Please don't send your War and Peace manifesto to the Board of Directors.... or publish it on Social Media. Here are some steps to channel your anger and feelings of betrayal into a constructive solution that helps you.
Civil litigation won't repair your life, but the damages (the money) awarded at the end of a case can help to make you financially whole again.
You've just been fired and have a lot of pent up energy and anger. How to use that productively is key.
Helping you find your options when you've been fired is my passion!
I started my law firm in 2006 after Corporate America's Musical Chairs game ended for me too. It was the best thing that ever happened to me! I like being able to help effect positive life changes. And I'm proof that you can create a specific and rewarding career when you focus on what you want to do with the blank slate in front of you.
Although it seems scary right now for you, this fork in the road is an opportunity for you to create your next opportunity. The legal part of it is taking care of Old Business. It's just Closure. Getting you to believe in the potential of your future, that's where the Magic Is! Picture your future as a blank canvas. If you could paint your future to be anything, what would it be?
Deal with the potential litigation you have with perspective. It isn't your whole future. Litigation is a step to get back your power and your dignity. One day you may look back at this time as where your next opportunity began!
Have you ever practiced meditation and mindfulness? Look into that if you haven't. It stops that ever-jabbering committee in your head so you can feel into your present and make room for your future options to appear. Just breathe. Longer breaths out than in slow everything down and decrease the worry. 3 of those in a row is a good start!
Pay attention to what qualities you want to have in your life. Make lists of those and display them where you see them every day. Enjoy your Chapter Two!
Write it all down while it’s fresh: The timeline, Everything that happened, Who knew what and when they knew it. Get it out of your system. Rewrite it. Whittle it down so it’s coherent. Then use that as your starter document for your attorney consults. DO NOT SEND IT TO YOUR EMPLOYER. DO NOT SEND IT TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS. DO NOT POST IT ON FACEBOOK. Be Smart and go to the next step.
Even though California is an At Will state, that doesn’t mean Corporate America can throw you away. Reach out to an attorney to evaluate the situation surrounding your job loss. Were you singled out for an unlawful reason? If you were terminated in violation of public policy (“Wrongful Terminaton in Violation of Public Policy”), you have a case. Did they make up an excuse to fire you after you were a good employee all those years? That’s called “Pretext” and it’s not ok. People aren’t disposable. An attorney can help you identify a number of causes of action you would have.
Check out a few attorneys to consult about your situation. The attorneys listed on CELA.org only represent employees. If you ask 30 attorneys a question, you will get 30 different answers. Find someone who resonates with you. If you do pursue litigation, you want to be aligned with someone you like and respect
Release the shame and misery as much as you can. Everyone loses a seat at the Musical Chairs game eventually. When the new manager arrives or reorg occurs, they bring their clique to the party and get rid of legacy folks. Or maybe you changed or were going through a health issue that changed things, and they didn't want to accommodate you.
If you are truly depressed, seek the aid of a psychologist or medical professional to get you through this situational circumstance. Keep a journal of your feelings and distress, doctors visits, and medications, mileage and expenses. It will be therapeutic to write it down, and invaluable if you do litigate.
Get your unemployment benefits going while you gear up to find your New Opportunity.
Get someone to help you write an appealing resume. That one you used 10 or 20 years ago, needs to be overhauled. Styles of resumes change every few years.
Go out on interviews on jobs you don’t even want. You need to practice your interviewing skills. So exercise that muscle on the crappy jobs. Then you will have some game when you find a job that really suits you. Keep track of all jobs you apply for because if you do have a lawsuit, you must prove mitigation. Mitigation is where you attempt to find comparable work. You don’t sit home on the couch eating bonbons, waiting for Lotto or your trial outcome as your retirement solution. It’s tough to get a job, so you are going to have to get a lot of applications out there to hit gold.
Living Well is the Best Revenge --- Really! Give yourself a little time to grieve, but then Get On With It. If you have a case, get an attorney to run with it. Let them handle the pressure of that. You need to start visualizing what’s next for you. Maybe you will start your own company down the road? Volunteer. It gives you perspective and makes you feel good inside. You have so much to offer.
Remember --- This is Actually Your Opportunity. You have a blank slate in front of you. Intentionally pick what you want next by checking in with yourself. Don’t just wander into something like may have happened when you found this last job. Think of what lights you up. Follow your curiosity. What stirs your soul? Life is short. Don’t spend it in a box that makes you miserable. Your skill sets and life experience are transferable. Jobs exist that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Be open. Focus on the exciting part of the unknown, not the fear. Paint that blank canvas in a way that makes you smile!
I am no science whiz. Chemistry class nearly killed me in high school. However, I will tell you I am fascinated and intrigued by all the exciting new knowledge about neuroscience and how our brain, our body and our evolution interact. Lots of wise people are sharing the information in understandable presentations.
After losing your job, your fear center of the brain is probably on overload. That makes it hard, if not impossible, for you to think productively with the executive function of the brain to plan for the positive things ahead. All energy is being reserved for the fight/flight response. You will need to get to a place of calmness in order to plan well. Fight/flight was important when tigers and bears were chasing us. However, the over-amplification of fear that may be shooting off inside you now is probably counter-productive. Learn how to get it in check.
I really enjoyed the recent Neuroscience Conference offered by Sounds True over the last ten days. It's interesting stuff. While the info is useful in understanding jury behavior, I think the information is so important for everyone to know. Understanding your brain and how its wiring has evolved can provide invaluable tools to change your physiology, control anxiety, and improve communication and relationships.
Right now you need to get involved in saving yourself. Get your brain and your heart geared up for what you want to do next. I personally think understanding the neuroscience stuff makes taking back your power accessible.