This is how to deal with job loss and bounce back.
Losing your job can seem like the end of the world. You might feel disbelief, anger, sadness, uncertainty, fear – even panic – and these are all normal emotions given the circumstances.
It seems very personal in the beginning.
“Why me, why now?” you ask.
Companies decide to make structural, or personnel changes for many reasons. And while it doesn’t make it right or pleasant, the truth is the reason for your termination doesn’t ultimately matter. What counts is how to deal with this unexpected life change, so you can mentally prepare for re-entering the job market.
It’s easy to get stuck in pity and feel discouraged when your self-esteem has taken a hit, and your wallet is empty, but there is hope. There are lessons to be learned from this job loss experience, and you will have better success moving on when you adopt a positive mindset.
HERE ARE 10 WAYS TO DEAL WITH YOUR JOB LOSS AND FIND HOPE FOR THE FUTURE:
1. GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO MOURN
A loss is a loss. Losing your job can cause you to doubt your abilities and put you on shaky ground for the next opportunity. You might even feel paralyzed.
On the other end of the spectrum, I sometimes see clients jump into job search mode right when they’re not ready; they haven’t dealt with their loss. I don’t suggest taking off too much time, but a few days or weeks to decompress is healthy and wise.
Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come up for you. Recognize that you won’t feel these things forever and you are not alone. If you take some time to grieve the loss of your job, your future in that organization, and your colleagues, you’ll be on the path to healing.
Skip this step, and you’ll risk holding onto resentment.
Hold onto the positive experiences you had. In time, the negative ones become a distant memory. Most of all, give yourself some compassion.
2. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR LOVED ONES
Share your job loss news with those closest to you. I’ve heard stories of newly terminated employees dressing up, leaving the house every day, and pretending they are going to work because they can’t face telling their family.
There is no shame in job loss.
Your loved ones might have their reaction to your job loss, and it’s normal for them to have insecurities around it. In a time of feeling loss of control, what you can control is what and how you tell your family. Let them know that you’re getting support – perhaps in the form of severance, benefits continuance, and outplacement services – and that you can work through this challenging time together. Your job loss may end up being a bonding opportunity for your relationship.
Resist the urge to shelter your kids, also. Teach them about bouncing back and solving problems.
Gradually widen your circle over the coming weeks. You’ll be bound to find others who have experienced similar circumstances, and you’ll realize you’re not alone.
People have a natural inclination to help, too, so when you’re ready, take them up on their offers.
3. ASK FOR HELP
Consult a lawyer to ensure your severance terms are fair and reasonable, given all the circumstances. Make sure you investigate your health and benefits coverage, also, and make a note of important dates to get in your claims or convert to a private plan.
If your severance package didn’t include outplacement services, consider hiring a career coach to jump start your job search process or asking a mentor for assistance. An accountability partner can work with you to uncover your strengths, open up new possibilities for your career, keep you on track with your goals, and help you to shift your mindset.
4. CREATE A BUDGET
Concerning your financials, it’s best to take a balanced approach. Don’t go overboard with spending, trying to prove that you’re going to be all right and don’t catastrophize about your financial situation. Give yourself a spending budget and get creative to make your dollars go farther.
5. MAKE TIME FOR SELF-CARE
Take this time to do things for yourself that you might not normally do. Read a book, indulge in a nap, get a massage or acupuncture treatment. It’s also essential to eat well and take some extra supplements to boost your ability to manage your stress.
Go to the doctor for your overdue physical and attend to your mental health, too. Let your doctor know if you’re having trouble adjusting and it’s interfering with your ability to function.
6. PUT A ROUTINE IN PLACE
Resist any urge to stay in bed all day. Get up at your regular time and create a routine for yourself. Block off time to relax, eat and sleep on a consistent schedule, and go to the gym as usual.
Make sure that you also dedicate time each day for your career transition efforts, which might include reflecting on your strengths and ideal job, and marketing yourself. Consistency is key.
7. REFLECT AND FOCUS
Take the next few weeks to come up with a game plan instead of sending out 100 resumes. Putting in a quality application takes a lot of time and effort. Make sure you’re applying to the right roles in the right organizations, or you’ll get disappointing results.
Success often means digging deep, connecting to your inner wisdom, looking back at your life’s lessons, and projecting forward. Focus on what you love, what’s important to you, and what you can contribute and then create a crystal-clear vision of your future work. When you do this, you will be in an excellent position to market yourself and your resume.
8. GET SOME PERSPECTIVE
It may seem like forced time off to lose your job, but you can use this time to take a step back and look at your circumstances with fresh eyes. Get into nature, go near a body of water, or climb up a hill or mountain – a little height can give you a view from a new angle.
Often it helps to speak with someone objective about your situation and realize that your situation is not as bad as you think. You have something unique to offer an employer and the world.
9. FIND JOY
Use this time off to consciously look for happiness in simple pleasures. Reconnect with hobbies like gardening or sports, or reinvigorate your life with music -- in fact, singing is scientifically proven to lift your spirits.
Most of all, be mindful of all the beauty that is around you and take every opportunity to inject joy into every day.
10. BE POSITIVE
You have a lot to bring to a new job, and you’ll find that this period is just a blip in your overall career. If you’re having trouble believing this just now, write out some affirmations and keep saying them until you are confident they are true:
I have amazing talents to offer an organization.
I trust myself, and I trust in the universe.
I am energized to find my next job.
I believe in myself and my ability to do my ideal work.
Here’s the glimmer of hope in your job loss: you’re free! You’re available to reflect on what you want and take your career to new heights.
If you do these 10 things, you’ll be in a healthier state of mind and ready to land a better-suited job.
Don’t look back. A bright future is on the horizon.
Lisa Petsinis is a Certified Career and Life Coach, Career Development Specialist, and former HR Leader. She works with individuals to manage the stress of job loss and create a career and life they love. Visit her website to learn more about her services, sign up for her newsletter, or contact her for a complimentary discovery call so you can confidently move toward your new job starting today.