If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
Recharge Your Soul
Moving forward after losing a job you love is painful, stressful and an extremely emotional experience. Reorganization, outsourcing, downsizing, re-engineering—whatever your company may have called it—it still hurts. Our careers are a huge part of who were are. We wrap our identity, our self-esteem, and our relationships within our work. When that is unexpectedly lost, it can feel as if you’ve lost a loved family member.
Saying goodbye to those in your “work tribe” really can feel like the death of someone close. It’s so hard to walk away, especially if leaving was not by your choice.
Try to process this disappointment as if you are a phoenix rising from the ashes to a new opportunity for growth and self-reflection. Ask yourself, “What do I want to focus on in my life?” To be truly satisfied in life, we must focus on the positive things that inspire and motivate us, eliminating those that weigh us down.
So how to best regroup and recharge after such a life-changing event?
1. Take some time to acknowledge the loss.
It’s natural to have feelings that run the gamut—sadness, anger, depression, bitterness, anxiety, and a bruised self-confidence.
In the short-term, you’ve lost your professional identity and sense of security. Accept these feelings and don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone experiences stumbling blocks in their careers. What is most important is how you rise up and carry on.
2. Find clarity and learn from the experience.
Give yourself permission to take a short break to gain clarity and to recharge.
Examine the experiences in your life. Every career change, job change, family get-together, moment of happiness, moment of sadness—each experience has served a purpose in your life. These experiences have a lesson from which we can learn. Find the value in your experience.
Was it fortuitous that this job loss happened? Perhaps a blessing in disguise? What can you learn from it? Discovering the answers to these questions will make you stronger and more focused in your search. Future employers will admire your introspection and resiliency.
And by stepping back to gain clarity, you’ll be able to move forward on a path that is more fitted to you. You will gain more fulfillment and satisfaction from it.
3. Assess your strengths and your gifts.
You bring value—your past contributions, experience, and expertise are huge assets to the right organization. Concentrate and take stock of your strengths, abilities, and skills.
List the things you like about you, your accomplishments, your contributions to things you are proud of, times when you have excelled, your work and project successes. This list serves as a positive booster and motivator when you need a reminder of how great and valuable you are! It also helps you fine-tune your direction, next steps and assess the scope of your future career plans.
4. Stay connected to supportive people.
Naturally, you might find yourself withdrawing from family or friends. But don’t neglect these important relationships. These are the people to lean on when you need a pep talk or a sounding board. They want to support you and inspire you. Trusting and confiding in them will strengthen your relationships.
Reaching out to others also opens the door to new opportunities. This is the time to expand your social network.
Make new contacts, meet new people, investigate new places—make it fun. And socialize! Update your social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Set up meetings with your networking contacts. Take a class to learn a new skill, update your resume or write an engaging new cover letter.
Consider volunteering. It can be a two-fold success. Helping others increases your mood, self-confidence and feelings of purpose and value while at the same time, it provides you with networking opportunities and career experience. Remember a new opportunity is not going to come searching for you. It takes commitment, energy and effort.
Your New Beginning is Here.
A centered, resilient mindset will enable you to overcome this career setback. Be hopeful and spirited. And grasp this opportunity to find a new career path even more personally and professionally fulfilling. You will learn a lot about yourself during this time, so put your heart and soul into it. Finally, spend more time looking forward and less looking back—a new promising opportunity is just around the corner.