Surviving a job loss

November 15, 2019

Surviving a job loss

November 15, 2019by Jackie Marsterson


Losing a job is one of life’s most stressful experiences. Working with as many clients as I have over the years, I have often found that people feel angry and betrayed, frustrated and at a loss as to why it’s happened to them. Job loss and unemployment involves a lot of change and uncertainty and it can come all at once. Whilst we can’t always prepare for such events, we can take control and keep our spirits high.


Coming to terms with why it happened. Most of us think that redundancy is personal and that we have in some way, contributed to the situation and are therefore at fault. Often this is not the case. What will help is taking an objective approach; it is ‘the position’ that has been made redundant, not ‘you’.


Try not to blame others; your boss, the company, colleagues or the cat. This is just wasted energy and gets you nowhere.


Think of this as a temporary setback. Once you have dealt with the loss, recognize that this position will not last forever, like many things in life. Learn from the experience and use it as an opportunity to reflect and agree on what is important to you moving forward.


Stay connected. When we are facing a challenging situation, we sometimes can find ourselves withdrawing from friends and family and feel vulnerable and out of control. In fact, this is a time to reach out to others. You can’t underestimate the importance of having a strong support network around you. Finding a person who can be a calming influence and a sounding board will be important. Critically, they don’t always have to offer a solution, just a lending ear. Whilst you may not want to ask for support, doing so has so many benefits.


Avoid beating yourself up. It’s easy to blame yourself and have a whole stream of negative thoughts running through your brain. STOP, it is pointless. Start to reframe your thinking, every time a negative thought occurs. Challenge it, and focus on the positives and the opportunities. The more you do this the better you become.


Structure your days. Once you have got over the initial shock, decide what is going to be next. You may want to take some time off or you may feel you want to get back on the saddle and start looking for another opportunity right away. Before you go galloping off though, do pause, think what do I want, and how am I going to get there. Brainstorm ideas, research roles, reach out to your network and get out your selling tools, resume, LinkedIn and cover letter all prepared. We can often waste time by being reactive as opposed to proactive. Make a plan and decide how best to execute it. Remember to incorporate some ‘me time’. Looking after your wellbeing is important to keep your energy levels up. Exercise improves your mood and is a great antidote to stress.


Stay positive. Avoid getting overwhelmed, by taking ‘the small step’ approach; breaking big goals down into manageable chunks. You can’t do everything at once. Know that it will happen. So many clients I see start off feeling like their world has caved in, further down the track they are in a new role and don’t look back.


Learn from the experience. In the world of work, redundancy is the norm, it is no longer a stigma. Companies have to downsize, close or rethink how they are doing things. As employees, all of this is out of our control. What we can control is ourselves. Always be job-ready. Know what your industry is doing and build relationships with recruiters, making sure you have a strong network. Most importantly, it is not the end of the world. You are employable and you will secure a position. In my experience, clients often look back and are in a much better position in their new role, than the role they were in when made redundant!

If you feel you need help please contact me for a chat to see how we can work together to ensure you are supported and gain confidence.