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Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Silver Lining of Losing Your Job

Could there be a silver lining to the crisis of losing your job? Actually there are several.

Understand that being downsized, cut back, or just plain fired isn't likely to make you feel good. It creates fear - How will I pay the bills? How long will it take to find another job that pays as well? What about medical insurance? Depending on your previous level of self worth, losing your job can be a glancing blow to your self esteem or it can be emotionally devastating. Even if your family and friends are supportive, job loss strains family ties, and if you have a marriage or a relationship with a relative that is on the brink, being out of work can snap the connection.

In the moment, job loss generates feelings that range from someone having thrown a brick at you to perhaps having had a whole building fall on you. But how will the experience appear when you look back on it ten years from now? Remember how you felt when your first love ended? From the perspective of years later, you are probably either greatly relieved you aren't married to that person, or you look back upon what was then a major catastrophe as a minor setback. Remember the day your lemonade stand didn't have any customers? Recall the season you dropped what would have been the winning touchdown pass? Everything looks different as it recedes into our history.

Take a deep breath and imagine yourself ten years from now looking back at the time you got laid off. Visualize how you want your life to be then - your career - your income - your home - how you spend your time - how you interact with your friends and family - your self confidence and self esteem. Perhaps your visualization includes holding a salaried job, but you may dream of being self employed - owning your own company, being an artisan, or a consultant.

No one chooses to lose their job - we describe it differently when it's our choice. But if you have become unemployed against your will, take this opportunity to design your future:

1. Consider becoming self employed, or a consultant, or starting your own business.

2. Evaluate your hobbies and interests as potential income producing activities. If you love woodworking, think about becoming a custom cabinet maker. If you have a musical, artistic, or literary talent, consider turning professional or teaching your skill.

3. If you aren't sure that you want a career change, go ahead and send out resumes and ask everyone you know about finding a new job. Then, while you are waiting for responses, test out other directions. Pursue marketing your skill in those areas that truly interest you. Whether you have always wanted to start an on-line storefront, teach trumpet, or become a personal shopper, give it a try. By the time you get a job offer in your previous field, you may be relieved to go back, or you may have found confidence in your new career direction.

4. Volunteer your time. You'll feel better about yourself. It will improve your self esteem. You will meet interesting people and perhaps find a job through the networking opportunity. You can try out new skills and interests that have the potential to become full time income producing opportunities.

5. Use the time between jobs to enhance your outlook on life. While seminars and even books may not be in your budget at this time, there are vast on-line resources, as well as public libraries, to support your personal growth - enhance your self-esteem, find greater happiness, break addictive habits, manage stress, increase your physical and emotional wellness.

6. Begin healthful practices. Take a daily walk - preferably an early morning walk in complete silence. Learn Yoga, Qigong, or another discipline that quiets the mind and increases wellness through breathing, gentle stretching, and focus - adopt whichever one you choose as a daily practice. Use the forced change to improve your habits - stop smoking and reduce alcohol, rather than letting your cravings take advantage of you at this vulnerable time.

7. Spend time with your loved ones. A stressful job often leaves little time or emotional energy for friends and family. Commit to spending more time and higher quality time with your loved ones. If you feel depressed, consciously form a smile on your face and act upbeat until the happy feeling becomes genuine. Support your loved ones and gratefully accept their support.

8. Know you are never alone. Whatever your spiritual beliefs and practices, turn to them in this time of challenge, and know that goodness always pours forth - in its own time and manner. Have patience, and faith in your future.

7 comments:

  1. One thing a friend of mine told me is that the good thing about losing her job is that she had more time for her family and pets, etc. It wasn't easy for her, since her husband isn't earning a lot either, but they eventually managed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I lost my job a year ago yesterday. I started back to school this semester, even though it has been years! I also have more time for my aging parents and was glad that when my Dad fell and fractured his hip that I was able to drive to Wyoming with my Mom to see him. We live in Colorado. I enjoy this time, and know that each time I have gotten laid off and found another job, I liked it more, and made more money at it! : )

    ReplyDelete
  3. One of my most trying times was when I lost my job - and was a single parent. It was so scary and stressful. As it turns out, it ended up being a real benefit. I was able to transition into a new career. Be sure you know what the law is in your state, too. Some states can let you go without a reason. Those are called "at will" states. Anyone wanting to learn more about at will states can check out this page: http://www.professional-job-search.com/at-will-employment.html

    Carla

    ReplyDelete
  4. it is so hard to stay positive when my hubby has lost his job today, and we have 6 kids to support...

    ReplyDelete
  5. very soon m gonnu lose my job.. m dead!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Here are some very easy and fun affirmations to start with. Say them out loud with enthusiasm and a smile on your face:

    I live myself, I like myself, I like myself
    I’m a wonderful person, I’m a wonderful person, I’m a wonderful person.
    I’m truly smart! I’m truly smart! I’m truly smart!
    Everyday in every way I get better and better.
    I have fun and enjoy every day.
    These simple affirmations can make you feel better and make your day more joyful and productive. Try to say these self esteem affirmations at lease once per day and you will be amazed at the changes in your life!

    Self Esteem Affirmations to Boost Your Self Esteem

    ReplyDelete
  7. PUT THE BOXING GLOVES AWAY. STOP BEATING UP ON YOURSELF. PAT YOURSELF ON THE BACK. YOU'RE O.K. YOU ARE YOUR WONDERFUL YOU!!!

    LIVE LIFE, LOVE, AND THANK GOD FOR THE DAY. THAT'S ALL ANYONE HAS.

    ReplyDelete

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