Top 10 Tips for Dealing with Job Loss
The newscaster just announced, “15,000 people lost their jobs in March,” I can’t believe smart people are losing their jobs. This economic uncertainty is hitting people when they least expect it but should this calamity happen to you, it does not have to be the end of the world, if you handle it correctly. If you have lost your job, you are about to embark on possibly the worst journey of your life. You are about to feel the worst you have ever felt about life, yourself and the “people in charge in this world.” You are about to feel meaningless, useless, worthless, unappreciated, mistreated, humiliated, angry and hurt. Yet, there ARE ways to ride the storm and come out on top.
1. Acceptance – Accept, for now, that this has happened. Realize the severity of the situation. You can’t go back in time and erase what happened. The danger is to not become stuck yearning for the past. Falling down is acceptable, staying down is not. Do not waste your time reliving what you used to have, the prestige and the command your word carried but realize that for now, it is gone. You might find it again soon or you may have to work for it for years but if you really want financial freedom and a successful career again, you will find what you are looking for. The key to success at life is realizing that life is all about acceptance. Yes, “bad things happen to good people,” “No one promised you a rose garden,” and “You must have rain in order to see a rainbow.” All the cliches you did not pay much attention to before will take on a whole new meaning for you but the ones you must take to heart are “You must take roadblocks and make stepping stones out of them,” and “Out of every problem comes opportunity.” Create your own personal empowering mantra when times get tough, because they will.
2. Allow yourself to grieve – This IS the worst time of your life. You WILL be unappreciated and feel worthless. The loss of a job coupled with the prestige and financial security that went with it can be crushing. Fight the bad in life with good. Use everything you read (that works) to beat this. Hang on to what is good for you and let go of what isn’t. Surround yourself with empowering books and positive people. Go to meetings where people support each other and help each other find ways to succeed. Listen to what they are doing that works and toss out what they are doing that doesn’t. Don’t judge anyone because if you are used to spending $3 – 5,000 a month and your income becomes zero, your reserves will go FAST if you don’t change, and it will be only a matter of months before YOU are the one in that chair. Cry it out at night. Stay away from people and places that will take you back in time to what you had and where you were. Longing for the past can only ruin the present, and therefore the future.
3. Strengthen yourself mentally– Read positive thinking books that will keep you in the frame of mind you need to be in. Your mind is like a recorder. What you put into it on a constant basis is what you will hear, kind of like a song that won’t quit circling in your mind. Have you ever wondered what you could do if you replaced that irritating song that won’t go away with powerful customized affirmations? Design your own mantra to arm yourself for combatting rough times. Know that many times you were the perfect one for the job and it was their loss for not hiring you. Don’t take rejection personally. Think of the guy who has to turn down 468 people who applied for one job. HE has to know how MANY people were the “right one” for the job and how they have families to feed and mortgages to pay. Don’t hate him, don’t hate people, don’t hate “those in charge”. Just keep trying and never give up, ever. Winners are just people who didn’t quit. Surround yourself with winners and positive people who will keep your spirits up in this trying time. If your spouse berates you and makes you feel even worse than the hell you are going through does, get away from him/her and take a break. This is when you will discover if you chose well in marriage, if this person is going to weather the storm with you or if you are going to have to use a lifeboat to get them the hell off your ship.
4. Steer your own course constantly -You control your thoughts. Take Abraham Lincoln’s line – “A man is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be” and realize the amazing power it holds. Get into the habit of eliminating bad thoughts immediately because they lead to bad CHAINS of thought that can bind you all day long and even burden you in your sleep. Your problems cause bad dreams which ruin your sleep, leave you unrested and ruin the next day, and so on. It is a vicious cycle that MUST be stopped by no one but YOU! Only you control your thoughts. Even the self-aggrandizing speeches and lectures of abusive parents or spouses who berate you can be turned around by you in your own mind without them knowing. It is like the kid being told he is worthless who in his mind says, “I’ll show you,” and does. Your reaction to situations is what makes you or breaks you. When on interviews, be ready for the interviewer’s questions by already having foreseen them and prepared the answers for them. Visualization is an essential tool in being successful. Visualize yourself being smooth and calm -charming and intelligent and all they want. Visualization leads to actualization. If you get caught up on one answer, move on and don’t let them see you puzzled over it. These few minutes must be yours. You must feel like you are in control not the answer-spewing puppet of an interviewer. Let your uniqueness surface during the interview. You know what sets you aside from all the other applicants. Know that your age and experience are truly valuable because you know how to deal with people, situations, and life. You have been there, done that – let them know how you were good at what you did. Make yourself stand out – or you’ll be standing in line at the next interview.
