Losing a job affects not only your financial wellbeing but to a degree a sense of identity. It’s a painful part of our career journey that we need to find ways to heal should it happen. Here’s how:
Many people might not know but for the last ten years of my career life, I have lost a number of jobs. The pain that comes with it is easily comparable to the pain of losing anything or anyone meaningful to you. I have learned that your career is a part of your identity and if you are fortunate to work in a field that you are passionate about, it’s a part of your purpose. Being retrenched or dismissed does make you feel like a failure because no sensible adults feel good about being taken care of by their parents or family members. I won’t lie it’s painful being a statistic of unemployment especially when you invest in your job. Richard H. Price, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research better says it when he mentions, “Some people have jobs, some people have careers, and some people have callings,” he says. “When they lose that, they lose a lot.” And neither does it make it easy looking for another job as it can take six months or more of rejection e-mails before landing a job. This is where resilience and persistence has to kick in because it can be a lonely, depressing and long road to finding your next dream career.
Here’s how I think you can cope with and bounce back from a job loss:
- Allow yourself to grieve but not for too long: Allow yourself to feel and express the pain that comes to losing a job. Give yourself time to mourn in order for you to accept your current situation but don’t pity yourself for too long as that will make bouncing back more difficult.
- Continue to make use of your year planner: It’s important to create a schedule or a routine to follow like you did while you were working. Discipline yourself to wake up as early as possible and plan your day on your diary. Start researching industry events that you can visit, network as much as possible, visit networking sites like, www.bizcommunity.com and linkedin.com, which post updated job opportunities every day.
- Polish your skills: Find free or affordable online courses that you can add to your skills. Research on other fields that you can try and add to the current job requirements. Sites like www.educate24.co.za/e24 Have tons of affordable online courses. The best part is that it works with Capitec Bank to offer as much as 50 % discount for the bank’s clients.
- Ask for help: It takes a village to build success. I strongly believe that asking for help shows strong character because it shows others that you admit that you don’t know everything and need assistance to get ahead in life. Seeking professional advice, referrals and help is an important part of your career. It’s something I have learned to not shy away from, no matter the response I might get.
- Make it your job: It’s also important to reflect on how you contribute to everything you experience, including your career journey. Learn all you were meant to learn from your previous jobs and make it your current job to improve where need be and find another job opportunity where you can contribute your skills to.