I am speechless when I was informed that a friend has been let go from his job. I have personally witnessed a few rounds of layoffs. Losing a job is never fun. It throws a lot of uncertainty into the person’s life. It is not only stressful to the person but to everyone who is around the person. Emotions will run high. There will be tears. There will be fear. There will be anger.
There is no such thing as job security anymore. Any job function can be downsized and moved to somewhere else. Accept that the company that you work for does not guarantee lifetime employment.
If you are at the receiving end. Here is some quick guide to help you land on your feet.
Talk to your family. If you have not done so. Please talk to your family immediately. Do not sugarcoat the challenges ahead. Be honest with everyone in the house, including the children. To pull through, you need all the help that you can get.
Reach out to your network. However small is your network. Try reaching out to them. There is no shame in telling people that you have lost your job due to retrenchment or re-organization. To reach out to seek opportunities and advice on coping.
Watch your budget. Immediately cut out any unnecessary expenses. The gym membership, TV cable etc… Find places that are cheaper to shop for your groceries.
Start working. Treat your search for the next opportunity like a job. Wake up early and put in the necessary hours every day until it is done. Without a job, it is easy to lose your sense of self and waste the day away watching television and feeling sorry for yourself. Set a goal to sent out 10 resumes or contact your networks every day. You will not stop until is done.
Soul searching. You have been working all your life. Do you know what you want to do? Spent some time thinking about your life. Do you still want to go back to the old lifestyle or your old job? Is there a way that you can pivot into something that your heart desires? Take out a piece of paper and start writing it down.
Upgrade yourself. Use the downtime to improve yourself. Search out the industry or the job that you want, and study their requirements. Go to online courses such as Coursera or CreativeLive and take up those courses. Some of the courses are actually free.
Spent time with your family. No more night conference calls. No more Monday mornings where you wish is Sunday. Wake up with a smile and sent your kids to school. Try making a meal for the family. Visit your parents. You may have lost your job, but you may gain memories that are worth a lifetime.
Talk to your lawyer or Union. The process of letting go employees is a complicated legal matter. Talk to your lawyer or Union to make sure you are not being shortchanged.
Exercise. You have no more excuses not to exercise. Join a neighbourhood running group. Or, start running at the nearest park, make friends with the familiar faces. Challenge yourself with bodyweight exercise. There are many good bodyweight exercises on the Internet.
Meditate. Losing your job is stressful. Take time to meditate. Meditation brings many benefits. It brings calm to the mind. It allows you to concentrate better. More importantly, it helps the mind to accept life. Yes. Here are more benefits of meditation.
Do not blame your manager. It is very easy to blame your manager for losing your job. Your manager is doing what has been told to do. Maybe it could be your manager’s fault. But, you need to take ownership of your reality. The pressing matter is to land on your feet and not to find blame.
Volunteer. Give your time back to the society. Help out at the local religious group or volunteer to coach your school’s sports team. Through volunteering, you can expand your network and experience something beyond your own job.
Get creative. Crayons, colouring pencils, watercolour, clays, music instruments, papers and scissors. Those made up part of our childhood. Think back the days where you would lose yourself doing something creative. Maybe is time to reconnect back to those moments. When you start, you will struggle. If you put enough time and effort, you will get better.
Losing your job can feel like the end of the world. Yes. I would agree with you. As long as you are breathing and healthy. There is always a fighting chance to turn things around. Good luck.