You may not think so at the time, but a termination can be a blessing in disguise. It can benefit you both mentally and physically, can advance your career, and can also boost your bank balance and retirement fund. Of course termination is a negative outcome and not what you want to have happen (though these days you should really expect and prepare for being downsized). Yet upon reflection, I’m sure you will agree that there are upsides to being downsized. Here are four of them:

1. Get out of jail

One client told me that being terminated was like his “get out of jail” card. He hated his job, was working 10-hour days, and was miserable every minute of them. This kind of work stress can have serious mental, physical and emotional consequences.

When you have regular bills to pay, people to support, and credit card debt, it can feel like you’re trapped in your job and can’t risk making a change. Being downsized is a way to be released.

When forced into making a move and given a package, one can actually see the relief on people’s faces after a few days – after the guilt, the anger, the rage, and the “why me” has disappeared.

2. Take a sabbatical

Many severance packages give you the opportunity to spend some down time reflecting on your next move. If career transition services are included, you can take advantage of professional guidance to assess your career direction and explore your options.

Just don’t exhaust your sabbatical by waiting until it’s almost over before starting your job search. Shake off the sting of being terminated. Cleanse your thoughts and feelings as far as your career is concerned. A new opportunity beckons.

3. Explore greener pastures

In today’s economy, both in Canada and the U.S., the hiring economy is very positive. So there’s a great upside now to marching on with a job search. If you’re ambitious enough, this doesn’t have to be a lateral move; it can be a promotion.

4. Boost your savings

The “released prisoner” client I described earlier did the right thing when he was terminated. He didn’t sign the severance papers immediately. Instead, he consulted an employment lawyer who altered the severance package, generating many thousands of extra dollars in severance pay.

The longer you’ve been at your job, the larger the package you may be able to negotiate. As long as you don’t squander your time or delay your job search, you can use that money to boost your investments, perhaps even allowing you to retire earlier.

By reflecting and acting on these four opportunities, you can swiftly transform a negative turn of events into a positive prospect for the future.

Thank you for this guest post goes to Martin Buckland, Principal of Elite Resumes, one of Canada’s leading authorities on highly effective resume writing, high impact cover letters, successful job-search strategies, executive coaching, personal branding, interview tutoring and social media career strategies. Visit his blog at Downsizing with Dignity.

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