4. Use common sense – If you are heading out to an interview thinking, “Here I go, trying to impress some young punk who was in diapers when I graduated from college with honors,” your attitude will show. As subtle as you think you are, your attitude may come through in your demeanor during the interview and he’d consider you a threat to HIS job and File 13 you. Right before you go into an interview, repeat your mantra to psyche yourself up and go in there with a positive attitude thinking, “What does this interviewer exactly want to hear?” We are all qualified, some waay more than others and that may scare them off. The trick is to make them feel like hiring you would be a benefit to them and they would really would be losing out if they did not hire you. I will not insult my readers with basic idiotic tips like dress to impress, job search online, take an impressive resume, use power verbs and all the other basics for “nailing” that interview. Yes, these work and I have nailed interviews using them, but they are just common sense. You have to make yourself stand out. My husband once sent a hard-to-reach business owner a message, “You know it’s a funny thing. I talked to God today but I can’t talk to you.” He got to talk to him and got a job.
5. Go into “reserve” mode – Stop wasting immediately. Get out of the habit of eating out and wait til you get home – it’s cheaper. Shop smart at stores and go for the cheaper price on items whose name brand doesn’t matter anyway. Do you really NEED the fancy-ass paper towels? Go generic on stuff that no one will see and you are going to use anyway. Learn to cook well. I save literally hundreds of dollars by shopping smart and cooking restaurant-quality meals at home. I could feed a family for a day or two on what a family spends at ONE meal at a restaurant – yes, even one fast food meal for two people can be over $20.00. Be smart about this. Buy stuff on sale and learn to buy big amounts of chicken, pork chops, ground beef and the like and break them down into meal-sized portions before you put them in the freezer. Save $2.00 or more on one item by buying the store-brand version then add up how much you would save if you did this all the time. (Keep coming back to this blog for lots of great money-saving tips that are guaranteed to save you hundreds a year.)
6. Don’t stop taking care of yourself. Now is not the time to dive into the bottle of pills, alcohol, whatever. Being of sharp mind helps you deal with the reality you have to. You don’t need to lean on a crutch because that crutch can become a third leg that you may not be able to stand up without. Go for a walk or jog or work out to relieve the stress you are under. People may take a drink, take a pill, exercise, or whatever they are into to deal with stress but the stress MUST be dealt with or it takes a toll on your health and results in stroke, heart attack, or mental breakdown. Please remember how important you are and how you must take care of yourself especially now, if not for you for those who love and depend on you.
7. Consider getting a degree or license in something else. There are short programs that last two years, even six months and you can keep your family in the lifestyle they were accustomed to but it will take hard work and possibly going to school after getting out of your day job. It all depends on what you want your income to be. You can still achieve anything you desire, it will just be a lot harder this time around because you are older and you have dependents. This is where your spouse and/or family will play a major part in your success, or your failure. It takes teamwork to succeed. They will have to sacrifice for you if they want to live in the manner they were accustomed to. The wife will have to learn to use a good eye and buy jewelry and clothing that looks expensive but isn’t. The teenagers will (GASP!) have to consider getting part-time jobs to pay for the trendy clothes, music, movies and other “musts” for teenagers. Trips in the car will have to be well-planned in order to save gas and money therefore schedules will have to be synched. Everyone must play a part. “I want”s will have to take a step behind “I need”s.
8. Bite the Bullet – Don’t let your job search stretch into a year. Put your pride aside and work a job that pays the bills. You may find other opportunities through that job. Take a leap and try different things. You will find out how many things you are good at before you know it. I have discovered I can make beautiful art and sell it. I have tried and made very decent profit selling jewelry. I have learned about computers and have gotten jobs in that field where I was barely functional before. I have written for people and was even approached by a magazine last week. My photography has been called professional-looking (and this is someone who when told to take a close-up actually took three steps closer to the subject because her camera was cheap.) I have taught classes on the side and made money at it. Every opportunity I take leads to more. My phone keeps ringing with more and more opportunities. It is just the way it works. Call it Law of Attraction, Universal Balance, Realization of Expectations, God, Yaweh, Allah, sheer determination, whatever, just be grateful for everything you get because it could easily be gone again. You never know what can become of taking that first step.
9. Don’t let this tragedy change you as a person. Prepare for life’s setbacks by having some money put away to live on. If you are entrusted in a new job with someone’s business, home or even children, do NOT take advantage and try to gain more than is allotted to you. Do not steal, cheat or deceive in order to get ahead just because you are hurting. Karma will get you PLUS your character will suffer because deep down you know you are above that. The times may change but you don’t have to.
10. Don’t give up living. – Picnic lunches are cheap and can be romantic. Outings to the beach or a park are free. Take up bike riding, skating, or some other exercise. Pick up a hobby that you can sell the products of. Don’t give up going out completely, just do it smartly. Movies are just as good at the first matinee showing for $4.00 as they are at night for $9.75. Don’t spend $5.00 on a pop and $6.00 on a box of popcorn. Eat before you go. The teenagers beat-up looking jeans can be had for a buck at a thrift shop instead of $24.00 new but looking used. All this is common sense and you need to adjust. Forget about status symbols and realize people who live smart and for themselves instead of for other people live better lives.