It breaks my heart when I work with candidates who are filled with self-doubt, fear and self-blame after they have lost their job. I thought about why this happens and ways to counteract the feelings of helplessness and worthlessness.
“Why do I feel this way?” Well because you have:
- Lost your professional identity, and along with that developed low self-esteem and low self-confidence.
- Your daily routine has been demolished and you are struggling to regain some sort of normalcy.
- You don’t have a sense of what activities you should be doing.
- You have left your friends at work behind and along with that your sense of community.
- Your sense of security flew out of the window.
“How can I help myself?”
First of all, understand that grief is a natural part of loss – and you have lost a major piece of your waking day. It takes time to digest and move forward:
- Give yourself a break and allow yourself to mourn the loss.
- Find a cheerleader. Someone who will support you when you are down and who will reinforce the positive attributes you possess.
- Don’t beat yourself up – don’t apologize – you have done nothing wrong.
- Look for the silver lining – every cloud has one. Now you have time to focus on your health, eat better, exercise, do all the things you meant to do but work got in the way.
- Accept the reality of the job loss, embrace your “new normal” and resolve that your focus is on uncovering new job leads, networking and getting ready for your next best opportunity.
- You do have a job – it is to get another job. You have now become a marketing professional – you will be marketing YOU!
I will tell you that nothing lasts forever. Everyone that I have worked with has always found a job! The trick is to never let the unexpected happen to you again. Always have your resume up to date, keep your network alive and keep an eye on changes in your organization so you can be aware of any danger signals.
As always, Happy Hunting!