Many of us have dealt with career-related losses in our work life. Whether it is from a company downsizing, business closure, workplace termination or a failed business venture, the need to regroup and start over again can be daunting. The workingcentre.org highlights information on the Job Loss Cycle in their article, Job Loss – stages of Grieving. When you find yourself experiencing denial and isolation, anger, bargaining/desperation, depression and acceptance, it is important to recognize that these are all natural stages and reactions associated with the loss of your employment situation. Everyone responds to job loss in a different manner.
When you feel you are ready to get back in the game, the following tips are designed to assist you with your journey:
- Identify your transferable skills. Determine the value they will hold for your future audience.
- Revise your resume and LinkedIn profile to align with your new vision.
- Recognize your accomplishments. Whether they are personal or professional accomplishments, their value transcends the former workplace.
- Speak to friends, family and former colleagues to gain insight how they view your attributes. You may be pleasantly surprised with their feedback regarding what they feel you have to offer.
- Determine the key enjoyable elements in your last situation. Determine which environments are conducive to fostering a similar experience.
- Determine your WHY. Why do you enjoy what you do, why do you do what you do, why does it give you meaning, why would / do you miss it?
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle including nutritious food, exercise and a good night sleep.
- Join a support group or interactive workshop. Some examples may include EPC’s 50+ Job Club, Win at Work, On the Job Club.
- Open yourself up to new opportunities. Review job lists to look at new possibilities. Create different resumes versions for your various interests and skill sets.
- Consider retraining or skill upgrading. Free online options may be available.
- Try not to get discouraged. Career planning, networking and job search can take time.
- Recognize that you may cycle back through the changes of job loss at any time. Consider seeking professional counselling if this becomes problematic.
- Assess your values, interests and priorities. Develop a plan of action including short term and long term goals. Set a specific goal and work your way backwards.
- Establish regular routines and book appointments to maintain motivation.
- Test the waters for new areas of interest or possible retraining options including volunteerism or conducting informational interviews.
- Address possible barriers that are holding you back from employment. For example, you may be required to have a high school equivalency, relevant identification, criminal police investigation check or driver’s abstract.
- Consider pursuing assessments that can assist with increasing your self-awareness, identifying your interests or career direction, and goal setting. These may include the STRONG Interest Inventory, MBTI or Emotional Intelligence surveys.
- Above all, get support from an employment counsellor who can help you to put things in perspective, work through the job loss cycle and develop the most suitable plan for your situation.