Losing a job, either through retrenchment or getting fired is the most stressful experience for anyone. But you can bounce back in these five ways
Losing a job means losing your corporate identity, financial freedom and to a degree, a sense of worth. It’s not easy adjusting to this new reality because, although we might say we aren’t necessarily defined by our job titles, being unemployed can make you feel like you have no sense of purpose. Take it from me, I know. Having lost my job twice I know the pain of dealing with the heavy emotions that come with this experience. First, your self-esteem takes a dip and your lifestyle changes. I have known financial independence because I have always believed in working hard for the life and things you want. But when that gets stripped away it bruises your self-esteem (while your purse gathers dust in your bag). It hurts losing your job, no matter how much you hated it, and yes you will swim through all the tides of (often negative) emotions you can think of. But, like any other experience, you can get through a job loss. Here is how:
Go back to the drawing board: This means after grieving and drinking to a pulp (however you take out your frustration) you will still face your situation. There’s no way around it but to have an honest review of how you lost your job and the lessons you can take from it. You have to have honest conversations with yourself about what it is you really want when it comes to your career and draw up a strategic plan on how to attain it.
Reach out: I loved the practical advice of Thenjiwe Mabope, brand manager of Pernod Ricard when she said that you have to use the networks you already have around you to find a job. “In your group of 5 friends by some extension through your network, there is an opportunity for you somewhere. Talk to people! Tell them your interests and capabilities.” Most importantly, use social media to your advantage, LinkedIn is a perfect virtual networking platform to connect with people and brands that might help you find career opportunities.
Find sources of inspiration: Read motivational books or watch inspirational documentaries or Ted Talks of people who have bounced back from their challenges. The truth is no one has it easy in life but listening to the real-life stories of those who are brave enough to share how they overcame their challenges can instill a sense of hope to try again.
Don’t lose hope: It might take you months and even years to find another job opportunity, which can be difficult when you have financial obligations. The important attitude to have through this period is faith that doors will eventually open. Beef up your CV by improving your skills. There are free online courses you can take. Don’t stop searching for career opportunities, visit company websites and job portals like http://www.bizcommunity.com, https://www.pnet.co.za or https://www.careers24.com that post hundreds of jobs every day. Take freelancing opportunities or use your skills to earn a source of revenue, while searching for something permanent.
This too shall pass: Pain is temporary but suffering lasts forever. What I mean is don’t dwell too long on challenges that come your way but on the lessons that they bring. With the right support and the right attitude, you can bounce back from this experience. Keep knocking until someone opens that door of opportunity. Who knows, it may be today.
How have you dealt with a job loss and how did you bounce back?