One of the most stressful life events is losing a job, and what’s even more stressful is thinking about the future. A certain amount of time is necessary to deal with this loss and adapt to this major change. You might be in a state of shock and disbelief for a couple of days. Then you might be angry or frustrated because you never thought it could happen to you.
These negative feelings can eat you up, if you don’t develop coping mechanisms that help you survive this stressful life period. Apart from dealing with existential problems, you have to focus on your well-being and mind.
Below are 3 tips on how to save your mental health during this tough process:
Focus on Yourself
If you immediately start looking for another job, this can backfire on you. You shouldn’t be keeping track of job advertisements or keeping an ear out for job positions, since you are still not emotionally ready to deal with possible failure. Introspection is the key if you want to let go of the negative emotions. That’s not to say you should kick up your feet and relax for months, but give yourself one-three weeks to adjust and accept this new reality.
Start writing down thoughts and feelings, practicing mindfulness and reach out to people who you can count on to be your support system in these situations. Don’t wallow in nostalgia, but use this time to catch up with old friends. It is not forbidden to mention that you’ve lost your job or that you’re currently feeling low, because when you verbalize your thoughts and say them out loud, you accept and welcome new possibilities that are coming your way.
Remember, almost everyone has experienced losing a job, so there is no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed. Sometimes losing a job is a blessing in disguise as well.
Polish Your Resume
Keep in mind that no one can ever take your set of skills or knowledge away from you. Now, you have gathered more experience and expanded your social circle, which will definitely be a big plus when you decide it’s time to find a new job. In the meantime, grab your resume and add one more workplace to it. It doesn’t matter if you were managing a family business, worked as a taxi driver, or was the marketing director of a well-know startup, every work experience counts and can be relevant to future employers.
A taxi driver might be great at personality assessment and know how to approach different people, which might come in handy for an HR position in a company. For instance, if you know how to motivate people, recognize their strengths and give meaningful advice, it will be a piece of cake for you to become an HR manager, and most importantly, be great at this position.
Sitting down and really thinking about your skillsets and what you have to offer could open many doors for you. You are way more skilled than you know and losing a job could be a great time for you to consider a career change.
The final step of the process is realizing that you have to move on. It is not healthy to obsess over things that could have happened or criticizing yourself for mistakes you’ve made at your previous workplace. Eliminate the thoughts that aren’t helpful or productive by putting down your thoughts on paper, or talking it over with friends.
If you feel ready, you can make just a simple draft of your next plan–where would you like to work, what salary would satisfy you, would you like to work in a group or individually? Now you can pinpoint the things that didn’t function well, and based on your previous experience, find an occupation that will satisfy you long-term.
Everyone has to go through a similar process to feel more prepared for the next time. Whether you got the sack, or quit your job, the feeling of incompleteness is hanging in the air. That is why it is important to work on your wellbeing.
How did you feel when you first lost your job? Tell us all about your experience in the comment section below.