10 Tips on Surviving a Job Loss

friends 350Losing your job is quite a traumatic experience. Few manage to survive a whole career without being let go at least once. When it happened to me I was angry and embarrassed. I had worked hard for AT&T and been a star sales producer. Now because I worked on sales of a discontinued product they had no more use for me. My confidence took a hit. I knew I was in no shape to look for another job immediately. I took a break to gain some perspective. Recently I went to a webinar entitled Moving Forward After a Job Loss, part of the ABA Career Advice Series. Here are 10 tips from the webinar that make sense to me for anyone who has lost a job. Follow them and soon you will be happy at work again!

  1. Find helpful people. Surround yourself with helpful people who are upbeat and not negative.
  2. What happened? Understand why you lost your job and come to terms with it. Try not to take the job loss personally.
  3. Self-care is important. Take good care of yourself. To develop a job search strategy you will need a positive mindset so do whatever you need to do to regain your confidence in yourself and your ability.
  4. Share your feelings. Find a safe person to share your feelings with. It could be a good friend, a therapist, or a coach.
  5. Speak positively about your job loss. Find an objective way to speak about your job loss. If you were the problem what did you learn and what will you do differently in the future. Keep everything positive. (See #7)
  6. Ask your former employer to help you develop your story. Talk to the person who let you go. Let that person help you craft a way to talk about this so that they can support you as a reference. If this is not possible find a client, person who left the company, or colleague to use as a reference and see if you can persuade HR to commit to providing only work dates to potential employers.
  7. Never speak ill of your former employer. If you wouldn’t want them to know you said it, don’t say it.
  8. What do you want in your next job? Think carefully about your former employer. Why wasn’t it a good match? What did you dislike? What would you like to be different in your next job? What would make you happy at work?
  9. Know yourself. What kind of work is meaningful to you and what kind of work you are good at. Know your strengths, talents, values and skills. This is important in your job search because people will want to know what you are looking for and what your experience is. You will want to understand what makes you happy at work.
  10. Networking solves two problems. The first is it helps to keep you connected. Joblessness can be isolating. It is helpful to spend some of your day with other people. The second is that you can meet people who can help you. Another person also doing a job search may know about jobs that are not suitable for that person but may interest you. You may also meet people working for an organization that you would like to work for. They will know about upcoming openings in their company. It is helpful to have someone hand deliver your resume and to say a few words about you to the hiring manager.

spark3Job loss is becoming more and more common. It is important to use the time between jobs prudently. The difficulty is that you need to be positive to look for a job and it takes time to move from the pain of the job loss to optimism and enthusiasm. A coach can help you to be positive and move you forward faster. I help my clients to find the spark within themselves that will ignite their energy. If you are interested in igniting your spark, please email me at asparker@asparker.com. I am a sparker!

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