- We may find ourselves at a point in life when we lose our jobs
- Whether the reasons were within or beyond our control, you can always take the steps to bounce back
- Start by understanding your situation and gathering your energies
- Move on to do a self-examination and explore your options and possibilities
- When you're ready, apply and get ready for work
Things don’t always go as planned. Most of the days, everything seems set; you have your work and your direction laid out. You have a salary you can depend on and the means to live your life. You tell yourself you’re happy and that you’re lucky to be where you are.
Then it hits, hard. Like a ton of bricks. You’re suddenly unemployed.
You’ve lost your job, you’ve been laid off, maybe even been fired. There are several reasons but the reality is that you go from employed to unemployed.
It’s time to go back to the drawing board and think about how you’re going to bounce back and make it out alive. Staying still is not an option. But what can you do exactly and where d you start?
Step 1: Understand Your Situation and Gather Your Energies
“Most leaders are, deep down, afraid of failure. But our 10-year CEO Genome study
of over 2,600 leaders showed almost half (45%) suffered at least one major career blow-up — like getting fired, messing up a major deal, or blowing an acquisition. Despite that, 78% of these executives eventually made it to the CEO role.” - Harvard Business Review
It’s important to put things into perspective - it may feel like it, but it’s not the end of the world. Life happens, and by losing a job, you are undergoing what countless others have gone through and will go through until the end of time. The good news is that there are other jobs and new opportunities elsewhere.
What's important is to first realize what happened and analyze how you lost your job. There are many possible reasons why, but your reason is important because it can be a learning point for you - something you can improve on and learn from.
Ask yourself what happened. What circumstances triggered my departure? Was it an error on my part? Bad communication with my colleagues or boss? Lack of performance? What value did I not bring to the table? What held me back from giving what I could?
Once you understand what happened, then you can begin working on how to improve. Instead of focusing on how unfair things were, make the situation work for you instead of letting it bring you down.
It’s important to do this while things are fresh, while the details are still clear. Instead of letting it get you down, let it become a point of learning to help you transform into the best version of yourself.
But if it was because of a situation you don't have much effect on or control over, such as COVID-19, it's best to dust yourself on and commit to bouncing back.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” - Thomas Edison
Also, it’s important to take care of yourself. Sometimes we forget because of the grief and drama that ensue. Don’t let yourself get sucked up by the negative feelings of bitterness, anger, and sadness that often come. Letting those feelings eat you up damages you and prevent you from recovering quickly.
Eat healthily, get the proper amount of sleep, exercise, read a book, and pause. It’s your chance to get the rest and relaxation that your body has longed for. Prepare your mind and body for the next stage in your life, whatever that may look like.
Use this time to develop your relationships and friendships. When going through a tough experience, there’s nothing better than the support from those you love and care for. You never know if new opportunities may come up by simply asking a friend for a referral or some help.
“I also learned that when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, find the surface, and breathe again.” - Sheryl Sandberg
, Facebook COO
Step 2: Do a Self-Examination and List Your Possibilities
Once you have analyzed your situation and gotten your mind and body in order, it’s time to get to work and immerse yourself in a deep self-examination. It’s time to ask yourself where you are in your journey, what your plans are, and what your mission in life is.
Ask yourself if what you’ve been doing is in line with that goal. Are you happy in your industry? Do you have skills in other fields that may interest you? This is your time to re-discover yourself so that you can re-align with your vision of the future and know where to dedicate your time and energy. If you're not sure where to start, explore some of the possible careers you can get into here.
When you have a clearer picture of where you’re headed, take things a step further and discover your potential leads and possibilities. Do you know someone in your network who can point you in the direction that you want to go? Personal referrals go a long way to opening doors and finding new job opportunities.
Step 3: Apply and Get to Work
Once you come up with a direction and a tentative list of companies, it’s time to get back out there and apply. Don’t hold back. Don’t be afraid. Rework your CV, make some calls, do everything to get that opportunity to bear fruit. You know what to do, you know yourself better, you’ve been there before, and now you can do it better.
“A person who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new” - Albert Einstein