Out of Work
Making a Living
Dear Dr. Terri K: I’ve just lost my job. I’ve NEVER been unemployed since I started working over 30 years ago. I am in a panic and don’t know what to do. I feel like a failure. Please help!! – LINDA
Linda: First, congratulations for reaching out. You are certainly not alone. Here are some suggestions to get you going again:
Don’t take it personally. Many qualified people are losing their jobs. Given the market, your position can be in jeopardy regardless of performance. You might be shocked but don’t get stuck in that mode. It’s important to move on as soon as possible and plan for your future. Remember that your job does not define who you are at your core. You are inherently valuable. The Universe may simply be opening up a better opportunity for you.
Negotiate. If you are in the position to receive a severance package, pay attention to the details. Cash is good, but also ask about health insurance and outplacement services. In addition, inquire about what kind of recommendations and/or referrals you can receive.
Expand your vision. Take a moment to think about what you really want to do with your life and career. This is the time to be creative and open. Do you want to stay in your current city? Do you want to shift industries? Do you want to go back to school? This is an opportunity to re-align your work with your authentic self.
Keep a schedule. Be diligent in looking for a job. View the search itself as a 9-to-5 if necessary. Use that time to research, revise your resume, reach out to people and keep up with industry news. Be sure to stay on top of your health and fitness goals. It’s important for your energy to be up so that you can remain focused.
Network. Join relevant professional networking groups. Let your friends, family and colleagues know you are looking for a job. Don’t feel ashamed. View this time as an opportunity to grow. Practice your interviewing skills with your friends.
Proactively manage your money. Create a scaled-down budget. Cut all unnecessary spending. Expect the best but plan for the worst. Separate your financial goals from your career goals. If your reserve funds are very low, then take an unrelated job for additional income.
Volunteer. Donating your time to others will boost your mood, expand your skills and widen your circle. It’s helps you keep things in perspective and is a wonderful way to express gratitude for what is going right in your life.
Today, take control of your career. This is the time to craft the life you want. Keep your head up and you will receive favor!
Contributed by Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Ph.D., MBA. Part of the Power Living® Empowerment Series.
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