Anyone who has ever lost a job knows that you go through a roller coaster of emotions. It normally starts out with shock, disbelief, fear, hurt and anger. I should know, I’ve been through it three times in the last 11 years – and I’m hear to tell you it does get better! Having experienced job loss first hand, I have come to realize that there are actual steps you can take to recover and move on. Your loved ones will try to “cheer you up” and try to say whatever they think is the right thing to say to you. That’s okay, because they mean well. But you have to acknowledge your feelings and begin healing at your own pace. It may be hard to imagine at the time, but you will get to a better place and have better and more rewarding opportunities available to you.
Take Some time
Acknowledge your feelings! You have been through a shocking event that affects the way you live your daily life. Instead of getting up in the morning to get ready for work you have a wide open agenda. Go ahead and give yourself permission to feel sorry for yourself for a day or two. Actually set a time limit for this – you don’t want to wallow in self pity. Use this time to call supportive friends. Talk about the unfairness of it all, get your feelings out. If you feel hurt, angry or sad don’t try to suppress these emotions. If you do they will come back to visit you later at a most unfortunate time! The most important thing is not to fall into the trap of re-hashing the event for a long period of time. I’ll be honest with you – this isn’t always easy to do especially if you lost your job in circumstances that you view as unfair. But stick to your time limit that you set for yourself because now it’s time to move on!
Be Kind to Yourself
Think about what you might do to support a friend or loved one in the same circumstances and treat yourself with the same consideration. Do something you enjoy that you haven’t had the time to do because of work. Maybe you have a hobby that has been neglected, an unread book, an unseen movie. Take a walk outdoors or go to a favorite place that you haven’t visited in a long time. Spend time with people you enjoy. Get out of the house as often as you need to in order to keep your sanity, even if it’s just a trip to the store. During this time you will be concerned about money and starting a new job search, but all in good time. I’m not talking about taking weeks to “find yourself”, just a few days to help yourself heal. And there are many things you can do that don’t cost a lot of money. This step is so important! If you go from accepting your negative feelings to jumping right in to an extensive job search you will stress yourself out even further and ultimately hinder your efforts. Even though it may seem like there is no time to waste, taking good care of yourself is not wasting time. Treating yourself with kindness will allow you to re-focus and re-energize.
Now is the time to figure out what you really want to do next. There is no time like losing a job to explore your next venture! You don’t have to be concerned about quitting a good paying job to pursue your dreams, that decision has already been taken care of for you. So what will you do? Is there another field you’ve always wanted to work in? Do you want to work for yourself? Maybe you have things to consider like finances, family situation and your age before you can follow your dreams. But if not now, when? Of course if you like the field you have been working in then you can just begin a new job search right away. Or maybe you need to find work while you’re still trying to figure it all out. The great news is you have a clean slate and can re-write your life. I’m still trying to figure some things out. But I can tell you that each time I was let go from my job I ended up with a better opportunity. Once you decide and really make up your mind to achieve a goal the universe will make things happen. One of my favorite sayings is “faith, not fear!” Job loss is one of those situations where we can only look back at a later date and realize that it was one of the best things to happen to us. You usually can’t see it when you have concerns in the back of your mind about getting that next job.
Remember Whats Important
Staying positive is so important right now. Do what you need to do in order to keep negative thoughts out of your mind. Whenever you catch yourself worrying about the future, stop yourself and remember that worrying is useless and doesn’t help one bit. It helped me tremendously to read books from great spiritual teachers like Deepak Chopra and Dr. Wayne Dyer. There seems to be a common theme that all the great writers of enlightenment and transformation agree on which is that our thoughts control our destiny. So think good thoughts! Try not to let fear and discouragement govern your thoughts. If a set back occurs, dust yourself off and keep moving in the right direction. Continue to take care of physical, mental and spiritual health during your career transition. Be careful of people who intrude on your time while you’re off work. Well meaning family members and friends will find tasks for you to do “since you’re not working“. Which is fine in moderation – just don’t let anybody guilt you into doing too much for them. Your number one priority is to work on your next job, career, venture etc.
Stay Strong Towards Your Vision
Once you have decided what you want or need to do – go for it with everything you have! Do your research and make a list of goals and steps you need in order to get there. Decide if you need to take classes, talk to people in your chosen field, network with anyone you can think of. This is something you have prepared for by following all the above steps and you can do it! You will come out on the other side of job loss with a brand new beginning. Some day you will look back and be proud of all your accomplishments. Go out there and begin!