Unexpectedly Unemployed? Don’t Panic!

Image courtesy of Eileen Rackus

Being let go from your job is a horrible feeling. It can be terrifying when your life is suddenly turned upside down. Any future plans you have fly out the window.  Worries surround you. It’s only natural that you want to jump into a job search to try to find another job as quickly as possible. But is that really the best course of action?

I’m sure you’ve heard the adage: when one door closes, another opens. I want to tell you that it’s not just one door. There are always opportunities around us. We just have to look for them. This is the first step to developing a change mindset. A change mindset will help you thrive through all of life’s changes. Watch this space for more on this topic.

Now that you know there are opportunities all around us, do you want to keep doing the same thing? It’s perfectly fine if you do. But if you don’t, pause before investing your limited time and energy into a job search to discover what you really want. Here are some questions to assist with this process.

  • What does your heart say when you think about the work you have been doing? What did you like about it? What would you like to be different?
  • Stop and take stock of your life. Consider what you are grateful for. What gives you strength? What parts of your life could be better? What parts would you like to eliminate?
  • Where do you want to go from here? Following are just a few possibilities.
    • Do you want to keep doing the same type of work?
    • Is it time for advancement or a lateral move to something new?
    • Have you been thinking of freelancing, consulting, or starting your own business?
    • How about some downtime?
    • Should you get a degree?

Once you decide, it’s time to make a plan and put it into action. Take your time on this. You’ll need to break down your goal into smaller steps or milestones and identify the actions needed to reach each step. Work backwards from when you want to achieve the goal to set time limits for each step. If this sounds like project management, you’re right. It is exactly like that! Being considerate of, and flexible with, the time, resources, and scope of your plan will allow you to manage change better.

Additionally, you’ll want to have a strong support system to help you through all of this. The people you choose should be your champions. Encouraging you when you struggle, celebrating your successes, and holding you accountable for reaching your goals.

Change is a process that takes perseverance, patience, and a strong but flexible plan. A coach can help you decide what’s next, develop a realistic plan, and support you through the work of achieving your goals as well as with important areas of career management including branding, resume building, interviewing, networking, and much more! When you find yourself without a job, take a few deep breaths and contemplate your options.

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