Most people feel a loss of confidence when they lose a job. It’s not just about losing the income but also an image of you. Many place a value of themselves based on their work. For many of us work is the place where we spend the majority of our waking life. It’s often where we find our friends and make our major achievements. So when we lose a job we lose part of ourselves and we grieve for it.
But you can get over it – just like any grief. You are much more than your job and your real friends and family value you for much more than your salary even when they are dependent upon it.
But here are some particular areas you may need to address
Understand why it happened
If you have been made redundant then remember it’s not personal – you were just unlucky and you are part of a very large and growing club. If you lost your job for other reasons then make sure you understand why and learn from it – change something about you to make sure it doesn’t happen again. In both situations, now is about going forward, not dwelling on the past.
You feel bad about the loss of income. But there is help – make it a project to find out all the sources of financial support available to you. There is guidance on this in other posts on this site for people in the UK. Take time to understand what you can get and then get out there and get it.
You have lost the contacts you had at work. Now you need to work on your own network. Get out the old address book; look up your email contacts and those on your mobile phone. Find people on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Friends Reunited etc. Pick up the contacts and find out what people are doing. It will give you company but also it might just give you a lead to the next job. Meet up – have a coffee with them if you can’t afford lunch – many people prefer that these days anyway. Tell them you are interested in new opportunities – don’t dwell on why you lost the last job – that is in the past now!
Living with less money may mean changes in lifestyle for all the family. Not so many meals out and subscriptions to clubs etc. Make the changes carefully, particularly if they affect your children – plan and prioritize just like you would at work. Hopefully it’s not going to be for very long. If you can’t eat out then become more creative about eating at home. Now is the time for long country walks perhaps rather than paying for theme parks. There are lots of free events around if you look for them – again use the involuntary spare time to find them.
We all do it but it doesn’t actually get us anywhere. Blaming yourself doesn’t change the past. But you can change the future. Leave the past to itself – it’s only useful if you can use it to learn from. If you lost you job because you lacked a skill, then it’s worth working on gaining it. Otherwise leave it alone and make the future your project. Get up each day determined to go one step forward even if it is only working on your exercise plan.
Last but not least
Don’t be hard on your self. You are one amongst thousands. You may not have a job but my word do you have a project and that is you.