You did everything right, or so you thought! You educated yourself, earned your degrees, landed some jobs that allowed you to gain some real-world experience. You made a lot of connections in the professional world. You did not think an unexpected job loss was possible. Losing your job is something that happens to everyone else, except this time it happened to you.
Dealing with job loss can be a humbling experience. In certain positions, you became a rock star. You were the “go to” person to solve issues whether it was internally at your company or for your external clients. Life was great, but just when you develop a system for yourself and a nice rhythm, bam! Your position gets eliminated!
The client started downsizing their business and the program that you oversee has gone through major shrinkage.
You Saw It Coming
To some degree, you saw it coming. But you hoped that things would get better because of who you are and what you’re capable of, but it happened. Despite your optimistic outlook, you take the severance package from your unexpected job loss. You move into action by sucking it up and putting yourself out there to market your skills. You start to look for new work.
Whether you’ve been laid off once or multiple times, this transition after losing your job can be the most challenging any professional can face in their lives. According to the types of companies you worked for, getting laid off may be a blessing, or a curse, for some.
Unless you hedged yourself financially from the beginning of your employment, dealing with job loss will be difficult. The main school of thought typically is:
- How am I going to support my family?
- How long is it going to take to find a job?
- What is my marketability now, even though it wasn’t my decision to leave the company?
- Why does it seem as though everyone else is moving ahead except me?
- Why did this happen to me and why now?
There are so many more questions we ask ourselves after an unexpected job loss. We keep replaying them in our head until we cannot stand it. Losing your job can lead to hopelessness and eventually giving up. Others see it as a learning opportunity and persevere until they are back on their feet and thriving again.
Ways to Handle the Transition After an Unexpected Job Loss
Here are some endearing ways to utilize the transition period that you are seeking employment in a very productive way, even when you don’t feel like it. The following tips should distract you temporarily until you gain some perspective:
1. Road trip!
Take a mini road trip with your family for a few days to distract you for a bit. The worst that can happen is you have a little fun with those you love and you get to create some wonderful memories.
2. Make a personal ‘to do’ list
Focus on all the things you’ve been meaning to do when you were employed but never had the chance to do. For example: cleaning out the garage, potty training your kids (if applicable), work on improving your credit score, volunteering in and around your community.
3. Start your own business
What are you really good at? Think about key problems you may have the solutions to for a niche market or general business. There are thousands of success stories surrounding people who lost their jobs and started their business as a result of having a new outlook on life.
4. Start a blog
With all that accumulated education and work experience, I’m sure you can think of some topics that you are an expert at. Someone is always in need of YOUR advice…
5. Brush up on your technical skills
If you’re not already a tech expert try to stay current. Get certified in something new like Salesforce, Quickbooks etc., that can add more value to your work history.
6. Seek Inspiration Daily
Read articles or books that will help you in your quest to become a better person and a stronger leader. Seek out books that will help you to become more innovative.
7. Attend free webinars
Webinars provide information on key topics like personal branding, emotional intelligence, salary negotiations and more. This allows you to become more open-minded.
8. Diversify your network
Whether it’s on LinkedIn or any other social platform, connect with professionals outside of your industry to learn something new. You never know where this can lead. Knowledge is everything!
9. Help inspire others
Someone actually is a lot worse off than you. The more you help others, karma has a really cool way of returning the favor at just the right time.
10. Exercise, exercise, exercise!
If you’re accustomed moving around especially in a large facility and all of a sudden you are home, you’ll be tempted to eat more, eat the wrong things or become sluggish. Resist the temptation and stay healthy!
Dealing With Job Loss Is a Learning Opportunity
Remember that every situation is a learning opportunity. Life happens. No one knows for sure why things happen throughout our lifespan to shake us up a bit. One thing is for certain is that life is too short to wallow in what did not happen. Moving forward should be the ultimate focus regardless of our circumstances.
It’s called hope.