Job loss is a fact of life. Everyone, at some point, experiences some form of job loss, a painful and emotional experience. What makes it different is how you deal with it. I have done a lot of coaching work in this area, from individual performers to senior executives. You can and will survive this. Here are some thoughts I wrote recently for the Detroit News.
Job loss – scary words any time, frightening words around here right now (Detroit). No matter whether it is something you choose due to a life situation or it is foisted upon you, the prospect of being without work generates a lot of painful emotions. The key is to not get stuck in the fear, which can paralyze you.
Everyone generally knows what to do when faced with a job search: get your resume in order, confirm your references, create your networking list, tell everyone you know what kind of job you are looking for, hone your interviewing skills and be prepared to respond to every opportunity you hear about. These are the basics, but there are some additional steps you can take to get more from this life experience.
When one door closes another opens – Consider whether this job loss is really life knocking. Is it time to reconsider what you are doing? Is this the work you want to spend the rest of your life or at least the next 5 years doing? This disruption can provide the pause to reexamine your interests, skills, talents and dreams, as well as how work will fit into your lifestyle.
Create a support group – Everyone needs someone to talk to about how they are feeling and to help keep the positive energy flowing. Enlist a couple of people to be your job search “board of directors.” They need to be willing to listen to you, offer suggestions and possibly contacts, help keep your morale up and be honest with you when you are wallowing in discouragement.
Do something special for yourself – While your job search needs to be a fulltime job. Identify something that you have always wanted to do but have not had the time. I have seen people take classes to learn a new craft or dance, spend more quality time with someone important, volunteer for a special cause, or visit some local sites they have always wanted to see. Then when they look back at this time in their life they have some very special memories.
Consider this wisdom from the Buddhists. You only need three things in life: something to do, someone to love and something to hope for, so keep your job search in perspective.