A sudden job loss can be very unsettling, and it makes a person look inside in order to get perspective on their situation. If you follow these seven steps, you will be well on your way to getting back on track with your career – and your life. In fact, you may very well find that you are better off. That job loss could be a blessing in disguise.
Recognize Losing your Job Was Not Your FaultYes, there is some relief knowing that the inevitable has finally happened versus the waiting to see if you will go next. But there is still a little part deep inside you that wonders if it was your fault. Maybe if you worked harder, then this would not have happened. Maybe if you worked weekends, evenings, etc., it would have been someone else who was cut. Maybe if you participated in office policies more, you would still have a job. All these thoughts drain your energy and take away from the contributions you made when you were there. Your company was not doing well. They had to cut costs, and you were one of the people they cut. This is all there is to it. Period. Stop making it mean something more.
Decide What’s Important to YouYou probably have put you on hold for years as you have been spending all your time figuring out how to mold yourself to be someone else. You worried about what your boss thought of you, what his or her boss thought of you, and what your co-workers thought of you. You spent many evenings trying to calm down or figure out what to do with a co-worker or boss that was driving you crazy. All of this is gone (if only temporarily) and now you get to decide what is important to you. What makes you happy? What gets you excited? These are questions that you can answer because you have been given the gift of time to do so.
Recognize That the Time Off is a BlessingThings in life happen for a reason. There was some purpose for you to stop and reassess how you have been living your life at this point. Why do you think this happened now? Were you working too hard? Were you neglecting yourself? Was your family screaming for you to spend more time with them? Now is the time to see if your former lifestyle will fit your future one. Use the time wisely because an opportunity like this one may never come again.
Decide What You Will Do NextWill you stay in the same career? Will you do something different? Will you start your own business? Or, will you decide to scale down your lifestyle so you can stretch out the time before you go back to work? There is no right or wrong choice, only what calls to you. Trust your instinct. The answer is inside you. It is up to you if you will take the time to listen.
Put An Action Plan in PlaceNow that you have free time, how will you make it as productive as it can be? How many resumes will you send out each week? How many hours each day will you spend searching for jobs online and in the paper? How may people will you talk to, and how many e-mail’s will you send out? Your job search does not have to consume you, but having a daily plan, will keep you from sitting in front of the TV saying “I really should be looking for another job.”
Get SupportEnlist the help of a friend, spouse, coach, colleague, etc. Someone who will listen and support you through this transitional period in your life. Looking for a job can be frustrating, time consuming, and disappointing. Remember that you do not have to do it alone.
Reward YourselfYes, the final reward is finding a new job, but there are milestones that can be rewarded along the way. Sent your resume to five employers? Reward. Went on one job interview this week? Reward. When you look back, you will know that you are not the same person you were before this happened. And, you will smile to yourself because you know that this is a good thing.
Deborah Brown-Volkman, PCC, is president of Surpass Your Dreams, Inc. a career, life, and mentor coaching company, based in Long Island, NY. She is also author of several books including: “Don’t Blow It! The Right Words For The Right Job,” “How To Feel Great At Work Everyday,” and “Coach Yourself To A New Career.” She can be reached at www.surpassyourdreams.com.