How to Cope With Loss Of a Job

You never imagined it would happen to you. always thought you were an excellent employee. You served your clients well, crunched numbers and worked to create great programs. However, your manager thought you were not doing a good job, or your organization was feeling the effects of the bad economy and eliminated your position.
How do you survive a layoff, downsizing or firing and come out the other side with self-respect, dignity, and newfound wisdom? How do you cope with loss of a job and bounce back? You must plan wisely for your professional future, take advantage of the present and work through the pain of the situation.

Face the Fear of Losing Your Job

Work Through the Pain

Losing your job can be emotionally devastating and shocking. It can lead to depression since it’s often a life-altering event, anger, low self-esteem, helplessness, frustration, humiliation, shame and embarrassment. A number of people take years to get back on their feet from such a loss because they do not know how to move with a new sense of purpose and handle what happened.

Find Out Why You Were Fired.

If the organization has planned a termination meeting, attend it and listen attentively. If they are not giving you a reason for termination, request one. Get facts and ask probing questions. This may also be part of how to cope with loss of your job.

Know Your Rights.

Review your employment agreement or handbook to check what your rights are. Does your organization offer a severance package?

Share Your Feelings.

Talk with family and friends to work through the anxiety and pain of losing your job. Do not try to handle the situation alone and accept their support. To heal faster, avoid wallowing in self-pity and hibernating  for any extended period of time. Consider counseling, if you need additional support. This will definitely help in how to cope with loss of a job.

Do Some Soul-Searching.

Did you really perform as well as you could or should have? Why were you fired? First, list all the reasons you can come up with that made you more replaceable than another employee. Second, if their are any specific improvements you need to make write them down. After losing your job it may take several months to deal thoroughly with the emotions. The key to thriving and surviving is to deal actively with the pain, move on and free yourself from it.

Take Advantage of the Present

Following a job loss one of the greatest challenges is having the mental ability to take advantage of the time you have in the present to grow, learn and make improvements before you are employed again. A number of people find themselves so overcome by the emotions of losing a job that they wallow in their anger and sadness for too long. Eventually you need to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and move on. Here are some of the ways you can make the most of your free time:

Create an Updated, CV

Most organizations are only interested in your last 10 years of employment. Your CV information should be organized and flow well and be consistent for easy reading. A hiring manager should not have to hunt for information.

Make Contacts Immediately.

Satisfactory employment is needed as soon as possible. To potential employers a time gap on a new CV looks bad. Avoid negative comments about your previous employer.

Improve Your Skills.

Come up with a list of ways you need to improve, and then update your skills. At your previous job, how could you have performed better ? Motivate yourself and learn something new. Conflict resolution and communication are skills everyone can improve on. Enroll in courses and read books.

Expand Yourself.

Move out of your comfort zone. Look closely at the false assumptions you have made, now that you’ve faced the brutal reality that you are expendable. List ways you can gain new confidence and take risks.

Get Organized

Get organized at home and ready for a new career, as you wait to hear about job interviews, . Thoroughly study the current job market. Organized people come across as having their act together; they are ready to face the next challenge and appear confident.

Plan Wisely for the Future

Once you have gone through the initial shock of losing your job and made the most of your free time, focus on planning wisely for your next career or job. You are starting a new chapter in your life. Following these general guidelines, plan carefully:

Research the Internet.

Before any job interview, take time to study the organization you are pursuing. Read the newspapers and research the internet. Learn the company’s history, profitability and mission statement. Acquiring this knowledge will help you shine in an interview.

Know Termination Policies.

Ask about the termination policies up front, when interviewing for a potential job. Has the company laid off or downsized in the past? How did managers handle the situation?

Watch for Other Opportunities.

It pays to be aware of what is going on in the national workforce and the organization’s culture at all times, now that you know you are replaceable.

Stay Current.

Update your CV every 6–12 months, keep your contacts and references fresh, and always have a CV on hand.

Piecing Yourself Back Together

You will never fully comprehend the loss, humiliation and loneliness of losing a job until you experience it firsthand. Especially when you lose the only job you have ever known and have worked a number of years for a company. You begin a long process of rediscovering your individual identity and soul-searching. Know that “You are not your job,” a job loss is an unexpected reminder of this.  You are a valuable person with unique desires, needs and dreams. You have talents and a purpose to contribute to the world around you.

Job loss has far-reaching effects.

You must adjust your budget and create a strategy for survival until you find work. You must develop patience as you wait for job opportunities to come up. It could easily take many months to find a new job especially if you are 50 or older.

Networking skills during this period are critical

Do your homework, and get in touch with all the people you know to make them aware you are looking for a job. Focus on improving your close relationships and your health. In addition, nourish yourself with the love and support of your friends. We all need each other for inspiration and encouragement.
Survival may be for the fittest, but success is achieved by the smartest—those who grow in the present, face their fears and plan wisely for the future.

Develop workplace longevity

Transferable Skills

Use the following suggestions to come up with skills that will improve your job security:

Know People’s Expectations

What does your supervisor expect of you? How do your superiors expect you to achieve in your job?
Be thankful and grateful that you have a job, and show appreciation for the individual who helped you get employed in the first place. People love to be appreciated.

Get Along With Others

You will always find individuals you do not really like working with. Look for something positive in each person, and focus on that.

Communicate With Your Boss.

Talk regularly to your boss. Keep abreast of the organization’s goals and mission and convey that you understand them.

Build Connections

Socialize appropriately with your boss and coworkers outside of work. Accept invitations to sporting events, dinners and the like.

Empower Your Coworkers

Praise them on their contributions and value to the organization or team.

Watch Your Mouth

If you are unhappy with your company or job, do not broadcast it. No one loves a complainer. Do something to improve your situation and stop complaining. Do not share private information and gossip about coworker.

Follow what has been mentioned in this article and you will be able to know how to cope with loss of a job.

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