Guess what? We’ve all been there: losing a job is an embarrassing, uncomfortable and scary experience, but it happens. From one second to the next you’ve gone from cushy employment to empty unemployment and it probably feels like the only thing to do is PANIC. Before you derail yourself completely and discourage your chances of getting back on your feet, try these 5 strategies for keeping your cool:
- Try to figure out what went wrong.
If you have the opportunity, reach out to your ex-employer to understand what went wrong. Learning from your mistakes is the best way to ensure they don’t happen again. You may even come to find out the decision had nothing to do with your performance, in which case you can ease up a bit.
- Don’t dwell on it.
What’s done is done. There are so many things in life we have no control over; you need to focus on the things you can control, like finding your next job. To be fair, this tip is applicable to so many aspects of life. When something unfortunate happens, we can’t reverse time and we can’t change it; the only thing you can do is look to the future and be better next time.
- Don’t attribute this one setback to your character as a whole.
So you lost a job; but your job doesn’t define you. First and foremost, you’re a friend, daughter, son, girlfriend, boyfriend, athlete, artist, reader, runner, yogi, cook, the list goes on and on! Just because one area of your life took a hit doesn’t mean the rest of your accomplishments and relationships are null and void. If you had a beautiful garden, full of flowers and plants, and just one died, would you tear up the whole thing?
- Reassess your priorities.
Believe it or not, you’ve just been given a gift. It may not seem like it straight away, but try to hear me out. You’ve got some extra time on your hands, so direct your energy to figuring out what it is you truly want. Cliche as it may sound, I believe everything happens for a reason, and chances are you lost this job because something bigger and better is out there for you. It’s up to you to tune in with yourself, figure out what you want, then chase it.
- Look for support.
Don’t be afraid to admit you’re sad, disappointed, ashamed, scared or panicked after losing your job. Accepting those emotions is the first step to letting them go. Get your loved ones to rally around you and ask for the support you need. Whether it’s just a listening ear or a recommendation letter, the help is there if you’re willing to ask for it.
As someone who has been fired from a job, I can admit it felt horrible in the moment, but ultimately it lead me to pursue the path I was meant for.
Keep your chin up and you will get through this!