We count on our jobs to support ourselves and our family, to provide for all our needs. Losing a job can feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you, leaving you panicked, confused, and depressed. It may feel like the end of the world, but so many of us have been laid off or fired, and end up finding something way better for us as a result. Please don’t worry, and know you are not alone. It’s important to have faith in yourself and your abilities, grab unemployment immediately if you can, and get your insurance situation in order (COBRA insurance, etc.)
The most important thing is to practice self-care and stay positive. Take it day by day, and put together a game plan. Here are a few other important things every person who loses their job should hear. Check them out and trust the process!
Everything is Going to Be OK
In moments like these in life, things can seem bleak and scary. We all have bills, rent or mortgage to pay, and things we regularly have to buy. Losing a job, especially if it’s without any warning, is something that will produce a lot of stress and anxiety. It hopefully will make you feel better to know that you are not alone. So many people lose their jobs and still persevere. You will too. Take a deep breath, know your rights and what resources are available to help lighten the load. It’s going to be okay — we promise!
You Are NOT a Failure
We often think that if something in our lives doesn’t go as expected then we failed, and are thus failures. You are not a failure! Do you think that God would let you fail?! Do you believe that you would let yourself fail?! No. This is just a setback, and if you look at it from an even clearer perspective, this is all part of the plan to get you to where you are really supposed to be. Try to be excited about what will come next, because it will be better than this — rest assured!
This Was Meant to Happen
When things happen, it feels natural to respond to that event, instead of looking at the bigger picture. When we feel like we lost something, we react with fear, sadness, and even anger. The best way to look at things, especially those beyond our control, is to believe that this isn’t a loss at all, but rather a step in the right direction. It is all part of the plan and a step towards happiness in your journey. Don’t panic — trust the process.
Were You Truly Happy at this Job?
When we lose something, we sometimes react as if it was something we really wanted in our lives, when that may not be the case. You often grab from what is taken from you, without analyzing if you really want or need it at all. Think about it: were you really happy at this job? If so, find another like it— or an even better one. If not, this is the opportunity to redirect your efforts and take the steps to finally do what you love. Either way, you win.
What is Your Dream Job?
Losing your job will give you the breathing room to reflect and really think about what you love to do, what your natural talents are, and what you want to do as a career. Your safety net has been taken away, so use that to your advantage as an opportunity to be bold and make a positive change.
Why Not Start Your Own Business?
Maybe your dream is to work for yourself and start your own business. No one is asking you to drop everything and start a whole new venture, but why not take your dreams seriously now? Maybe you can try a part-time job while you build a plan to start your own thing. Or there are several success stories of those who held down a full-time gig while building their small business on the side. If you have money saved up, maybe you can take the leap, but in order to make any dream a reality, you will need real-life steps planned first. But it can be done.
This Isn’t a Reflection of Your Worth
We tie our worth to what we do for a living, what salary we make, and what we achieve. But without anything, we are still us, and still worthy. Our capabilities and potential are the same, whether we are at a job or not. Being laid off or fired isn’t an indicator to your worth — it’s only an indicator that that particular job and/or company was not where you were supposed to be. How many superstars were rejected from companies, agencies, and record labels, only to still make it to the top? Their talent and ability wasn’t the issue, who they were doing business with was.
Or Your Ability
You were able to get this job, and you can get something better. Being laid off or fired doesn’t mean your ability changes. Your potential isn’t diminished. You are still intact, so get up, dust yourself off, and put one foot in front of the other towards your destiny. You are alive, breathing, and able! Find your strength and confidence in knowing that there is only one you, and this uniqueness means that no one can do things in the way you do.
When One Door Closes…
It might be annoying to hear popular sayings when you are in the middle of a life crisis like losing your job. But it is true when one door closes, another opens. And you don’t have to fear the hallway, either. Sometimes, sweeping change happens in life, across several different parts, and that is beyond scary. We lean on what we know, what we are comfortable with, and what aligns with our plans. But, with time, you look back and realize that’s not where you were supposed to be. You wouldn’t be here without leaving there. Take that knowledge and how you felt then, and now, and apply it to this scenario.
You Can Now Go Back to School if You Want
You may have wanted to go back to school, but couldn’t because you were tied up with work. Maybe this situation of losing your job is the perfect moment to become more of an expert in your field or learn something totally new. These skills can lead to an even better job! Scholarships and grants can help you go back to school while also paying your bills, and if you are still able to look for work, you might be able to study while on unemployment. It might seem like a far-fetched goal, but an estimated 7.6 million people (as of 2018) over the age of 25 go to school every year.
