Even if you hate your job, losing it never feels good. In fact, it feels pretty awful. Whether you loved your job or you were hoping to resign soon and leave on your own terms, things don't always work out as you plan.
And that’s ok. I’m here to say it loud and say it proud: being laid off or even being fired does not mean you’re not awesome. You will find work you dig again. You will continue to add value to whatever organization is lucky enough to land you. You’ve got this. Easy enough for me to say, right? Now, let’s talk about how to get you feeling that way, too.
1. Feel your feelings. Losing your job can an emotional rollercoaster. You’re angry. You’re frustrated. You’re kind of excited about what might be next but then fear rears its ugly head again. This is a totally normal reaction. And it’s perfectly fine to ride that rollercoaster for a little while.
But don’t let it take over completely. Feeling like you’re at the affect of everything in your life is no way to live, and it takes a toll on your confidence. Take some time to process and then move onward and upward, my friends.
2. Remind & rebuild. You landed that job in the first place for a reason. You’re smart, capable, hardworking, and likely a million other positive descriptors. That hasn’t changed simply because your employment circumstances may have. Now is the time to remind yourself of how truly badass you are.
I know everyone rolls their eyes when it comes to the work of updating your resume, but that’s your chance to focus solely on your awesome. Remember all of the game changing work, projects, initiatives that you brought to life and how much they impacted the organization. You bring a lot to the table when you join a business, and don’t you forget it!
And if you’re having trouble remembering some of it, check with your former colleagues, family and friends. If you were working on a major project and crushing it, they likely knew about it and might be able to help you fill in some gaps. Yes, this process is work, but any work that reminds you of how amazing you are and helps build your confidence is worth it.
3. Put yourself out there. Share your story. In today’s job market, having a solid network of relationships can make a real difference. Be willing to tell your tribe that you’re on the lookout and vulnerable enough to ask for their help. Be specific about what it is that you’re hoping for and don’t let fear prevent you from asking.
When grabbing lunch with a friend, don’t be afraid to say, I notice you’ve got connections at XYZ and I’m really interested in working with them someday; would you mind making an introduction? Most people would be happy to help, and if for some reason they can’t give you exactly what you’re looking for, you never know what kind of interesting alternative they may offer.
Beyond your existing network, keep building! Go to events that feel right for you. If you’re fascinated by Search Engine Optimization, find groups who focus on discussing it. Not only might one of those sessions lead to a connection that leads to your next role, it also serves as a reminder to you that you know what you’re talking about.
You’re a valuable professional and anything that reminds you of that when you’re going through a time of change is crucial. Don’t forget that you’ve got a lot to offer. So, while you’re out there making connections and asks of your own, think of ways or ask your network about ways you might be able to help them.
Making intros, proofreading, or being a good listener at a time when they need it are all impactful. Providing assistance to others also helps people feel less icky about networking in general. It’s a conversation and a two way street where each person is providing value. No need to feel icky about that!
Times of change can be difficult to navigate. They can also be an amazing chance to chase your dream job or get out of that career you’ve been loathing for a while. Take the time to process and do the work. No doubt you’ll end up stronger on the other side and happily contributing in whatever way you choose and where you choose in the future.
Kelly is a human resources pro and coach who helps people find and achieve what they want career-wise and beyond. Coaching, training, recruiting – if you name it in the world of HR, she's done it in a variety of industries. Her advice has been featured on The Muse, Career Contessa, Levo, Workology, among others. Learn more by scoping her out at www.kellypoulson.com.
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