Returning After Being Furloughed

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Melissa Albers  0:02  
So I was talking with a coaching client yesterday, who just got back from being on furlough. Hmm. And it feels like there's a lot of companies in that space right now.

JJ Parker  0:13  
Yeah. It's as the economy is kind of changing and things are moving around. Definitely a lot of people coming back off for low. It's got to be a really hard situation.

Melissa Albers  0:24  
Yeah. And I think that there's some real common themes that I've seen with people that are have been furloughed and are coming back. And I really think that they're worth the conversation today. I think first of all, people have a natural fear, like it's gonna happen again. Totally. Right. Like, I just got back. And how long am I here?

JJ Parker  0:42  
Yeah, because even now, things are not terribly stable. They're a little unsettling, or, or unsettled. And, and you just don't know.

Melissa Albers  0:50  
Yeah. And I think really to trace it back to what's the feeling behind that. And to me, that's an anxiety feeling, right? It's like you're feeling really anxious because of things that you don't know could happen. Yeah. And just like we always talk about in the self awareness journey, when you're in that anxiety place, it's because you're going too far ahead, and you're trying to have information that isn't even there yet. And to deal with anxiety, it's almost like just bring it back to the present and try to focus on what's happening right now.

JJ Parker  1:18  
And it's completely normal to be anxious about it, because we're sure like COVID came, it happened really fast. And to think that, hey, it might happen again, right? completely normal. But I love the tip of trying to stay present. Yes. And not get too far ahead. Because we didn't know what's gonna happen the first time. We don't know what's gonna happen. to happen. No. I think

Melissa Albers  1:41  
another really common thing for people is being really embarrassed when they come back, because people who have been off for a while now are suddenly thrown together with people who were not off and actually were really, really overworked. Yeah. And it creates sort of this, like strange feeling of embarrassment. Like, I feel embarrassed that I was the one that was

JJ Parker  2:00  
here, right? Like, why was I picked? Was it my performance? What went in the decision to furlough me versus one of my co workers? Yeah. You know, and that's really hard to think through. And, yeah. The fact is, is that most of the furlough decisions aren't based on your performance at all. They're literally decided on a spreadsheet. Yes. By a financial analysis, right. Unfortunately, that's just how businesses run those. Right? So yeah,

Melissa Albers  2:33  
and I think it's a very natural thing to have really strong emotions about it, because it's been it was you that was affected. It's totally normal, but as quickly as you can, if there's a way for you to have more objectivity and recognize, you know, if you've been furloughed, it's because the company really liked you and didn't want you to be gone. You know, they had to make these financial decisions, and they're so looking forward to having you back and to try to stay really objective about that might help with some of the embarrassment,

JJ Parker  3:00  
definitely. That then the last one is kind of like when you come back, not really feeling like you fit in anymore. Like, what's going on here, like the mix of peoples a little different roles might have changed a little bit. Yes. The pecking order of things in the communication flow is maybe a little different than you're used to. Yeah, yeah, change is hard, too.

Melissa Albers  3:24  
And I think that makes you feel off balance, or maybe like, you aren't good here anymore. What's the pecking order? Where do I fit in? And all of those things, and I think, again, just recognizing that you have an opportunity here to almost think about this, like a new role. Mm hmm. You know, it's like, show up, do your best work, the best way for you to feel good about what's going on around you is to feel good inside, first out. So how can you do that in your role to just be the best that you can be and focus on the things that you can control?

JJ Parker  3:54  

Melissa Albers  3:56  
So just as a quick recap, I think in this whole conversation about furloughs, it's really understanding your feelings and emotions first. And I think the first one that we talked about was anxiety. Remember, if you're having a lot of anxiety, bring those thoughts that you're having back to more present what's happening right now, because you'll definitely know more and have less anxiety if you do that.

JJ Parker  4:17  
And then staying objective, right, just understand a lot of the furlough decisions were made on a spreadsheet in a financial way had really nothing to do with you your performance or anything like that precisely, they objective.

Melissa Albers  4:30  
And then the last one is to remember that the very best way that you can do good work is to feel good inside. So all of your activities and actions and thoughts should be based around creating the perfect environment that you can control and you're doing the best work that you can so you feel good.

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