Lost your Job? Reflect & Take Action!
Losing your job is one of life's most stressful events. Aside from the obvious financial difficulties, losing a job can significantly impact your attitude, relationships, and overall mental and emotional well-being.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people worldwide have lost their employment or other means of income. While the widespread, unprecedented nature of this hardship means you shouldn't feel responsible for your circumstances, this may be of little consolation when you're worried about paying bills and feeding your family. Fortunately for you, we are here to help!
If you or someone you know is going through something similar, we have a well-balanced and thought-out 10-day step-by-step guide to recover from the shock of being unemployed. This journal challenge has been carefully designed to encourage self-reflection through expressing writing and is bound to help you make the most out of this uncertain period in your life. It includes a step to go through each day and finishes with a thought-provoking question to answer in your JournalOwl journal. It's that simple.
Step 1: Grieve
According to psychology, grief is the body's normal response to loss, not merely psychological but also physical, which is why the best way to start is to nurture the heartbreak. Dr. James Pennebaker, an American social psychologist, hypothesized that men who used journal writing therapy could work through their anger and hatred toward the employer that had laid them off. Still, men who didn't process their emotions in writing may have accidentally shown similar feelings during job interviews in the future.
Step 2: Avoid Constant Self-Blame
When you're unemployed, it's tempting to start judging or blaming yourself. It's critical, however, to avoid lowering yourself down. While you're looking for new work, you'll need to maintain your self-assurance. Every negative notion you have should be challenged. If you find yourself thinking, "I'm a loser," put down proof to the contrary: "I lost my job because of so and so, not because I was a lousy employee.", etc.
Step 3: Evaluate Your Choices
According to a new Pew Research Center poll, about half of Americans who are currently unemployed or temporarily laid off and looking for work are uncertain and pessimistic about their future employment prospects. The majority say they've seriously considered changing fields or occupations since they've been unemployed. However, this may be the perfect opportunity for you to work for the career path you've always wanted.
Step 4: Don't Let Your Job Define You
Work molds our identities and determines who we are for many of us. After all, one of the first things people ask when they meet someone new is, "What do you do?" We lose our sense of self when we lose our jobs. Alison Green is the founder of the advice blog Ask a Manager.
"If you're conscientious and you like what you do, it's very easy to get your identity all tied up with your job," she says, "And not just the job itself, but the idea of yourself as someone who's really good at what you do. That's a very powerful thing." She goes on to say: "There is this dark side to it that you don't really spot until it's no longer a force for good in your life."
Step 5: Self-Care is Important
Job loss and unemployment can negatively impact your health and make you more sensitive to mental health issues. It's more vital than ever to look for oneself. Allowing your job search to overwhelm you is a bad idea. Make time for pleasure, leisure, and relaxation, whatever it takes to recharge your batteries. Your job hunt will be more effective if you are cognitively, emotionally, and physically fit.
Step 6: Hone Your Skills
Degrees are really nothing more than pieces of paper if you are unemployed. It is impossible to be too well educated or informed not to desire to develop new (marketable) talents. Developing new abilities and looking for work are not mutually exclusive, and no more incredible drive exists than the will to survive and earn a living.
Learning helps to keep your mind active and your body engaged. It aids you in attaining new and informed insights into the world around you. It most definitely allows you to expand your horizons, train your brain to deal with a variety of obstacles, and keep your neural networks active.
In her 2007 book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck, a prominent Stanford psychologist, claims that IQ, talent, or education doesn't distinguish successful people. It's their mentality or how they tackle life's difficulties. The assumption that your intelligence, talents, and other attributes are fixed is known as a fixed mindset. You believe you were born with a specific set of abilities that you can't change. If you have a growth mindset, you feel that you can improve your innate abilities through hard work, perseverance, and determination.
According to Dweck, via your experiences, training, and effort, you may develop your skills, abilities, talents, and even IQ.
Step 7: Reach Out To Loved Ones
Because unemployment impacts the entire family, don't handle your difficulties alone. Keeping your job loss hidden will exacerbate the situation. Even throughout this trying time, your family's support can help you survive and thrive.
Open up to your loved ones. Even if you pride yourself on being tough and self-sufficient, now is the moment to lean on the people who care about you, whether to relieve tension or cope with the pain of job loss. Keep them informed about a change in career or your job search and let them know how they can help.
Step 8: Don't Hide, Network
You could withdraw from friends and family out of shame or embarrassment during this challenging time. When you're dealing with the stress of job loss and unemployment, don't overlook the importance of other people. Nature's remedy to stress is social contact. Nothing beats conversing face to face with a good listener for soothing your nervous system.
When we lose our employment, we often lose friendships and social networks at work. However, it's never too late to widen your social network outside of work. It can be helpful in both coping with the stress of losing your job and obtaining a new one.
The great majority of job postings are filled through networking rather than advertising. Even if you're an introvert or don't know many people, networking doesn't have to be daunting or laborious when it comes to getting a job.
Step 9: Rework Your Resume
A resume is a collection of work from past jobs that you can exhibit to a recruiter or hiring manager. You can publish your portfolio on a website, give a presentation, or print out copies of your outstanding work and save them in a binder. Portfolios are a terrific method to demonstrate your actual accomplishments instead of just listing them on your CV as bullet points. You may gain confidence in your abilities due to constructing your portfolio.
Step 10: Look For New Opportunities
When you lose a job, it's sometimes the most significant thing you can do is look for a new one. If you've given some serious thought to the type of job you want or looking into changing your career, narrowing down your options should be more accessible. However, applying for other jobs can take some time. Make a plan for job hunting and application, such as how many jobs you'll apply for in a week or a commitment to spend only a specific amount of time looking for new opportunities every day.