Job loss is one of the most stressful life-events we experience, depending on the source behind only death, serious illness or injury, divorce/separation, and oddly, marriage on the Life Stress-o-meter.
If you have lost a job, then your feelings of anger, betrayal, fear, relief and anxiety are normal and to be expected. So, you have my permission to scream, to pound the desk, to cry, and to complain to your dog. Get it all out.
But as a job seeker, you will need to “get it all out” if you are going to be successful. Otherwise, you are sabotaging your job-search efforts. Because employers want to hire and work with people they like, and employers like job seekers and employees with positive energy and good attitudes. Even if you feel betrayed, or even if it is not your natural behavior, you have to become a “glass half full” person for your job search.
Easy to say, but how do you do that? These steps helped me when I faced my own job layoff:
1) Accept that your job loss is (probably) not your fault.* Companies do not exist for the purpose of providing jobs, or job security. Companies exist solely for the purpose of providing a profit to its shareholders. Thus, companies will do whatever they have to in order to survive. If that means staff cuts, then that is what the company will do.
(* Unless it was. Maybe you were let go with cause, or did not schmooze enough, or turned down one-too-many assignments, or simply became too expensive to keep. Regardless the reason, at this point, the decision to let you go has already been made. Accept it and move on.)
2) Take care of yourself. Just because you do not have an office to go to, does not mean that you can slack off. Successful job search requires a full-time effort:
— Set your alarm
— Get enough sleep
— Eat healthy
3) Occupy your time (and not just with TV!). In my case, I started running again and joined a training group to prepare for a 10K in the fall. I joined a new church and read through the Bible in six months (which usually takes me over a year). I tried some new recipes so I wasn’t eating out as much. I volunteered my time.
Just be careful that your extra-curricular activities do not crowd out time for your main purpose, which is job search.
Get out of the house. Remember, success doesn’t come to you. You go get it.
I also networked like crazy, and I learned how to job search. I’ll share more thoughts about these in future posts.
How do you keep yourself positive during your job search?
Success doesn’t come to you. You go get it.