I’ve lost a few jobs. My husband has lost a few jobs. In fact, everyone I know has lost a few jobs in their lifetime (with the exception of my mother who stayed at a job for 40+ years).
When it first happens, it can be frustrating and scary, but I want you to know that it’s not the end of the world. Life does go on after a job loss.
One thing I know for sure is that the more insight and knowledge you gain around losing a job, the better you will feel. When you choose to ignore the job loss or minimize it, stress and anxiety are not far behind! So make sure to read as much as you can, develop a plan, and take action on your future.
Losing A Job Can Hurt Like Hell!
Not only does losing a job leave you without part (or sometimes all) of your income, it also hurts your pride. It feels as though your boss is saying, “Sorry, you’re just not good enough for me,” and that stings…a lot.
But, the truth is that a job loss is usually more about their interests than it is about you. It’s about their bottom line and their need to continue to thrive. And if you don’t fit into their plan, there would be nothing you could do to convince them otherwise.
Job Loss Story – Let Go From MultiCare via Kim Bettasso
My mother lost her job working at MultiCare recently. She had the job for 15+ years working as an administrative assistant to a supervisor of the perinatal outreach program. She was always asked to pick up the slack on doctors’ and nurses’ paperwork. A very stressful job from all reports. She said she was partly relieved to not be dealing with doctors who were almost always on edge, but the pay was good.
Unfortunately, her very particular skillset isn’t in high demand elsewhere and MultiCare hasn’t had any openings since. She’s going on about a year without work though she had a very fair severance package and hasn’t dipped into retirement at all. She has a dependent which is kind of a strain on finances and she’ll need to tighten her belt if she or he doesn’t get a job soon.
Common Feelings Of Going Through A Job Loss
Following is some insight into how you are feeling and what you should do to move to more positive feelings.
You definitely want to listen to this. It will help you see that your feelings are very normal – and the insight he gives out may help you to feel better.
Seeing Your Job Loss In A Different Light
It may be hard to see it now, but when you forced to get busy finding other ways to support yourself, amazing things can happen. You can get active on your dreams and goals, and you can do things that you didn’t know you were capable of.
And in some cases, where you end up can be much better off than where you were.
There’s probably no good time to lose a job but mine was most terrible…I was pregnant and in debt because we were renovating our house for the new member of my family to come. My employer thought I was too much of a trouble and I let me go, and I was devastated.
Plus I was sick all the time, so I spent a couple of days in bed after that, overwhelmed both physically and emotionally.
Then I stood up and started my own business the same day. I was already making some money that very month. We got out of debt by our child birth and I was growing my business next to her.
That was a terrible and stressful time, but at the end it appeared the best thing that could have happened to me. Looking back, I am thankful for everything that happened. I think I needed that powerful push to start acting, and I succeeded in my endeavors thanks to that.
Phil found it hard in the beginning, but sees it from a different perspective looking back…
First time [I lost my job was in] 2004 – I had moved to Ireland for a 12 month “dream” teaching job. Turned out the principal was all hot air. It was obvious that I was not going to be reappointed the following year. At the end of year meal she says “What are you doing next year, Phil?” …. “Well, Trish, I guess that means I am not coming back to work at your college!?” . . . She hadn’t actually told me – she had just bottled out of that! Losing that job was traumatic, but it had been pretty stressful, though well-paid.
Second time [I lost my job was in] 2010 – I had a job working with a security company that followed on from the teaching job. It had a van, phone and I was on call 24/7/365. TOUGH. The job also involved working in VERY close proximity to guys who I loathed and despised. It came to an end after 6 years in 2010 when the company reorganised. There were 4 of us getting the chop. We went in one at a time, handed over keys, ID cards, note books and phones. I was last in. Nobody even hung around to wish me luck.
This was in Ireland in the middle of the 2008 Depression. Zero chance of a job for a 57-year-old English guy with too many paper qualifications. I signed on for unemployment benefit. That was soul-destroying. Lasted a year. I had depression, got another year of sick pay. Stressed because I had no idea how I was going to pay the mortgage or heating bills, let alone food, a car etc.
Looking back now I can see that both jobs were killing me with stress.
Often people find that their job loss was the best thing that could have happened to them at that time. They learned a lesson, shifted their priorities, or started on a path to something better.
What To Do After A Job Loss
Speaking from experience, getting angry or depressed can be easy, but it does no good to stay that way for the long run. If you want to get back on track, mourn the loss and then get busy working on a plan to get back on your feet.
Here’s the some insight from Jeanne Alford, who understands what it is like to lose a job.
I work in Silicon Valley and have my whole career. What that means is jobs go up and jobs go down. It was a hard lesson to learn, but being laid off is not about you or me. It’s business.
Of course it doesn’t feel like that when it happens, but this is clearly a case of “it is what it is.” My last lay off was simply because the company needed to cut headcount by ten percent. The higher ups forgot why our program was put into place so it was easy to cut my whole team. Ouch.
I left quietly. In fact, the HR representative thanked me for my professionalism. The executive VP told me, “this is not about you; you’re a nice person.” Thanks.
But it still hurt a bit.
1. No matter what your work situation, always strive to have 3-6 month savings available for when this happens.
2. Give yourself time — a week maybe — to allow yourself to feel the emotions of loss. Mourn the job; mourn the work friends you may or may not see again.
3. Use the resources offered – if you get outplacement services, sign up and network. If not, check out the local employment development department (unemployment office). And, please don’t worry about collecting unemployment. You earned it.
4. Make a plan. How are you going to find job leads? Who do you need to connect with? Did you update your LinkedIn profile? And so forth. You need to focus on your job search as you would focus on your job.
5. Find ways to get out and about. Cash flow is nil. Your friends are at work. But you need to get out of the house. Set up lunch appointments with folks in your network. Get tips and names of who to contact. Find local networking events. At a minimum, find places you can “work.” After all, isn’t that what Starbuck’s, Peet’s and Philz is all about? Local libraries have free wifi too. This will make you get up, take a shower and remember what your self-worth is not equivalent to your job.
If you are thinking, “It would be nice to have 3-6 months savings,” you are not alone. My husband and I have been there where we were living paycheck to paycheck and lost a job. But, I want to make a point that this is something to think about when you do get a job again. Instead of buying something you don’t need, put it away just in case your new job doesn’t work out.
As of now, don’t be afraid to seek help from friends, family, the community, or the government.
And, speak to a financial adviser to see what your options are for the future. Once things start happening, and you have a plan to move forward, everything will feel much better.
Building Self Esteem After A Job Loss
The following video has a few things to think about after losing a job when it comes to your self-esteem.
Being Picky Will Not Pay Off
Sometimes you can afford to be a little picky, but many times the first job that comes along is something you may need to take to make ends meet. This can be tough, but it also may be necessary.
For instance, sometimes a new job means working somewhere you wouldn’t initially pick to work.
Neal’s story is something that fits this case perfectly.
I lost my job 3 days after having two weeks off to have my tonsils removed. Was called into a meeting room and told my job was redundant. I was a shocked to say the least. It took me 6 months to find another job and that was in Gibraltar. I live in Chester, so that was a bit stressful for my family. It happens but you have to get on with life and look for a job where you can find one as being unemployed in no fun.
If I’m right, his job was over 4300 miles away from where he lives. But, as he said, being unemployed was no fun and a job was necessary.
That is something to keep in mind as you look. You can always search for another job when you have one, but you may need to make some sacrifices until you find a job that is close to home and fits your life better.