Lost Your Job? It’s Not The End Of The World
Losing a job is in many ways similar to ending a relationship. It’s an emotionally taxing event that sets in motion a process, starting with denial and ending with acceptance, just like the process that follows a relationship’s end. This is not surprising, since work is a kind of relationship with whoever employs you. Losing your job means no longer being part of a team that you were used to, and what’s even worse, it could mean losing part, and a significant part, of who you are, because many of us to a greater or lesser extent identify ourselves with what we do professionally. In fact, job loss ranks next to other life-changing events such as a divorce or the death of a close one in terms of the amount of stress it causes, and that’s not even mentioning the economic anxiety that losing a job is associated with for many.
Difficult as it may be, the sooner you get over your emotions, the better. Remind yourself that your last job was not the last job in the world for you, no matter how much you loved it. Today’s working world is ripe with opportunities. More on that later, first there are the practical things to take care of. Review your finances and find out if you are eligible for unemployment benefits; the website of the Department of Labor is where you will find details about this. Sorting out health insurance is also one of the first things to do, to make sure you have coverage. Having done all that, you can turn your attention to finding new job opportunities.
The most logical step is looking for work in the area where you last job was. The success of this, however, is related to the reasons for which you lost your job in the first place: if you were laid off as part of a downsizing plan, then you might want to find out if downsizing is not a wider trend in your industry. If there were other reasons behind your dismissal, then it’s safe to try another company in the same industry. And what about a career change? Maybe that job was not your first choice but it paid the bills, so you stuck with it. In this case, being laid off could be seen as an opportunity to pursue a career in another area that you’re interested in. Whatever the situation, a change in attitude could be in order; sometimes a healthy attitude is all that separates success from failure.
Forbes contributor Margie Warrell lists seven habits that successful job seekers have. Mastering as much of these as you can will help you get over the loss quickly and find yourself something more rewarding. Letting go of the past and focusing on the future is the place to start. A forward look is more productive than lingering on what could have been. Second, and very important, don’t take the job loss too personally. Don’t think that it happened because you are a failure, think of it as an unfortunate event from which you can learn and which may have brought you closer to a better job. Along the same lines, don’t let yourself go physically, exercise will help you keep mentally, as well as physically, fit. Meet with positive people and let yourself catch their positive emotions. Getting pity does nothing for your motivation as a job hunter, but encouragement does a lot. Try to look at job hunting as a job in itself and let as many people know you are looking for a new job. Plan your search process and outline priorities, it will help you keep in shape. Lastly, be kind to others, do good. Doing good is a two-direction process: it benefits the receiver and it also benefits who does it, on a purely chemical level, according to scientific studies.