Losing your job can be even more devastating than a relationship break-up. Not only can it trash your self-esteem – it can also threaten your lifestyle and your home. Those you love may be let down and your status may be lost. High-flyers may suffer much worse than people who have low-paid jobs because they can have more to lose and less support. Suicide is comparatively frequent at such times, as shock, fear and despair take over. Don’t go there! There is life after unemployment, and you can in fact build something better.
SHADOWS FROM THE PAST
If you grew up being told you weren’t good enough, put down, ignored or treated harshly, you may have made up for this by shinning up the corporate ladder, as if to show the world what you can do. But however successful you may become, the vulnerable child within you never truly feels secure, and deep down your self-doubts remain. If you lose your job it can feel like all those negative voices from way back are right, and it is easy to feel worthless. But unemployment is just that – unemployment. Welcome to the world of millions of people! Do not ‘awfulize’ your position. Recognize the fact you are probably not seeing things clearly and give yourself time to calm down.
WAS IT SOMETHING YOU DID?
You may find yourself in this position through no fault of your own. Maybe redundancies were inevitable. If so, you must work at not taking this personally. It’s hard, but it’s life. You wouldn’t see bad weather on a journey as a sign of failure – you’d just put on your waterproof and keep going. Unemployment is just one of life’s rainy days, and it will pass. If you made mistakes, that’s tough, but you are in good company for no successful person ever got there without messing up many times along the way – it’s how you learn. Even if you’ve done something seriously bad, think about all those who have been in similar positions, such a great generals, politicians and captains of industry, and who have gone on to wonderful achievements later – maybe set aside an hour or two to look a few up on the Net, list them along with what they did after they went wrong. Use them as inspiring role models, pick yourself up and try again.
YOUR UNEMPLOYMENT GUIDE.
Follow these points to make your situation manageable – and temporary!
• As soon as you lose your job tell everyone! The stress of going it alone is too great and the pressure of striving to find a new job before anyone finds out is counter-productive – if you’re desperate prospective employers will pick this up at interview. You need all the support you can get from everyone, on all levels. Besides, the more people who know you’re now available the greater the chance of someone offering you a job.
• Address financial matters immediately. If you have debts, contact your creditors and negotiate time for yourself – usually companies are cooperative. If you are overwhelmed, take advice, for instance with the CAB – you will be surprised at the options you have.
• Face facts. If your lifestyle has been lavish, you and those you love will have to make cuts, and these may be drastic. However, they will be temporary, if you are positive and determined. Trying to go on as if nothing has happened will only increase the strain. Turn the changes you have to make into an adventure – children can be very resilient. And prioritise. Maybe the flash car has to go but there will be ways to keep adored pets.
• Be resourceful. A friend of mine whose work was cut made £750 during her first month of redundancy by selling things she no longer needed. This turned into a small business that helped her get through until she was busy again.
• Think outside the box. Maybe you can do several part-time jobs, at least for now, to keep things ticking over. Or possibly you could go self-employed.
• Don’t be proud. Any job that you can do is better than no job. Any employment is honourable, so hold your head high and get on with it.
• List all the good things about losing your job. Maybe you were in a rut, frustrated, bored, under-achieving or stressed and pressurized. Let yourself have some peace. .
• Consider re-training. Maybe this is your call to do something you always wanted to do.
• Review your life. Have you got into the habit of doing things that aren’t right for you? Have you been expressing your talents, or doing your job because you ‘ought’ to? This is a wake-up call, and maybe you can now change direction
• Turn finding a job into a job. Every day make sure you are up, dressed and ready to tackle the day. Make phone calls, send emails, but also visit places that might offer employment – there’s nothing like a friendly face to impress people who may want to hire you.
However bad you may feel, there will be good times ahead and this will make you a stronger and better person. At times the clouds are bound to gather, but remember our helpful and encouraging readers at The Circle are always there with good advice and wider perspectives, so don’t hesitate to put in a call and feel better!
PUBLISHED: 01 September 2014