Job loss can be scary.
After all, you lose a lot more than your salary and financial security when you lose your job,
You also lose your status and along with that a piece of your identity too. You may feel you no longer contribute to society, so you feel less valuable. And as if that isn’t enough, your routine goes to pot as well.
All this can leave you with a sense that you no longer belong. You feel isolated and disconnected from colleagues, friends and family.
But despite all this, the emotional aspect of losing your job is unlikely to be your biggest concern – that’s likely to be money and whether you’re going to have enough to see you through to your next job.
When fears about money kick in, it’s easy to let your mind flip into catastrophe mode and start imagining yourself homeless and unable to support yourself or your family. And then there are the ‘what ifs’ - what if you can’t get another job at the same level? What if you earn less money in your next job, how will you manage? What if you can’t get another job? What if your career is over?
But all this proves is that when you lose your job, it’s easy to get lost in fear and negative thinking. You lose touch with reality and get lost in an emotional response that has you spiralling into despair.
It doesn’t need to be this way.
And more importantly, if you’re going to survive this experience – and thrive once it’s over – you need to think and behave very differently. You simply can’t allow fear to rule your thoughts and actions.
You need to be strong and stay focused so you can create and implement a plan to get a new job that delivers the outcome you want.
As you go through the job-search process, it’s important that you manage your expectations and set goals and targets so you always know what you’re aiming for. This will make it easier to recognise the progress you’ve made and keep you on-track. You’ll stay active rather than getting lost in fear.
And that’s important because action is the antidote to fear. The more action you take, the less fear will grip you.
Take this opportunity to go up in salary level, not down. It may seem as if redundancy is going to set you back in your career, but it can be a chance to propel your career forward.
This is a great opportunity for you to take stock of where you are in your career, what you want next and what might be missing from your work. Have you been ready for change but been unable to find time to look for the right opportunity? Use this time to focus on discovering your career purpose so you can parachute yourself into a new sector, job or profession that will fulfil you and reinvigorate you as a person.
Stretch out of your comfort zone - your outplacement consultant / career coach will advise you on what you have to do to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Make sure you actually put in the effort. The easiest thing to do is give up, feel sorry for yourself or stop doing the very things you need to be doing. That includes traveling to meet the recruiters, making the effort on LinkedIn to boost your rankings and profile and following up on job interview requests. Be someone who can thrive in the unknown and keep going even though you can´t see the job opening or offer immediately.
One of the anxieties you have to deal with when you’re made redundant is the fear you’re going to run out of time to find another job before you need more money. Worry about money can induce panic and lead to confused thinking. It’s important that you keep any anxiety about money at bay. So get clear about how much time you have for your job search.
To do this, take your salary figure then delete the zeros. This will give you a base number of weeks you have before you need a job. So, if you earn £100,000 you have 100 weeks and then you divide 100 by 6 giving you around 4 months until you need another salary payment. You can reduce the amount of time it takes you to get another job if you hire a career coach to show you top job-hunting techniques. If your company offers you support with finding another role, take it. The more expert help you have, the faster you’ll move forward.
LinkedIn offers you the chance to create a specific marketing campaign so that you can build your profile and show that you’re an expert in your area of work. When your skills and ability are more visible, you’ll stand out from those around you making it easier to sell and promote your expertise to potential employers.
In order for your profile to rank highly for your chosen keywords, you’ll need to use SEO strategies for your chosen keywords so you appear at the top of LinkedIn’s search engine. When you’re top of the pile, you’ll be found much more quickly and easily by head-hunters, recruiters and hiring managers.
Track and make things technical – if you log everything you do, you base your results on facts not emotions. Use fast track techniques in order to save you time and get your application noticed.
So, how do stay strong through this period in your life? How do you ensure you don’t sink under the pressure of your fears about money and getting a new job?
Develop a positive mindset and actively focus your thoughts on possibility and opportunity rather than your fearful and negative thoughts. When you begin with a positive mindset, you’ll find it easier to make a plan and do what’s necessary to make it happen. Having a positive mindset will stop you getting distracted or emotionally destabilised by what others say to you. It will also help diminish any pressure or naysaying from members of your family or friends. If you become aware of negative thoughts sabotaging your efforts, write them down and then confront each one.
Job searches can be tiring so you may need more rest than usual. This is especially important in the early stages when you’re adjusting to the change in your circumstances and taking your first steps in your search. It’s a point where you may be making a lot of decisions about your future and making pitches and enquiries, but not getting any immediate feedback. Use this time wisely so you can return to work feeling renewed and refreshed. Use this time to learn about yourself so you benefit from this time away from the routine. Take time to build your energy – exercise, meditate and do things you enjoy. Develop some go-to strategies when things get tough – admit when you start to get overwhelmed. Book a session with your career coach and be truthful about what is going on so that you can make the most of the opportunity to get some help.
Get up each day as if you’re going to work, dress smartly, set yourself an agenda and have a plan of action for each day. In a word, treat your job search like a job in itself. If you’ve developed any negative habits, like watching daytime TV, drinking too much or sleeping late, make a decision to change. Without a routine, your days will drift by and you’ll lose your energy. You’ll feel even more disconnected from the world. Build in some time to go for a walk, do some work in a local coffee shop or the library so you get a change of scene. If possible, join some networking groups, not just so you can make useful connections but also so you can enjoy some social time out of the house.
Redundancy doesn’t immediately appear to offer any benefits, but adversity can be a catalyst for something new and exciting in your life. Trust that this job loss or redundancy has happened for a reason. Maybe this is an opportunity for you to refocus your career in a new and positive direction. Perhaps this is your chance to retrain, learn new skills or return to further education. This redundancy could be the perfect chance to reassess your working life and make some exciting changes.
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