Coping with job loss

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Mass layoffs and downsizing from corporate merger and acquisition activities are happening in many organisations all around the world. Dismissals of employees in desperate cost cutting measures have also become commonplace in today’s world.

Losing a job can still be emotionally and financially traumatic. Feelings of shock, insecurity and doubts about self-worth may set in, and in some cases, result in severe depression for some individuals. The higher they are in the corporate structure, the more harrowing it can be for the individual.

If you are experiencing such a predicament or know of someone who is, here are some tips on how to cope with losing your job and to manage the crippling feelings of fear, pain and despair.

Be positive

Adopting a positive attitude can make a lot of difference in helping you cope with the loss and move on faster. Losing your job is something that is totally beyond your control. Mulling over why it happened would not change the fact that you are now unemployed or make you feel any better. More often than not, such negativity would only result in desperation and panic, which is ultimately counter-productive.

Instead, take a proactive stance to re-evaluate your career goals and focus your mind on making new plans for the future. It is not what you have done that matters any more, but what you are going to do and how you are going to achieve it.

Reassess your life

Many people will take this opportunity to take stock of their personal and career goals. With more time on your hands, you can identify your key strengths and reaffirm them in a new resume, and work on any weaknesses that may otherwise hinder your future job search.

It would also be a good time to reassess your financial commitments and be prepared to make some changes in your lifestyle. However, these changes should be gradual and not too drastic as that would only add on to the stress of being jobless.

Develop a game plan

The best career comeback plan is to find a job that is even better than the last. Your job loss can be some other company’s gain. Update your resume and polish your self-marketing and branding skills. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, casually mention that you are available and actively seeking new career opportunities, especially those that require your capabilities, skills and experience. Do not forget to also highlight those achievements you have made in your career and the extensive network you have built over the years in the industries that you have worked before.

If you do not have the luxury of waiting for the “right” opportunity, ensure financial survival by taking on freelance projects or contract work. This strategy not only helps you stay relevant and employed, it also allows you to make additional contacts at the same time. You also have the freedom to pursue other job opportunities when they arise.

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