Coping with change - The loss of a Job
Coping with job loss:
Where have I gone and what I am going to do today?
If you have ever lost your job and in today’s economic climate the chances are very high, then you will not appreciate people telling you how lovely it must be to have all that free time!
In fact the last thing the human brain wants is time to sit around being idle. It is a fallacy to believe that the reason you are working so hard today is so that you can give it all up and be someone else later in life. You only have to look at the number of people who die in the first or second year of their retirement to understand that as human beings we were made for being physically and mentally active. And therein lies the secret to coping with job loss. You have to keep those last two alive. If you do, you will find yourself once again in full employment and sooner than you think.
So once again as with last month I am not going to focus on all the negatives you are going to be feeling and the ill effects of losing one’s job and in many cases one’s identity, I am going to give you some practical tips to help you move on fast and firmly to a new occupation. These are suggestions that have worked for people I know and that I have coached:
1. Take a coach:
The ideal solution is to find yourself a coach who can help you restructure and plan a purposeful job search or change of direction. A new life takes planning and there is not a day to lose. You will gain in confidence and lower your stress levels if someone else is helping you bear the burden. This is a good moment to take stock, carry out a SWOT analysis on yourself with your coach and rethink your career priorities.
2. Reach out to others:
Other people are of MAJOR importance when you’re faced with job loss and unemployment. Be proactive. Let people know that you’ve lost your job and are looking for work. Taking action will help you feel more in control of your situation—and you never know what opportunities will arise.
3. Get networking: Your net worth is only as good as your network!
The vast majority of job openings are never advertised, they’re filled by word of mouth. That’s why networking is the best way to find a job. Don’t be hesitant to take advantage of networking because you’re afraid of being seen as pushy, annoying, or self-serving. Networking isn’t about using other people or aggressively promoting yourself; it’s about building relationships. As you look for a new job, these relationships can provide much-needed feedback, advice, and support. Networking is much easier than you think.
Locally there are so many opportunities either formally or informally. As I write this article I am mentally preparing for a networking evening I’m attending this evening. Try New Women Networking, PWN Cote d’Azur, IPN (International Professionals Network), Ascot-IMS (all can be found on Facebook) and many many more. Also if you’re thinking of starting your own business, go down and see your local chamber of commerce or ASCOT-IMS because they can help and advise you on everything.
4. Get some physical exercise:
When we lose our jobs, we lose much more. We lose structure and purpose to our day. Exercise can be a great outlet for stress and worry while you’re unemployed and looking for work. It is also a powerful mood and energy enhancer. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. If you’re having trouble getting motivated, take a personal trainer. My favourite is www.befitmonaco.com as they will also check out your nutrition and your life style and set you back on track.
5. Invest in self-improvement:
Often the last thing on your mind when you lose your job is spending. However there are some forms of self-investment that will pay high dividends and get you back in the driving seat again. Learning a new skill or language will boost your self-esteem, increase your self-confidence, keep your brain agile and add to your professional appeal. If you can’t afford private lessons then seek out evening classes. The Université dans la Ville in Beausoleil is a great solution, if you are financially challenged and if you have a little more to spend take a private tutor or coach. Often job opportunities present themselves faster than you think once you start add to your skills portfolio.
6. Treat job seeking as a job:
Many people make the mistake of taking that ‘long awaited holiday' following job loss where they intend to de-stress, regroup and define their priorities. Nothing could be further from the truth. The key is to take the holiday ONCE you have found the new job and before you start your new contract. The secret to turning this negative into a positive is to keep to a familiar routine. Create structure in your day. You will have more time on your hands than you had before, but you will be amazed at how little you can do in a day if you aren’t intentional about what you want to get done. Create a job search plan with goals and small manageable steps. Then prioritize, structure your day and treat finding a job as a job. This system I use with my coachees who are accountable to me for their daily progress just as they would be at the office.
7. Last but not least extend help and kindness to others:
It may seem strange to say help others at a time when you yourself feel you need help but you will reap the rewards tenfold. Scientists have found that acts of kindness produce some of the same “feel good” chemicals in the brain as anti-depressants. In addition, when we give our time to help others, it helps us stop dwelling on our own problems, and makes us realise how much we have to be thankful for. It can also be an effective way to build your network, and show potential employers you are not sitting idly by waiting for work to come your way. Who knows one of those people may recommend you for or offer you a job themselves.