What Do You Do If You Lose Your Job?
For many folks who’ve just lost their job, this can be a time of panic, depression, self-doubt and a whole boat full of negative emotions. This might not seem helpful right now if your in this situation, but I know countless folks who, in hindsight, are grateful this happened because it took them down a whole new, better, more fulfilling path.
If your in this scenario, here are some of my tips:
Ask for severance. Employers are afraid of wrongful termination suits. If you are in a protected class, veterans, disabled folks, women, and anyone over 40 are fall in that category. If you are within this category, you have far more leverage to negotiate a severance package. Even if your employer doesn’t offer one, ask for one.
Immediately update your resume. Tons of examples available online.
Reach out to peers, friends and folks in your industry to help you get the word out that you are looking for a new job and/or positive references. Talk with recruiters who can also work on your behalf but never, ever rely solely on one recruiter.
Keep an open mind. When I was looking for a new job recently, thankfully I wasn’t unemployed but my options felt very limited. A former colleague of mine told me to start saying yes to things that seem completely different than what I’m currently imagining. Even if you interview for a position that doesn’t seem like a good fit, a few things could happen…you may find that it’s far more interesting than anticipated, it could lead to other opportunities you are not aware of, or worst case scenario, you’ll gain some practice interviewing.
When filling out applications or meeting with potential employers, “why you left your previous position” will inevitably come up. Here’s the deal: your best bet is to tell the truth but with the most positive spin you can put on it. This will avoid any hang ups in the reference checking process. If you lost your job because you were always late, say that but then explain that you’ve learned a lot since then and put a system in place to avoid that in the future…whatever that may be for you. Many people will appreciate your honesty especially if you explain what you did to fix the issue.
Finally, if you are feeling down on yourself right now, which is very understandable, make sure you find resources that will help keep your spirits lifted. It’s very difficult to put on a brave, smiling face when your feeling awful. Mediate, exercise, meet with folks you can trust, keep a good sleep regime, get out of the house, whatever that looks like to you, please make sure you take those actions. It will certainly help you with the motivation you’ll need to find that next opportunity.
Wish all of you the best of luck. If anyone has any tips, suggestions or personal stories, please post those in the comment section below.
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