After a job loss, most people find themselves stuck in a state of limbo, and that’s completely understandable. Whether you’ve been working at the same company for 5 years or 20 years, the question you are left with remains the same – what now?
Aside from the financial implications that a job loss entails, the psychological costs can also be taxing. Add to it an economic downturn and increased job competition and you’ve got yourself a problem. But what if you can use this problem as a catalyst to newer and greater job opportunities?
For many, starting your own business could be the key to continued job growth and success. Before that though, let’s cover a few essentials to get you on the right track moving forwards.
How to Turn Your Job Loss Into a Win
If you’ve lost your job, your new job should be working on your next step, and to keep you sane and feeling hopeful and productive, it’s the best attitude to adopt.
For some, this could mean polishing off the resume and attempting to re-enter the job market. For others, it could mean taking some time out for some much-needed introspection.
In fact, taking time out after losing your job can be one of the best career choices you can make. It’s at this time that you really find out what you’re capable of and can take the time to really explore what you want to do and how to live your life. No longer caught up in the rat race, too busy to think, losing your job could force you to reflect and take stock of where your life is at and what you want to change.
Losing your job could be the sign you needed to take your life on a completely different path professionally and possibly even personally.
Take a moment and acknowledge what’s happened.
For some, a job loss can create a sense of lost identity and purpose and brings with it genuine feelings of grief and that’s completely normal. Added to the financial concerns and uncertainty of the future, you may be feeling hurt, sad, or even betrayed.
Conversely, you may be feeling excited and relieved! Whatever you are feeling, take a moment to acknowledge, reflect and digest what has happened and be kind to yourself – just don’t get stuck on it.
If you are struggling with it, though, reach out – talk to a friend, partner, or professional to work through any unresolved feelings so that you can free yourself up to move forward positively.
Take control of your finances.
It’s all too easy to stick your head in the sand when it comes to your finances at times of uncertainty, but that’s the most important time to take control. We can waste so much precious energy worrying instead of getting clear on what’s what. Create a budget, cut whatever expenses you can and seek out any debts or bills that can be placed on hold if necessary. The less stress you have moving forward, the better equipped you will be to turn your fortunes around.
Make a plan
Now that you’ve taken the time to digest and accept what has happened and you’ve assessed where you’re at financially, it’s time to make a plan. Whether or not you know what your next big move is, set some goals and develop some much-needed self-discipline for ultimate self-care.
What would you like to accomplish in the coming weeks or months? How will you spend all this new free time? Schedule in time for self-care, including exercise, as well as whatever activities propel you forwards professionally.
At times like this, it’s all too easy to panic and let the fear of uncertainty take over, leaving you less and less time for important self-care routines. You will never be efficient or effective professionally if you don’t take care of your mental, emotional and physical health, so make sure that you don’t inadvertently find yourself in a rut down the track because you let things slip.
Losing your job can suddenly leave you at home alone a lot, and too much isolation isn’t optimal for our health and wellbeing. So, reach out to friends or even your previous co-workers – so long as there aren’t any hard feelings, it can be helpful to maintain your previous professional friendships and stay in touch.
You also never know what contacts could prove surprisingly useful down the track, so stay connected with your professional network and not sink into depression from a lack of socializing.
Suddenly having every hour in the day free to do with as you please can come at a surprising cost. Not having a solid structure, schedule and purpose every day can feel relieving at first but can soon leave you feeling lost and low. It’s important, therefore, to stay busy. Join a new group, take up new hobbies or throw yourself further into something you already love; just get busy and keep your daily life varied.
Now that we’ve covered some essentials for recovering from job loss and how best to handle the change of pace, let’s look at how the whole debacle could, in fact, have been an opportunity in disguise.
Be Your Own Boss
Many successful entrepreneurs have forged their careers from the challenges of sudden job loss. Whether it was a result of downsizing, business closure, or a termination – losing their jobs meant gaining the opportunity to become their own boss.
Unfortunately, the thought of being one’s own boss can come with a slew of reasons why the notion should be immediately shut down. For many, it seems all too risky, especially if they are used to the relative security of working for someone else. It is also common to feel that going it alone is far too great a stretch given what limited resources are at play.
This then depends upon the shrewdness, determination and resourcefulness of the individual, as more often than not, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
The truth is, the majority of people in today’s workforce possess the skills required for entrepreneurship. What they do lack is the know-how – which can be easily learned and acquired.
Starting a Business After a Job Loss
Background in marketing? Experience in management? Web design under your belt? There’s always an opportunity to take these skills and start a business from them.
When you do find your business model or strategy, you have the chance to hone your skills and turn your newfound knowledge into a viable product. Building a business can be hard and it does take time, but there’s no reward without the risk – though that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take up business insurance!
In closing – A Job Loss is Your Time to Learn.
The decision to enter entrepreneurship comes with a mix of hopeful anticipation and cautious hesitancy. Sometimes such a risk – especially after a job loss – can appear insurmountable.
However, equipping yourself with the right tools will lessen that fear of striking out on your first bat. You’ve got a portfolio of solid work behind you. You have the skills and work ethic to keep the forward momentum going. You also have a huge catalog of resources available to you that will help you keep your feet grounded on otherwise unknown terrain.
Taking an online course is just one way you can upskill and gain the confidence needed to go out on your own. There is a tonne of courses available, including Business Degrees and certifications. From there, you’ll be connected with other like-minded people and personalized support systems that can guide you along the way.
Building your own brand requires hard work, persistence and risk. Don’t let that put you off. In today’s world, there are far more resources available to support people who are choosing to, or who are forced to, take matters into their own hands.