Or Completely Change Courses with Your Career?
Maybe you losing your job is a wake-up call that you’re not in the place you should be, career-wise. And that’s okay. Maybe you weren’t happy at the job at all, and really want to do something else. Perhaps you want to explore your options. Chances are, you have an array of talents and skills, and experience that covers more than one field. It’s perfectly okay to change course, at any age, or stage in your career. Always try to aim for what makes you the happiest.
Self-Care is Especially Important Right Now
You may feel like completely giving up and letting yourself go, but self-care is so important right now. In fact, it’s important every day. It’s ok to feel your feelings and be sad or upset, but don’t let these feelings weigh you down and make you feel worse. Taking care of yourself will keep up your feelings of self-worth and your confidence. You are an amazing person, so act like it! Drink enough water, exercise, make sure to leave the house and get some fresh air and sunshine, keep connected with the people who make you happy, and do things that make you happy (watch a funny movie, paint your nails, read a good book, listen to amazing music, take naps, etc.)
Who Cares What Anyone Else Thinks?
Losing your job can feel embarrassing. What will people say? What will they think of you? Who the heck cares?! Everyone goes through things, everyone has had something negative happen to them, and no one can control what happens in their life. If you are secure in who you are and what you have to offer, other people’s views will not matter at the end of the day. Besides, usually those who judge and criticize the most have their own stuff going on, so don’t let anything negative like that ever affect you.
Remember, There Are Millions of Jobs Out There
Part of the panic that comes along with losing your job is thinking you won’t find one in a decent amount of time. Or at all. While that is a valid concern (we all have bills to pay), we are here to give you good news. In August of 2018, there was over 7.1 million job openings, more than there were unemployed people (6.23 million people). You will find a job. Take the time you have now to polish up your resume, update your LinkedIn, take a free online class to learn some new skills (or update the ones you have), and look at the job boards. You can even sign up with a temp agency for temporary work.
You Don’t Have to Have All the Answers
Sometimes, we take our ability to control our environment too far. We have a plan, and if something doesn’t go according to that plan, we panic. It’s natural to worry when something doesn’t go our way, but it might comfort us to know that we don’t have ultimate control over our lives. And that’s okay! Life isn’t about having all the answers at once. It’s a journey, where you pick up knowledge and experiences here and there, as you go along. Live in the now, go with the flow, and give yourself some slack. Part of the excitement of life is not knowing what’s next, but believing that it will be great.
Try Temping in the Meantime
One of the resources available to you while you look for permanent employment (if that’s what you choose to do) are temp agencies. They will find you jobs in different fields, including office work, merchandising, and retail and the amount of time dedication can range from a day or two covering a worker on leave to a year or more contract with a company. This is a great way to keep working, keep busy, and try out a job at a new company. Temp/staffing agencies also usually pay employees every week, and another added bonus is that many companies will hire temps who perform well at their jobs.
Use This As an Opportunity to Reevaluate Things
Any change in your daily schedule and way of life, especially those that are out of your control, will force you to reevaluate things. And that’s a good thing. You will get to look and see what is working, and what is not. You can’t change what has happened, but you can live in the moment, control as best you can how you feel at this moment, and take steps towards success tomorrow. One day at a time, one step at a time.
Update Your Resume and/or LinkedIn
A good thing to do when leaving one job and looking for another is to update your resume and your LinkedIn profile. Make sure to add in any skills you have that you may have left out, add enough detail to your job descriptions, and anything else that you think employers should know about you. Have someone you trust to act as an extra set of eyes to look it over and make any helpful suggestions.
Tighten Up Your Budget
Losing your job means that your income will be affected. Even if you have savings, you’ll want to not dip in there too often. This is a good time to look over your current monthly budget and make any necessary adjustments. Try to find ways you can save money, like using coupons, cooking at home, and keeping unnecessary spending to a minimum.
It’s OK to Mourn the Loss of Your Job
We want you to stay as positive as possible (always!), but we are humans, not robots. It is okay to allow yourself to mourn the loss of your job. Cry it out, have some yummy ice cream, and feel your feelings. Just don’t dwell there for too long, because that’s not healthy. Give yourself a few days, and then dust yourself off and shift your perspective towards the good that could come out of this situation! If you feel stuck in a sad state and lose motivation to leave your bed, eat, and enjoy what usually makes you happy, you could be having an episode of depression. Reach out and talk to a trusted friend and/or family member, and speak to a professional who can help you get back on track towards that wonderful life you deserve.
