So you’ve just lost your job..now what?
For many people, the first reaction is shock then fear, sadness and for some people dread will set in. It’s normal for a reaction to a job loss to resemble that of learning of the death of a loved one. After all, for many of us our jobs were our life! Our jobs are what gave us purpose and identity and most importantly it provided a means for us to survive.
What happens when you lose your job when you’re in your 30’s, 40’s or 50’s? Many people who have lost their jobs when they’re older have already invested a good portion of their lives into their careers and may feel as if they do not have the skills to start over. It’s common to feel like you’re stuck but I’m here to tell you that you can totally use this period to transform your life and create a level of growth that surpasses your former life.
Here are three (3) steps you can take to start over after job loss:
1. Mourn the loss of your job and your former life. Let’s face it, your life from now forward will be different. Losing a job is losing a part of your identity and in essence the loss is like killing off a part of yourself. It’s OK to go through the emotions of loss and it’s a healthy way to clear the path to allow yourself to grow in new areas. Give yourself a few days or a week to mourn, roam the house in your bathrobe, drink from the milk carton and catch up on your favorite shows. It’s OK to take a break and catch your breath.
2. Get Organized and start planning the life you want to live. Once you’ve accepted the death of your former life, use this time to get focused and figure out what you want. Do you want to return to the same type of work you were doing before? Do you want to start your own business? Do you want to travel? Are there new skills you want to learn? This is a great time for reflection and a time to make a list of your needs, wants, desires and passions. Complete any exit paper work with your former employer, review your finances, contact your local unemployment office, work on a budget and cut costs where possible. Knowing where you stand financially will definitely ease worry!
3. Live the life that you want to live, it’s that simple. Once you’ve gone through the mourning period and you’ve got an idea of the kind of life you want to live and you have an idea of your financial situation, now is the time to design your life. Nothing ever gets accomplished by worrying, so instead of sitting around all day being distraught, design your days in a way in which you are productive and moving toward your goals, and you are taking care of your needs and getting enjoyment out of your day.
Here is a sample schedule of how you could design your day:
6am: Wake up
6am-9am: Get dressed, get kids up and off to school, eat, check facebook, etc.
9am-10am: Job search, email resumes, phone calls
10am-1pm: Errands, gym, lunch, a class, meeting, meditate etc.
1pm-2pm: Follow up on job leads, schedule interviews, prepare a list of contacts for the next day
2pm-4pm: Free time
4pm-end of day: Your typical evening.
Again, this is just a sample and also works the same if you want to start your own business. But as you can see, it’s totally possible to be productive and still live a life by design at any age. With a positive attitude and a forward thinking mindset you don’t have to be a victim to circumstance.
Losing your job can seem like a devastating blow at first, but it also gives you an opportunity to reinvent yourself. When you allow yourself to clear out old patterns and throw in some creativity with a pinch of imagination you can create the life that you desire.
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