Everyone who has ever lost a job (which is almost everyone on the planet!) knows how traumatic it is. You are plunged into a rollercoaster of emotions almost like the grief process. First there's denial, this can't be happening; then anger hits, why me? Then depression sets in and finally acceptance.
These emotions are powerful and it is important to acknowledge them - but also to take action. In fact, taking action can quicken the process and lessen the impact.
Here are a few steps to take when you hear the dreaded news that you have lost your job:
1. Stay calm
Panicking won't help. Reduce anxious feelings by doing some research. Find out about possible unemployment benefits, redundancy pay, etc. Check to see if you have any holidays owing and if you could get some extra pay in lieu. Then check out training opportunities - the company may have a fund to help.
- Nothing makes a company more glad they have decided to let an employee go than an unprofessional attitude after hearing the news. Many employees go into a sulk, stop working, start gossiping and spreading rumours, or spend most of the time they should be working looking for a new job.
- You are going to need a good reference from your employer and staying professional is the best way to get one.
- Keep on working as if you weren't about to finish, refuse to indulge in self-pity and don't indulge in bitching with colleagues. Often colleagues are well-meaning and want to comfort those who are being made redundant, but it can be destructive to be known as a person who spends time talking about how awful everything is and how mean the management are.
3. Start Making Plans
- Go over your CV and do a career assessment on yourself. If your last certificate was 3-5 years or more ago, do start doing some training now. It's always worth updating your Microsoft Office and keyboard skills, and perhaps a soft skill such as Assertiveness or Customer Service. SpeedWriting is a quick course (6 hours) that can make you more productive at work by saving you time, reducing your stress and help stop you forgetting things (because you'll be able to write everything down, no matter how quickly people rattle things off!).
- Research jobs and industries you are interested in working in.
- Create or update your LinkedIn profile and start working it. Contact ex-employers, suppliers and colleagues to see if they know of any job vacancies or career paths you could chase up. Once you have finished work, it is fine to say on your LinkedIn profile that you are currently looking for a new job.
- Update your CV and upload it to jobs sites, TAKE it in to employment agencies (it's important that they meet you as they are more likely to remember you when vacancies come in). Set up alerts on the jobs sites so you get notification when suitable vacancies go live.
If you find yourself slipping into depression, see a doctor or counsellor quickly. If you can catch it early it is easier to treat.
5.Keep busy once you finish work
Stick to a regular routine, as if you were working, of getting up early and going to bed at a reasonable time. Get out and about (wards off depression) by going to the library, taking up a hobby, doing some training or volunteering. This is another name for networking! The more people you know, the more likely you are to know someone who knows of a job vacancy about to come up.
We know that our courses help people find new jobs, so come and talk to us about which courses would help you in the current economy.
Stay positive and keep looking, you may find something through the most unlikeliest of routes.
Author: Pitman Training Centre Swords
28th June 2011