But Remember This is a Fresh New Start!
Imagine how much pain and suffering we would avoid if we learned to look at that glass as half full instead of half empty. Things always work out for the best, and then we look back and remember how we overreacted at an unfortunate event, or regret how we got stuck in negative thinking. The truth is, great new beginnings don’t happen without an ending of some sort. You have to clear away the old and bad to make room for the fresh, new, and amazing, at any point in your life. Trust the process!
Live in the Now and Make Today Count
A lot of unnecessary sadness and worry comes from either living in the past or focusing too much on the future. One is gone, and the other hasn’t happened yet. And a lot of the negative things we worry about in the future end up not happening at all! A wise idea is to focus yourself on the now. It will keep you focused on what you can control and how you can feel right now, without overloading you with “what ifs.” You got this.
It’s OK to Ask For Help
Losing a job is a loss, and you might have to ask for help in recovering from this loss. Help to find another job. Help with your finances or a loan. Help to look over your resume or help figuring out what to do next with your career. Help with dealing with your emotions or just needing someone to listen. Ask for help. It’s okay and it doesn’t mean you’re weak. We all need help, and why make it harder for yourself by being too proud to admit you can use some? It’s not a sign of weakness, but a sign you are wise and care about yourself and your needs.
Confide In Your Friend(s) and/or Family
You shouldn’t go through rough patches in life alone. Just talking to a trusted, non-overly-critical friend or family member can help you see things more clearly, and more positively. We are often the hardest on ourselves, so a set of ears (or several) to hear you out will often make you feel a whole lot better. These people can also help give you great ideas, motivation, and inspiration on how to proceed with your career, while also offering you comfort and understanding.
Remember, You’re Not the Only Person Who Has Lost a Job
Sometimes we get so caught up in what is happening to us, that we fail to remember that so many others have also gone through the same exact thing, and have come out the other side victorious. Being laid off or getting fired is a perfect example. We focus on our embarrassment, shame, and anger when so many people (myself included) have stories that they can now look on with humor and gratitude. It didn’t feel like that at the time, but know that things will get better and that this is a sign that you needed something new to be excited about and look forward to.
Do All Those Fun Things You’ve Been Wanting to Do
You can’t change the fact that you lost your job, but you can control how you react to it. There are people who fall apart over the smallest inconveniences, while others stay positive, happy, and calm with huge problems in their lives. Be strong, and stay positive. Use this situation to your advantage instead of feeling helpless. What have you wanted to do that you couldn’t because your job took up all your time? Do it! Read that great book, go to the beach, take a much-deserved nap, pamper yourself, and make some delicious meals using all those recipes you’ve saved up on Pinterest. These things don’t have to be expensive, but they do have to make you smile.
Don’t Isolate Too Much; Stay Connected
Losing a job means staying at home. It is easy to become isolated and disconnecting from friends, family, and the rest of the world. You can order everything to your house, without having to interact with anyone. Don’t do this. We all need human interaction — because we are human! Go for a walk in the mornings. Have coffee with a friend. Volunteer. Finally have those dinners you wanted to have with your family, even if it’s home cooked — heck, that’s even better! Enjoy your alone time, but don’t get into a solitary funk. Your job isn’t what keeps you connected to the world — you are.
Remember the Last Time Something Didn’t Go Your Way?
Not everything is going to go your way. And more often than not, you will be happy that it didn’t. Think back, and you will no doubt find several examples of this. Change is growth. You can’t get to something awesome if something mediocre is occupying your time. And often times, we won’t leave jobs that aren’t a part of our purpose without a friendly little push from God. Understand that right now, you are exactly where you are meant to be, and it will lead you to exactly where you are meant to go.
Have a Plan in Place
Enjoy your time away from the workplace. Do those things you wanted to do. Have fun. But you need to have a plan. Just writing down a list will help put all your dreams into goals, and then into steps to make it happen. You can do it. Anything can be done, but once you break it down into doable steps, it will be so much easier to do it.
Believe in Yourself — Si Se Puede, M’ija!
“Si se puede” is one of my favorite quotes of all time. It is what Dolores Huerta said when people told her that she couldn’t organize in Arizona. She said “yes, it can be done,” and the rest is history. She didn’t let anyone tell her she couldn’t succeed, Dolores just believed enough in herself for everyone else. Be like Dolores Huerta. You are an amazing being. You can do it, and you have to believe that, and live in that truth. Si se puede, m’ijas!