It’s mid-week and that point in the working week when employees are most likely to consider they are in the wrong job, have reduced motivation and have the deepest desire to quit. On the other hand, if following all the speculation, the dreaded day has arrived and you’ve been handed ‘that letter’, you have been made redundant or lost your job for whatever reason. The feeling of emptiness and lack of self-worth envelopes you as you wonder what’s going to happen to your life, bills, children and so on. Do you kill yourself? Do you re-strategise? What do you do? Well here are some tips that can hopefully help you get by.
- Enjoy the moment: This might be easier said than done but how many times do you think you will have so much free time on your hands throughout your working life? Except you’re on maternity/paternity leave or on long term sickness, taking a break from work or study leave then there is hardly a chance you will ever have such free time on your hands – ever! Why don’t you see it as some kind of mini break? A time to relax and recuperate. Yes, the thought that you haven’t got a job will always come to your mind but shove it aside and enjoy the time while waiting for something else to come. You will wish you had relaxed a bit when you get a job and get back into the 9-5 routine.
- Network: It goes without saying that when you are out of job is the best time to increase your networking skills. Here’s hoping that you had put these skills to good use even before you lost your job. If you didn’t then it’s never too late. Get in contact with the people you know or used to work with. Never underestimate the power of networking as your contacts might have inside knowledge of roles that are available and haven’t been advertised or roles that will soon be advertised. Keep in touch with relevant people. Let them know you’re readily available for an opportunity and willing to work. Even if they haven’t got anything at the time you contact them, keep the communication lines open. That way, they will have you in mind when something relevant comes up.
- Apply for jobs: This seems to be an obvious response to unemployment. However, you will be surprised at the number of people who get demoralised when they lose their jobs and simply do not have the zeal or motivation to apply. Especially when a few applications they made immediately after losing their jobs have not materialised. Just like playing the lottery, if you do not play then you can’t win. I am not advocating playing the lottery, especially when you do not have a job, I’m just outlining the concept. You need to apply for jobs that are relevant to you, keep in contact with recruiters so they know you’re available. That way you will probably be first on the list as soon as a relevant opportunity comes up.
- Get in touch with your creditors: Except you have a lot of money in the bank or had maximum insurance to cover yourself then you need to get in touch with your creditors – particularly if you lost your job suddenly and without any planning. Let them know what your current situation is. Some of them might give you a few months break or a reduced payment plan. That way you will have time to get your thoughts together. The last thing you want is creditors sending you red letters when at the same time you are trying to get yourself employed. Regardless of how much some companies have been portrayed in a bad light, some are ready to give you a break when things gets tough. Remember to focus on paying the important bills such as your mortgage, electricity, gas and council tax. The other bills such as credit cards and store cards are secondary and can be negotiated. You do not want to lose your home in the process.
- Keep busy: Losing a job is always a good opportunity to rediscover yourself. What are the thing that you like to do but couldn’t do because of your work schedule? Do you like gardening? DIY? Writing? Whatever it is that you like doing then this is a good time to keep busy doing those things. So many people, successful entrepreneurs, were able to discover their skills and capabilities during a period of job loss. There might be skills in there you never knew you had, try them out. Have you wanted to start a business relating to your hobbies but never had time? This is the time to chase those dreams, you have nothing to lose really. Especially if your dreams involve a very low start-up cost. Go out there, keep yourself busy doing positive things. The last thing you want is to stay bored as this might lead to depression. Even if it means volunteering somewhere just to keep yourself busy.
- Let your family know: Most people see losing a job as a shameful thing. It has a lot of impact on one’s emotional, mental and physical wellbeing and if not handled properly can lead to a severe state of depression as mentioned earlier. At times like this, family is most likely the most important asset you have. Make sure you try to tell them as soon as you feel ready to. There is no shame in losing a job, especially when it wasn’t your fault as it is in most cases. Your family is your support system and can reduce the pressure you put on yourself if they know what is going on. Your family will be there to talk to, cry to/with and to laugh with when things get better. Keep them informed. You can also let friends who are close to you know what’s going on. There is really no gain in broadcasting it, except to people who you know genuinely care about you or can help you out of your situation. Letting every Tom, Dick and Harry know about your situation will only result in people asking you all the time about your job situation and in that way putting more pressure on you – you don’t want that!
- It’s not about you: This is something that you need to understand in order to keep your self-confidence. That you lost your job has nothing to do with who you are as a person. Except of course you did something terrible like hitting someone at work or something ridiculous. That notwithstanding, that you lost your job through a redundancy or left your job due to indifferences with your boss or the company is not a reflection of your personality or who you are. That your role was no longer needed or that you just didn’t fit into the team doesn’t make you a bad or incompetent person. You are still the educated, smart, hardworking and motivated individual you were before you lost your job. Never forget that because, you need that confidence to show when you are out interviewing or speaking to potential employers about a job. It is definitely not about you or your personality so don’t feel like you cannot still achieve your dreams. They have only been put on hold for a brief, very brief period but you still have the potential in you to be the best you can ever be. So stay focused!
I hope these few tips have helped revamp your self-confidence. Most of all, I hope it has given you the renewed determination and hope that you can and will still succeed!
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