I lost my job many times over the years. Looking back, every single day of unemployment haven’t been easy but they were clearly a process I needed to go through in order to move on to something better. From “Live life, Take Courage” , you’ll know that the first time I went through unemployment was when I quit my first job. Those were the most difficult days ever because I was not prepared mentally. I was pessimistic and doubtful. Thankfully, I pulled through. The second time was a bit easier because I was more prepared. Boredom was my greatest enemy though so I suffered a bit of depression. In both instances, I decided to separate from my employer.
Now, I am in-between jobs again.The company had to let me go which completely caught me off guard. Fortunately, I am surprisingly taking it better than the previous ones. Accepting the company’s decision has not been easy, it was awful. I felt rejected and inferior. I thought I did great, I did my best and I did nothing wrong but I still had to be laid off. However, I realized that looking at this negatively would only make me suffer. This realization forced me to look back and applied the practical things I learned over the years. If I pulled through before, I can do it again and you can too!
Having experienced being unemployed myself, let me share these 6 Steps to Take after losing your job. Whether your unemployment was your choice or not, I hope these tips help you survive after losing your job and teach you how to make the most out of the dreaded jobless days:
1. Have a positive Mindset
First of the steps to take after losing your Job is to cultivate a positive mindset. This is the most difficult thing to do but is also the most important. You fail this step and you will fail all other step. Learn why by reading “Importance of a Positive mindset”. To have a positive mindset, the following tips would be helpful.
Always leave in good faith
Whether you resigned on your own will, or you have been let go by your company, you should always leave in good faith. This is for your own sake and inner peace. If you harbor ill will towards your previous employer, the harm is on you not on them. No matter how hard it is, always do your best to do the right thing and give it your all. It’s not always easy but always try not to talk negatively of your previous employer. This is a basic professional etiquette when leaving a job. It’s never easy but do your best anyway.
Never think any less of yourself
If you have been laid off, it is easy to feel inferior and rejected. We have to understand however that companies will usually just do what is best for themselves. We should try not to take things too personally. Rather, reassess your strengths and always remember that you have given your best all through out. You might have lost the salary, but they lost an asset-YOU. So, don’t ever let the current circumstances ruin your confidence.
Take this as a phase to re-equip
Well, in-between job stage is not a Game Over. It is a stage where you re-equip for the next level. If you just sulk there and cry, you will miss the opportunity and suffer terribly in the next level. So make the most of your time. Use it to improve yourself.
Commit to Self-improvement
Commitment to never giving up and continuous improvement will help you focus on your goal. This will help you stick around when things (which they will surely will) turns sour.
Finally, you will survive. Face whatever it is that is coming your way, you will survive. ‘Cos when the going gets tough, the tough keeps going. And you are one tough cookie!!!
2. Rest, Relax and Reenergize
One of the most common mistakes most people do after losing their job is to Panic and do many things all at once hoping to keep up. They let the pressure get to their heads and everything just gets worse. It’s normal, it’s understandable. We have bills to pay; we have a family to support. Is it easy to calm down? Hell no! It’s terrifying. It’s almost impossible to stand still. Nevertheless, You need to calm down. Be proactive, not reactive. A soda explodes when shaken inside a can. A water does not. Be calm as a water.
Rest your mind, Let your emotions cool down
Do you know that the most regrettable decisions are committed when your mind is stressed and your emotions are dominant? Give yourself time to mourn and time to think. Meditate and let the bad vibes out.
Let your creativity spark
Allow your mind to wander and think outside the box. Try new things, Read new books, watch new movies. Be creative. Out of Ideas? This article might be helpful. “20 Ways To Be Creative When You Don’t Feel Inspired”
3. Have a set of goals to accomplish
This is where the action starts. You have to create a plan to make the most of your time. Have a clear awareness of what things you want to improve during your period of unemployment. Your goal must be SMART in order to attain more favorable outcome. This article gives helpful tips on goal setting. “Golden Rules of Goal Setting”
Plan out your self-improvement activities
Write goals you want to accomplish during this period. This should include your goals for the next employment, your self-improvement plan and your financial plan.
Update your resume, add new items to your skill set
You are not going to be a jobless forever so you should definitely include this in your goal. Develop new skills (related to your profession) to make you more marketable and useful in your field. This will be your edge over your competitors during application stage. Update your resume and include all the new skills and experiences gained from your previous job. Update your social media profiles and if you have an online portfolio, update it.
Do something you are passionate about
Whether you like it or not, you can’t control when exactly you’ll get your next job. Waiting is a tiring job. It’s better that aside form job hunting, you do something else you are passionate about. Do a project, Do a hobby, Get into sports, Enroll on a short course. Do something that will boost your confidence. Make it one of your goals to achieve/do something you are passionate about(which is not related to your job). In my case, after many weeks of hiatus, I went back to blogging.
Look into your finances
While doing your passion is a good thing, it is also good to have a temporary job to help your finances. You may do online jobs or even consultation jobs for your field of expertise. It’s also a good thing to incorporate this to your short term goals. Aside from this, It is also a great time to evaluate you long term financial goals and status.
Plan out your Career
Most importantly, now is the time to plan your next moves. What work experiences should you target next? What position should you apply to? Since it’s a stage for level-up prep, be sure that your target is a step higher than where you currently are. After losing you job, it’s easy to fall into panic and desperation but STOP FIRST, think carefully. It’s the perfect time to evaluate where you are and aim for better opportunities.
4. Have a Budget to guide you
Let’s be realistic. Money is an important factor during this stage. It’s a must that you have a financial plan and budget to guide you. If you resign, make sure you set up a budget for a couple of months for job hunting. Better yet, apply to other company in advance to lessen the waiting period. If you were laid off, process your separation pays and benefits, there are some insurance claims you may avail. Do not delay claiming any separation benefits because they take some time to settle. If you are from the Philippines, you can check this article about unemployment benefit from SSS. “SSS Unemployment Benefits: What SSS Members Must Know” Make sure that you take into your budget consideration the things you decided from item 2 and 3.
5. Learn and Improve
Evaluate what went wrong
Take time to reassess the situation after you have the goals and budget. What went wrong and why did it happen. Make sure to view things logically instead of emotionally. You are assessing the situation so that you can improve in the future and not to torture yourself emotionally. The best way to handle an ugly situation is to use it as a learning experience.
What could you have done better
Take note of what you can do better. What have you learned? Be sure to remember the lesson of your experience well.
Accept what you can’t control
Finally, accept what you can’t control. Make the best out of what you CAN control. Why worry about the things you can change when you can worry about a lot of things that’s in your hands?
6. Start Again
After following all this steps to take after losing your job, be patient and hope for the best. There’s always a season for everything. Know that after all these, there’s always the season to start again. When the season to start again comes, make sure you are ready to get the ball rolling again.