No doubt losing your job is tough. In one fell swoop you lose your income, and for many a defining element of their personality. While it may feel like it at the time, it’s not the end of the world. These days we all know many folks battling cancer and other much more serious problems. And in retrospect, many people find that losing their job ended up being a blessing in disguise. Regardless, there are some important things you need to do when faced with this challenge.
1. Talk to someone. Whether you choose to talk to a friend, family member or professional counselor you need to talk to someone. Granted they may not offer a solution, but the simple process of conversing about your options, emotions and fears is critical in the healing process. And likely you will find it difficult to move forward until you have fully accepted your job loss and any regrets you may have. Check out this article for more great tips on the emotional aspects of job loss.
2. Accept the reality. Unfortunately wishing things were different doesn’t make them so. While you may be tempted to hope that your present situation is only a bad dream, the reality is that you no longer have a job. The sooner that you accept this reality, the sooner you will be able to gain focus and clarity on your next moves.
3. Take care of YOU! It’s easy to fall into depression and bad habits during the period following a job loss. While you may feel binging on alcohol and junk food is deserved, self-gluttony is never a good move. Instead, get off the couch and get moving. Exercising releases good endorphins which will naturally improve your mood. And while you may not feel hungry, it’s important to continue to eat healthy and nutritious meals.
4. Don’t beat yourself up. Playing the blame game with yourself is easy and completely unproductive. If you made some mistakes that led to your job loss, accept responsibility for them, learn from the experience and then move on. You simply cannot change the past so falling into the routine of berating yourself doesn’t pay dividends.
5. Find volunteer opportunities. Job loss often leads to decreased self-esteem. In order to move through this tough period, it’s important to engage in activities that make you feel good about yourself. Consequently, volunteering is a great activity during this period. The feel good of helping others is a natural boos in your self-worth! As an added benefit, you may just find that others have troubles far worse than yours. Check this out for some tips on how to get started.
6. Focus on the future. One of the worst parts of job loss is that you lost control of your destiny…momentarily. You will be amazed at the relief you will feel once you have created a plan for yourself going forward. Figure out your options for employment and then start working toward that goal. If you lack some critical skills, work to build them and begin to network in your new chosen field.
7. Find positive people. Bottom line: emotions are contagious. Surrounding yourself with positive people will naturally encourage you to become more optimistic. So avoid the negative “sky is falling” friends and instead invest yourself and your time with those that can always find that elusive silver lining.
8. Pay attention to your finances. Studies show that most people wait 6 months before adjusting their budget after a job loss. In reality, making a plan for your finances should be one of the first orders of business. If you are interested in more tips on this topic, check out this article.
If you find yourself in this situation, I hope these tips help you. Take a deep breath and be thankful your troubles aren’t worse. Remember, it isn’t cancer. The sun will still rise tomorrow and set tomorrow evening. And you will work through this speedbump like you have everything else that life throws at you!