Whether you lost your job because of a company cut back, a major mistake, or a personal issue, losing your job can cut to the core of how you feel about yourself and can seriously affect your ability to carry on with life as usual. As with any difficult time, it is incredibly important to take action that affirms who you are and allows you to regain personal power after losing your job.
This list of practices will help you figure out how to regain your power after losing your job, but it isn’t only that! This is a list to keep someplace you will see it every day — to remind you to keep doing things that will help you stay on track, pick yourself up, and move on with your life after challenges.
Give yourself a moment to breath: Like any loss, grief is a healthy part of the process of losing your job. It is all too easy to move on too quickly and not give ourselves a moment to feel the impact of what has happened. When you bolt from pain like this it actually holds you back later on in life. Taking some time to grieve now will mean that you will be less likely to get really off track when you start moving forward.Focus on what you did right: Without being defensive or negative, remember that even if you lost your job, there were many things that went right for you and that you did, in fact, do right. Take stock of how you were successful and effective in your job. This will help you to feel better and to better represent yourself when looking for future work.
Learn from your mistakes: Again, without being defensive or negative, take an honest inventory of where you might have done better or what you might have done differently. Any “failed” situation provides us with new insights into how we might change our behavior to get better results. Yes, there are situation that are totally out of our control, but it can never hurt to consider how you might do things differently going forward.
Get support: You will need support in many ways to continue to move forward: emotional support from family and friends, professional development support in getting yourself ready to get back in the job market, networking support in contact the right people, and so on. Independence and self-isolation are not the same thing. You cannot do this alone and it is counterproductive to your empowerment and happiness for you to try. Embrace the resources around you!
Take action: There is a time to pause and a time to take action. If you want another job, you will benefit from creating an action plan and strategy for getting a new job and moving forward. When you take action you will feel more powerful and capable in your life. This will result in both short and long term gains.
Reframe: Is the sudden increase in your free time after the loss of your job a benefit or a detractor from your life? Is it possible that losing your job is actually freeing you to find something better? These are the kinds of reframes that empower you to take action and make change. As bad as things are, try to open to the potential positive impact of every situation. Ask yourself, what is the good that will come out of this?
Keep your Perspective: There is no doubt that losing your job is a life experience that most of us want to avoid. Nevertheless, it is an experience that many of us do have. If you find yourself in this difficult situation, it does not mean much of anything about who you are or what you are capable of. Keep your self-talk framed around “I lost my job, now what?” instead of “I lost my job, I am worthless.” Avoid making this experience mean more than it does.
Stay the course: If you have a difficult time finding work after losing your job, keep practicing this list of suggestions. Each of these practices will keep you feeling more powerful in your circumstance. Do not worry if you have a bad day. Just get back on track as soon as you can.