“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”- Dolly Patron.
Change, they say, is the only constant thing in life, yet we cringe and shudder when these changes are sudden and beyond our control. As we continue our article on the transitional change of losing or changing jobs, I recall one of the hardest parts of the conversation for me was explaining to those around me what I was up to.
I suggest you spend your time deciding what you would like to communicate to acquaintances about your phase: I am taking a break off work, I am in-between job changes, I have taken time off work, I am seeking different or new opportunities, etc. You decide what best works for you.
The most important thing is to go through the process without losing yourself but accept that you are vulnerable and courageous enough to continue this journey.
- Love and Support:
The idea of accepting love and support was one I had to learn in one of my transitions where the split from an incumbent company was quite tough. I suggest being okay with friends and loved ones checking up on you, calling and listening to their words of comfort. In the early days, you can only probably do this with your core friends, your circle of trust, where you feel safer to share.
Try not to go through this alone, especially in cases the split is painful. Learn to accept support from others. I recall a certain job transition I made that was so painful, I had close friends calling to check up on me and ascertain that I slept the night before (Yes, it was that bad that I barely slept and had panic attacks!). My friends would call me to discuss possible options for the future, while others listened to me share my fears. I know how devastating this can be for families especially when it happens to the breadwinner or a major financial contributor to the home, so accept help if you get it and if you don’t, please try and reach out. I have been in cases where I shared my pain with strangers that had similar experiences, just because I needed an outlet.
2. Reach Out to Mentors:
As a sequel to the above paragraph, I suggest you reach out to mentors, coaches, or people in your circle that have had similar experiences to your situation e.g. job loss. It is comforting to hear from others that have experienced similar situations; they get it and their stories of triumph can give you hope in the days to come. In my experience with job loss, I actively sought for some of these people. Listening to their experiences and their stories inspired me to make it through that situation. They might not have a job to offer you but they can be a great asset of comfort this time of your life.
3. Learn to Expose Yourself:
One of the things I did in a previous case was to introduce myself to new things. Take this as an opportunity to try out new things which have always escaped you, probably because of your hectic job schedule or limited time. I suggest learning a new language, reading, writing, trying new hobbies. Consider networking or accessing a talent you never focused on. Learn to discover yourself again; the thrill of learning something new or growth can trigger self-confidence, re-enforcing your ability to always start again, reinvent yourself, and do not stay down. I recommend you check out this video by HR Influencer, Jill Katz it has some great tips for the next steps.
4. Guard your Confidence:
One final note is to guard your confidence. It sounds cliché, but I found this to be very key. Loss of confidence can affect your ability to see yourself in a positive light and low self-esteem will probably show through in job interviews and your search for new job roles. You need to sell yourself to your next organization and also deliver through the entire process of recruitment. You are likely to face a lot of rejections when searching for new jobs and it is important you are able to understand that a “No” from a prospective company could mean you are not the best fit for the role, they cannot afford you, you might not fit into the organizational culture or you are under qualified or overqualified for the role. It has nothing to do with you personally, so try not to take it to heart. Here is an article with tips on practical things you can do.
You need positive energy to keep knocking on new doors. I spent a lot of time getting positive energy from praying and being assured that my path and journey is guarded by a higher being, listening to positive messages, and inspiring pieces. Get yourself motivated by having positive people around you, meditating and counting your blessings, or keeping a gratitude journal. I spent a great time reflecting on past successes and writing them down. I used pictures I had taken during these milestones to trigger those memories (Yes, I take quite a lot of pictures!). Self-talk also helped (I would do this in the morning or while alone at the gym or golf course). You can also try visualization techniques. I used this for channelling my thoughts to my strengths and I did that by sticking positive messages on post-it around my bedroom and in between books I read. Start looking at your situation from the perspective of someone who has just gotten a second chance to go at your career again.
Have you ever been through such an experience, I would love to hear from you, email@example.com; comments and contributions are welcome. For more about my own experiences navigating my career see BeFearless.