Losing a job, a source of income, a reason to get up and go every day is a loss. As with all loss, this triggers the grieving process - shock and denial; anger; resistance; acceptance.
No matter whether you know that job loss is happening, or not, the actual message still arrives as a shock. For me, I had to continue showing up and smiling for three months after my lay-off notice. There was even a tiny part of me that hoped someone at that company would realize - 'if we all give up our parking, she can stay...'
That was me living in denial - the shock of the reality of my situation didn't occur until a couple days after I was home, done with them, for good.
Yes, it's a relief that I don't have to be pretentious anymore going into a place where my co-workers were now as uncomfortable around me as I was being where I didn't really belong anymore. Even though I would rather be going to work every day - earning my keep, and making a difference. I thrive on working, not just because I make money and can support myself, but because I contribute to the success of my community and local businesses.
Anger is a feeling that I dislike and try to deal with as quickly as possible. Sure, I was angry that no one thought to give up their parking so I could remain employed. Sure I was angry that I had to go in everyday and pretend that I was useful for them. "How could they? Why did I even bother?" Anger is part of the process, don't dwell in it - allow it to surface, and move on.
Resistance, or bargaining, is all the ways I tried to figure out how to avoid the inevitable. Like expecting anyone would give up their parking... This is something that will be overcome in time, as the reality begins to sink in...
And with the sinking in of the reality, comes sadness and a desire to withdraw. It's quite normal to feel sad and take time to process this loss. As it is processed - in whatever manner necessary, including reaching out for help if it feels overwhelming - you begin to accept what's happened. Acceptance is the path to moving on.
This is a cycle that will repeat, shift back and forth and leave you feeling like you're on an emotional roller coaster. Throughout it all, be patient and kind to yourself. Give yourself time to adjust and do not feel any shame for this loss. Remember, a layoff is NOT a personal failure. Job loss is only a temporary set-back. You can handle this, one step at a time, you can only do what you can! And always take good care of yourself...
I've been working since I was 15, and I've been laid off three times over the past 40 years. I know that a layoff is just a temporary state, but at this time of my life - I would rather not be looking for work... However, it is what it is and there are ways to ensure a personal state of well being - and coming from a personal state of well being (physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually) goes a long way to leading to your success!
Because I am part black sheep/part rebel, some of what I'm going to suggest will be unlike traditional methods for job search and self-care. Sure you can follow the rest of the pack if that's what is more comfortable to you. I won't try to change your mind. The way I see it there are two ways to tackle moving beyond unemployment.
One is to sit around on the couch all day, surfing the net, tv droning in the background, sending out a few resumes (that will end up in the pile of hundreds more like minded surfers) and a once vibrant persona alters as we drift into the trance zombie-like state... This is the killer way to job search, an easy, automatic trance like state that feels so comfortable, feels like you're DOING something. Hell, it even feels like you're connecting when you merge a cover letter with your resume and hit send.
The alternative is to step out into each new day with a committed action plan that ensures you pull yourself up and out of that mire of lifelessness and before falling into a deep dark pit of depression. Finding a job is part luck and part chance. Up your odds and engage in your future. Step out into the spotlight and shine. You may still end up with some rejections, but you've created a much fuller, real life.
Commit to yourself and to the goal of making successful changes in the course of your future.
* Step out and talk to people - go outside the comfort of your four walls and be IN the world, daily;
* Ask for help if you need to - whether it's a personal concern or a job/education related issue - people WANT to help;
* Write - vent in a journal, chart your course or start a blog like this;
* Apply for jobs that you are over-qualified for and jobs you are under-qualified for;
* Reach beyond the 'h.r.' email address and tell the CEO that you're interested in working for their company;
* Take part-time work - you never know where that will lead - new skills, new contacts, new directions;
* Volunteer somewhere you've always wanted to work - as above, you never know where that will lead...
AND CRY... It's okay to cry and it's cleansing too! Maybe you feel like you're losing your sanity - like losing your job, this is only temporary, you're mind will be waiting for you when you're ready!
There are better days ahead... Sure, you can follow the rules and formulas and the same ideas that everyone else is. And I hope it works out for you.
Even on a cloudy day, the sun shines on me as I pull up my best pair of jeans and hit the streets. I may wind up with nothing, but I'll be keeping my eyes on the prize and holding onto a determination that I'll come out a winner, again!