Did you just lose your job?
I know. What could be worse? Death, serious illness, divorce, a painful relocation. But it’s up there, among the most acute crises one could face in life.
Back in the day, layoffs were padded, if not economically, then socially. Many organizations played a useful role normalizing this experience. Churches, political parties, labor unions – each in their own way would tell you: “what happens to you is not unique, it happens to many of us”. By feeling this ‘normalcy’, panic was staved off.
Alas, it’s no longer the case. Many organizations abdicated their responsibility for offering social cohesion to those whose role in the society was suddenly upturned. These days, the sense of rejection feel worse because it is lonely.
However, depending on the juncture in the professional career, this experience could yet prove transformational.
And for this transformation to take place, we just have to help this situation a bit.
1. Accept that this is a loss. Each loss is an experience that, paradoxically, strengthens us. It teaches us how to live. Away from the daily treadmill, and towards something new. It’s a great learning opportunity and, like any exercise, offers a great preparation for other life obstacles in future.
2. Learn from others. You are not alone with career discontinuity. Talk to others, ask what they think, how they approached their own situation. Don’t be afraid to exploit others’ experiences.
3. Talk openly to friends about the planned changes. It may come as a surprise but, your exploration will make you a more attractive interlocutor. Those whose pathways are not linear are often considered brave, fascinating and inspiring personalities.
4. Use this opportunity to embark on something new. Depending on the situation, you may now use this moment to focus on something that you long wished to engage in, but continually postponed till later in life. This moment has come now. Use it.
5. Remember about the good times. When a crisis happens, we automatically focus on the pain of the moment. But we did spend some great years in ‘our previous’ role, didn’t we? Then, we should cherish those images, the memories and think about those days with gratitude. Every mourning period should end with gratitude and it’s no different with a job loss. It’s an empowering sensation.
6. Put some order into your finances. Depending on your situation, it may be necessary to adjust some expenses. It’s actually helpful to do a more granular audit as it is possible that some spending has been automated over the years and no longer offers added value.
7. Take a good care of your health. If you can, negotiate with your past employer a short-term extension of your insurance coverage. Then do a full health check and address any lingering issues. Adjust your diet accordingly and build up a daily work-out routine. It will put you in great mental shape to tackle point eight, below.
8. Your job search is your new fulltime job. However, what will you do after hours? Volunteer! Be active, meet new people, and feel useful. And try learning something new. This after-hours activity, too, might open up new opportunities ahead.
9. See professional help. It’s perfectly understandable that you experience this moment of discontinuity as an emotional crisis. Should this cloud remain over your head, do not hesitate to seek help. It could be help from a therapist or from a life coach/career coach. The former will help you deal with the past, while the latter will assist you in identifying and executing the next steps. If you need assistance, schedule a call with us to find out if we can help you!