I get approached periodically with this scenario: “I have just been laid off – what do I do now? Where did I start?”
Losing a job can affect people in a myriad of ways: spiritually, emotionally, financially and more. Everyone handles it differently. It can be a massive blow to your ego, cause shame and incredible stress, no matter your situation. Most people will experience it at some point in their career – do not fear it.
Losing your job can be the best thing that could ever happen to you if you navigate the situation well.
If you have been laid off recently, you may find the urge to scramble to update your resume and frantically fire it off to every job posting you see. Or, you may handle it in an entirely different way, retire to the couch for a binge of Netflix or daytime TV for a prolonged period of time. Resist the urge to do both of these.
Why? Neither of these reactions is effective or sustainable in the long run. Applying for every job on Indeed will not harness instant results. Taking a quick breather from the working world is fine, the keyword is quick here – both approaches could result in anxiety, complacency or depression in the long term.
Instead, start building a long-term strategy for yourself. To start, interview yourself and be incredibly honest with your answers. What kind of questions? Try these:
- Do you want to stay in your current industry? Is there demand for it?
- Do you want to continue working in your current role?
- Is there anything else you would be interested in doing instead?
- Any interest in going back to school to refresh skills or train for a different career?
- Would you be willing to do a filler job for now?
- Do you have solid work contacts you trust that you can approach to find new job opportunities and network with?
These questions can help guide you in laying out your strategy to get to the next step – whether it is finding a job in a new industry, going back to school for a career change, becoming an entrepreneur or approaching your contacts for informational interviews.
Having a long-term strategy gives you the drive and sense of purpose to keep going. You may have financial obligations, a filler job can help ease that stress and gets you out of the house. Doing a night course will keep your skills sharp can give you confidence. Doing research to see if your current role/industry is still in demand can inspire you to look at other avenues or reinforce that you are on the right path.
So, start with the questions – interview yourself. You may be surprised where it leads you.
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