How to Treat Losing Your Job as an Opportunity and Make the Best of It
Chances are it will happen to everyone at least once during their career: one way or the other, politely or not, with or without consideration for how you feel about it, you are asked to leave the company you work for. While it will most likely feel like a traumatic experience at the time, losing your job can actually be a promising opportunity in your life. Here are a few tips on how to make the best of the situation.
Find the Opportunity
People in similar situations have confirmed that in hindsight, changing jobs at that time was the best thing that could’ve happened to them. Either the old company had already made too many changes for the worse, or their new job turned out to be something really great. Instead of mourning the loss of your job, try to view the situation objectively. Were you really as happy there as you wanted to be? Could you find a new job that satisfies you even more?
A Fresh Look at You and the Big Picture
Don’t look at your current situation from this week’s or this month’s perspective. Instead, try to fit this event into your overall life. Remind yourself of your strengths, your passions, your dreams, and your aspirations. Were any of these short-changed or compromised in your previous job and what would your new career have to look like to better fulfill them?
Your old job probably had great impact on how you and others perceived you. With that influence gone, take some time to define how you want to be perceived independent of your work.
Some introspection could help you find a new challenge that fits into your overall life plans even better than your previous job. Make sure to have a career compass in place that helps you to vet opportunities as they arise (read more about career compasses here).
Being let go from a job can understandably make someone feel anger, rage, or frustration. However, accept the decision from your employer graciously, and resist the temptation to behave like a victim as you look for a new job. Try instead to make a fresh, positive start independent of what has been done to you. Everyone will be much happier to help if you’re not constantly complaining about your previous employer.
Now is the time to update your profiles on social platforms such as LinkedIn. Remember to switch off the broadcasting of profile changes to your network in your account settings (e.g. at LinkedIn) to save that thunder for when you scored your new position. You don’t want to broadcast housekeeping updates to your profile. You should also look for opportunities to network in the real world. Have an elevator pitch ready, that is, a thirty second story of who you are what you’re good at and why you are a great hire. Let the members of your network know that you’re in the market for a new job and let them know what you’re looking for.
Days fly by when you don’t have to show up at the office at eight every morning. While it need not be as rigid as your work schedule, try to maintain a schedule that keeps you alert. This is an important difference between actively looking for a new job and being unemployed.
Use Your Time Wisely
Take a moment and jot down a quick list of things you wished you had more time for while you were in your old job. You will probably come up with things like having more time for your kids, exercising more, spending more time on becoming the person you want to be, or finally starting the home improvement project you’ve had in mind. Now is the time to pursue these things. Networking and finding your new job will not be a full-time task. One benefit of staying organized is that it should leave you plenty of hours available each week to invest in your personal projects. Achieving some of the tasks on your list will help you feel much better about the transition time between jobs. When you look back, the time will have been well-spent, not wasted.
There’s that old saying about lemons and lemonade. When an employer hands you lemons, don’t get sour. Make the best of your situation and take some time to identify what you did not like about your previous job and what you would like to focus on from here on out, both personally and career-wise. Instead of feeling bitter or anxious, make this a chance to utilize your new found time and start anew!