Losing your job often comes on suddenly. Even if you had seen signs of your job's demise and were planning an escape hatch, the actual dissolution of your job still can feel like a smack in the face. In many cases, losing a job is like a death.
As such, many people find themselves grappling with unfamiliar emotions while they also must gear up for and conduct a job search, quickly. Feelings of unworthiness, fear, insecurity and even anger may circulate, leading to tears, aggressive behavior, reclusiveness, over-sharing, desperation, paralysis by analysis and more.
All the while, the drumbeat of finding a new job marches on, with or without your positive energy. And each day that passes without a job offer feels like weeks, weeks feel like months. Figuring out how to wrangle down bills until the next paycheck spurs further anxiety.
However, examining and unwinding from the negativity that has you all knotted up—if done well--can allow you to move ahead while also creating residual gains only possible from such a loss.
Some of the potential gains of job loss follow.
1. Reconnect with and sharpen your goals. Encapsulated in the borders of a day-to-day job, you kept your mind on the company goal but had no time to focus on personal aspirations. Your own goals, therefore, began to fade. With more time to examine and percolate on your next steps, you are now free to create a new picture 'target' that helps you aim your arrow.
2. Build a new story punctuated with the exclamation points of your achievements, including the nuances of your unique value. Take time to articulate your resume in a way that not only makes your future employer's heart race, but also makes your own heart sing.
3. Feel vulnerable. While many of us feel at our strongest when our jobs and our lives are humming along, we often begin to take it all for granted, feeling over-confident. Outside storms, circumstances, personalities, the economy, marketplace shifts and many other factors can disrupt your life and career in an instant. A loss of a job is just one result of such a disruption.
Allowing the feelings to flow can be therapeutic and sensitizing. You can use this period of heightened awareness and sensitivity to make modest, or even major changes that may have a profound and lasting effect on your (and your family's) future.
4. Ask for help. Reaching out for help, whether it's professionally to a career strategist or to a friend or family member. is an opportunity to allow others to serve you during your struggle. People instinctively like to help others who are hurting, and if you reach out for help, you often can find solutions that you never would have come up with on your own.
5. Get healthy. Often losing a job is in tandem with leaving a toxic work environment. If that is the case for you, then unsuctioning yourself from the noxious office walls will actually shore up your attitude and possibly even, your physical health. Workers caught up in the web of toxicity often report ulcers, migraines and even much worse, as a result of internalizing stress and pressure. By leaving this negativity behind, you can chart a new, more vigorous course, physically and mentally.