It’s officially 2-years this month that I was let go from my job of more than 20-years at ABC7Chicago. Despite the economy supposedly getting better, I keep reading that more and more people are getting laid off. I remember how horrible I felt that day. But I’m here to tell you it’s definitely NOT the worst thing that could happen, although it may feel that way at the time. If it recently happened to you, just know things will get better but you need to go through a series of steps to make sure it does.
So here’s 8 lessons I learned after losing my job:
1.First and foremost, tell yourself It’s Not The End of The World. Sure, it may initially seem devastating both financially and mentally but things always manage to work themselves out and you will be fine.
2. Keep a good attitude. Okay, you are allowed to be sad for a bit but you need a cut off date. Move forward as quickly as possible so your good attitude not only gets you through those hard days, but it will also help clear your mind. This allows you to start strategizing about your next step and your future. Most of your friends and family are going to initially feel sorry for you but everyone has their own problems and the last thing anyone wants to see is you moping around feeling sorry for yourself.
3. Start Networking. Immediately start reaching out to your network of friends and former business acquaintances. If you’re looking for another job or trying to start your own business, you’ll be surprised at how many people will want to help out. Maybe they’re not in the same industry but most people know someone else who might be able to give you some direction.
4. Get to work. It’s a full time job trying to find a job. Get working, you will be busier than ever. Part of your job will also be to exercise and take care of yourself. It does wonders for your mood and takes up some time during those freed up hours in the day or night. I was amazed at how many ideas I came up with during my workout.
5. Take a shower and get dressed. Dress as if you are going to work or a meeting. It will make you feel so much better and if you happen to run into a potential client or employer, they’ll be happy to see that you still look good and they’ll remember you. This also shows you aren’t letting anything bring you down. People were always surprised when they saw me in public and kept telling me how good I looked. I think they were expecting me to go into seclusion and be depressed. Staying home in my jammies and eating bonbons was not part of my plan.
6. Don’t hold a grudge, move forward. It will only hold you back. Trying to get revenge on the person who let you go is a waste of your time and energy. The best revenge will be taking what happened and using that energy to make sure you are a success.
7. This is so important. Quit worrying. This takes a lot of work but you need to realize that worrying is a waste of time. You will accomplish nothing by worrying. All the energy spent worrying will prevent you from focusing on your next step and making it happen.
8. Be patient and stay positive. Your attitude is everything. There’s always a bright side but it’s up to you to find and acknowledge this. It may take a while to get back on your feet but it will happen.
Now, on the other hand, if you lost your job and you have the luxury of taking some time off, good for you. For everyone else, keeping a good attitude while looking for the next step is hard work. There is no crystal ball to tell us what’s coming in our future. But you can control how pleasant or miserable this experience is going to be. So, why not make the best of it?
Have you lost your job or know someone who has? How are you/they handling it? What strategies do you suggest?