Hello friends, when you lose your job, it seems like one of the most devastating life experiences.
There's the worry of finding another one; the loss of income and benefit; there's a big gaping hole left where you once had peace of mind and security.
There's a year I remembered the most. It was in early 2003. That was months after Hewlett Packard has acquired Compaq Computer for USD25 billion in 2002. In any merger and acquisition, there's always a fear of restructuring and layoffs. No doubt, an announcement was made in the internal mail that they will be laying off thousands of employees.
Being in the sales team, there's always less worry if you have been meeting the sales target (safer zone) in any merger and acquisition. I was able to over-achieve my sales quota for the past two years, so thought I'm safe.
And then one morning, my sales manager asked me for a coffee. Two things came to my mind. It's either the good news or the bad news. And of course, I was thinking about the good news. We sat down in a cafe. She began to speak in a soft yet firm voice 'Ngee Key, how are things with you? Hope everything is fine." My response was good, always positive. And then she broke the news to me "You knew about the merger between Compaq and Hewlett Packard. They just released the list of employees to be layoff. I'm sorry, you are one of them".
Wow, what a piece of news I got first thing in the morning. Stunned and speechless is how I described myself. I didn't finish my coffee as my mind went blank for a while. My boss was nice and offers all the help to me during this transition. I have seen some of my friends who got retrenched. Never felt how it is till I experienced myself.
I told myself, what's done cannot be undone. Instead of focusing "Why me", I focused on what I can do about it. It was a challenging moment. I took a break, went for a vocation, revitalized myself and reflect in my life what will be my next chapter. After I got back from my break, I created a plan and followed through. Self-drive and determination are important attributes in the entire job search process.
Use the Window, if the Door has closed.
There are many self-made individuals who have used the opening of "the window" to actually move on to bigger and better careers. There are so many people who get stuck in a rut when it comes to their employment. They have a job, steady income, but not necessary liking and enjoying their current situation. They just have the thought of "If the rice bowl is not broken, why fix it". And they never pursue their dream job.
Losing your job, as hard as it may seem at the time, can end up being one of the best things that ever happens to you; it is a motivation to stop and look at your life, and a chance to make a positive and higher income change. There are people who simply don't have the courage to pursue their dream job on their own; they have to be forced into it, and a job loss can be what stimulates their move toward a better situation.
Yes, what to do when you Lose Your Job?
1. Contact a career or job search coach/specialist. Many career coaches or specialists offer brief complimentary initial consultations, and it will give you a chance to discuss and brainstorm about your future. It will boost your morale and your confidence to have someone to consult with who is knowledgeable in this area.
2. Make yourself visible. The natural thing for many people is to mope alone and secluded in their depression, but a job isn't going to come knocking at your door. Get out and about, talk to people, network and let people know you are job hunting. Arrange informational interviewing with experts to know more in depth about their roles and industry. Don't just ask for a job, but advice that will be useful for you.
3. Consider continuing to upgrade your knowledge based on today’s demands. Perhaps a short course or there are some certificates or development courses that would enhance your resume. If you are worried about finances, explore the possibility of financial aid, and not just federal aid, either. Many community colleges offer tuition incentives for older adults, some even include books and supplies. There are even free online courses offered by Coursera, Udacity, and edX, which provide university-level content, and Khan Academy, which largely targets K-12 education.
4. Update your resume and other personal marketing tools such as your portfolio. Have your mentor or career coach reviews it and make suggestions for improvement.
5. Don't feel obligated to stay in the same industry or profession. Be willing to adapt; if there are no jobs in your field, consider other options, even if it is a climb down the ladder rather than up. Any job can be better than no job, and it can be only temporary. Besides, many people have actually found something they liked better by being willing to make a career change.
6. Consider a part time job, bridge job or freelancing rather than full time. You can use the extra time to write a book or start your own home business. This is a path many have taken to find wealth and success working from home.
Whatever you do, think positive. You have some extra time on your hands, so use it constructively. Believe in yourself, and know there is real power in positive thinking.