No matter how it happens, a job loss is painful. Maybe you were caught up in a corporate downsizing, and it’s nothing personal. Maybe it was personal; your boss was an insensitive jerk who didn’t recognize your talent. Either way, it’s easy to start questioning your self-worth at such a time. You may wonder if you’ll end up homeless, never to contribute in a meaningful way to civilization again. In 30 days, your savings will be depleted. Are your old office workers laughing behind your back? Are your neighbors looking at “the loser” when they see you at home on a weekday?
Well, don’t get caught up in the negatives. This will only sabotage your immediate future. Here are some tips for moving forward:
- Release Your Anger. It’s OK to be angry at the unfairness of the boss, the company or the world. But don’t stay there. While you may have been treated unfairly, sharing that will only make potential new employers uneasy and prevent them from wanting you on their team. Focus on what you're moving "TO" not what you're moving "FROM."
- Evaluate Your Life. Take advantage of these transitions to take a fresh look at your life. What is unique about you? How important is time flexibility? What income do you want? See this as a time to move up and forward; not down and back.
- Network Constantly. Start each day with an action plan. Get out there and meet people. Talk to anyone you can who might offer suggestions on how to improve your job search. Don’t be embarrassed to let people know you are looking for work. You are selling a product, and that product is YOU.
- Don’t Make Excuses. You are not too old, too short or missing a degree. Excuses tend to become self-fulfilling after a while, and mentally you can become your own worst enemy in the job-search process.
- Stay Balanced. Our success tends to spiral up or down together. Career success leads to financial success, more social and family success, etc. The opposite is also true. Don’t allow a job loss to turn you into a couch potato. Stay sharp physically and mentally. Keep developing your important relationships.
- Consider New Work Models. The 8-5 worklife is just one of many options today. You may be better off finding 5 companies that could use your skill but are not large enough to use you full time. You may be able to offer your talent online, work from home, control you time and increase your income. This may be the opportune time to put legs on that dream you had 20 years ago.
For more on how to handle a job loss or change: 48 Days to the Work You Love
Dan is the author of the New York Times best-selling 48 Days To The Work You Love , No More Dreaded Mondays and the newly released Wisdom meets Passion. He has been a guest on CBS' 'The Early Show,' MSNBC's 'Hardball with Chris Mathews,' Moody MidDay Connection, and the Dave Ramsey Show. Dan has spoken at the White House Christian Fellowship, and is in high demand at national conferences on aging and changes in the workplace, and at universities and churches. Over 130,000 people have subscribed to his weekly newsletter, his 48 Days Podcast consistently ranks in the top 3 under Careers on iTunes, and the 48Days.net business community is viewed as an example around the world for those seeking to find – or create – work they love.
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