simply accept and move on?
She was in an extremely victim state. Didn’t say a word.
I: Okay, let’s see what is good about this situation?
Her: Good about this situation? Really? What more can happen to me?
I: Let’s try once. Think about it.
Her: My day to day struggle that I was going through is over. It is like the result has come and I have failed.
I: Did you want that to continue?
Her: No, that way, I am happy that it is over because I couldn’t take it anymore and my personal life and health were taking a hit.
I: What more good do you see?
Her: I have 3 months left for which I get paid + 11 month’s pay for my 11 years of stay here.
I: Yea, so its 14 months of pay that gives you financial security for 14 months. Moreover, you have 3 working month’s where you can actively focus on finding another opportunity for yourself while being paid here for doing nothing much. Am I right?
Her: Yes that’s right. But what do I do?
I: Why do I feel you want some complications to mess your mind into while there is none? You say you don’t have any other option than to accept the agreement. You didn’t want to stay back and had been struggling for the past 9 months putting your health, personal relationships and your peace of mind on stake. And now that the organization has offered you a cake that you could not just have but eat it too, you are wondering what you should do? You are not ready to accept the situation which you knew will happen but perhaps happened with a much better deal than what you feared.
Isn’t this the best thing that could have happened to you in this given situation? Can you think what worse could have happened?
Her: Yes, I could have lost my job on some unjustified reasons like performance issues, could have not paid anything beyond my notice period, I could have been sitting at home looking for a job with challenges justifying why I left my job without having another opportunity in hand, All of this could have been so tormenting for me and my family….I am actually scared to even think of what all could have happened.
I: Don’t you see how all of these not happening has been such a blessing in disguise. You could focus on finding a job in these 3 months, spend quality time with family, rejuvenate your health and relationship while being paid monthly. More so, even if finding a job takes a little while, your finances are taken care of.
Her: Yes, I feel much better.
I: You must. Be glad that there are no other options that you have than to just float and flow in a much desirable direction.
Her: Yes, there are actually no options that I have that I should put my thoughts into. It feels so good right now to not have too many options.
I: Good luck!
We are so used to stay complicated in our minds that we do not realize that having no other option in life could also be a comforting thing at times.
We keep looking for so many options first and later feel complicated and incapable of taking decisions.
We are so accustomed to seeing misfortune and stresses around us that we forget to find goodness in the situations that we are into.
Believe that when you have given your best effort, anything that happens will have goodness enveloped in it. You need to find it and anchor it to move on. There is nothing that is pure misfortune – Look for what’s good about a situation and you shall surely find it.