Whether you lost your job in a recent wave of layoffs due to recession anxieties or have had to step away from your current role for personal reasons, losing your position can be highly challenging, especially in today’s economy. It’s perfectly rational to feel a mix of emotions as you try to figure out your next move. However, try not to let fear guide your recovery process or dominate your mindset as you approach the job market. It can be difficult to see opportunity in the wake of loss, but change can provide interesting doors and windows for your career and trajectory. Managing stress while embracing optimism can help you stay engaged, active, and mindful in the time after job loss and hopefully, lead you to a great next chapter.
Assess your assets and consider part-time work:
Whether you have an emergency fund in case of job loss or are anxious about monthly finances, assess what you have and how you need to plan for the next few months. Finding another “career” position takes time, even if you’re a fantastic candidate. Even with the best education and resume, the speed of the interview and hiring process is out of your hands. Whether you need the funds now or need something to keep your mind at ease about the financial burden of job loss, consider applying for part-time positions.
Acknowledge that the job search takes work:
It may seem counterintuitive, but the job search is a job! It takes time to write a strong, customized cover letter, update your resume, and research new roles. Take this into account as you begin the job search so that you can mentally prepare for the work ahead. This can help you keep a positive attitude and help you set realistic expectations for yourself.
Reach out to others on the job hunt:
At your previous job, you probably had coworkers and collaborators that you interacted with on a daily basis. Those types of relationships are equally important while you’re on the job hunt and can help guide your own process. Whether it’s through a LinkedIn community, online forum, or through personal connections, form bonds with other people who are job hunting and discuss your shared experiences.
Use this time to reconsider your priorities:
After job loss comes a period where you suddenly have extra time on your hands. Use that time wisely by sitting down and thinking about your needs and wants. In your last job, perhaps you were too worn out or busy to consider new possibilities. Many of us feel that once we’re on a certain career track, it’s impossible to break free or change things up. Job loss does give us the opportunity to look in the mirror and really think about what we want to come next.
Be gentle with yourself:
Losing a job, especially unexpectedly, is hard in a myriad of ways. It’s tempting to throw yourself into the job search immediately, but if you can, try to take extra care with yourself and take the time to acknowledge the process of loss. Whether it’s parting with close colleagues or leaving behind your sense of normalcy and routine, job loss brings a lot of change, so it helps to be kind to yourself as you navigate this new reality.
While job loss is never easy, it’s also a unique, fresh start. In the wake of job loss, focus your goals on self-discovery and new beginnings as you look to the future.
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