How to Bounce Back from Job Loss
When you come to an unexpected (and unwelcome) crossroads in life, it is easy to lose momentum. Where you once had a solid sense of direction, your compass is now spinning. You look back for answers, but that only serves to fuel the bitterness.
Why has this happened? What have I done to deserve it? I wish things were different.
Losing a job,or feeling compelled to resign from a job, can be one of the most gut-wrenchingly empty sensations that you will ever feel. Whether you knew that it was coming or not, when you read that fateful email or hear those shocking words, all of a sudden you find yourself staring down an uncertain future that will affect you and those around you.
That sensation is a moment in your life, but it needn’t last.
At this point you need to find a way of bouncing.
Normally the laws of gravity dictate that the first bounce is the biggest, with every subsequent bounce being a little smaller, but in the case of picking yourself up off the floor, it works in the opposite way.
Once you have felt that first little bounce of positivity, it’s easier to make the subsequent bounces even bigger.
It starts with choosing your attitude. Channelling your Alter Ego, your inner Warrior/ Phoenix / Tigger/ Superhero (delete as appropriate to you).
Deciding that “everything will work out okay” will contribute to that first bounce. Being grateful for the things that you still have in life will show you that you have much to fight for. Steeling yourself to step out of your comfort zone will give you the mental strength to push back against your circumstances, to push against the Siren call of a ‘victim’ or ‘blame’ mentality.
If you try to do everything you can to bounce, it is hard to feel bitter for long.
Bouncing requires energy, and it is rare that an individual has enough internal reserves to come through the tough experiences in life. Draw on your family, friends and wider network. Gain confidence through the support of others. Even reading blogs about people in similar situations can give you the energy to bounce that little bit higher.
Once you have made that initial momentum shift, you need more than just energy.
Your need to (re)find your purpose. Your “Why.”
This requires thought. It also requires courage.
Finding a new direction often means turning your back on aspects of your past and stepping into an uncertain future. If you seek to ensure that your “why” is at the heart of every step, you will soon find that the most interesting avenues open up to you. When the opportunities start to come your way, your bounces take on new meaning.
You are bouncing towards something rather than away from something.
I am conscious that I have maybe overdone the imagery a little in this blog, but for me there is no greater way to describe how we should react to change. Like the Phoenix, we fall, and we rise up again.
So, if you know someone who has lost their job recently, do everything in your power to help them to bounce. Next time that it happens to you (and it will), make that positive decision to bounce back from the bitterness and regret.
As a coach, I teach my clients how to bounce all the time.
Sarah Burdaky is an experienced leadership, people and OD consultant and coach,a lecturer, a public speaker and a writer. She has worked with a wide range of organisations across Europe. She now helps people get the most from themselves and from life, and helps organisations bring the best out of their people. She has had work published in The HR Director. She is a Trustee of Women of Worth (WoW), a UK-based not-for-profit that focuses on proactively building skills for psychological wellbeing and resilience amongst disadvantaged women.
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if you would like some exercises to help you over come job loss and prepare yourself for your career search.