When You Lose Your Job
What to do and what not to do as you regain your footing.
Posted Jun 09, 2018
Losing a job can be both emotionally and financially taxing. Read on to learn specific steps to take to make this transition as easy as possible.
Don't Lose Your Cool
- Don’t say something you’ll regret a day (or a month) from now. Remember to act professionally, even if you are completely taken by surprise when your boss shares this news. It is always best to part on civil terms. The world is small, and you never know when your paths might cross again.
- Ask for honest feedback. While it might make you feel better to blame someone else for the termination, be sure to take ownership for your role here. Ask for some honest, constructive feedback. What strengths did you display while on the job, and what are some areas of improvement that you might focus on while in between jobs or when in your next position?
- Request a letter of recommendation (if leaving on positive terms). Sometimes, the layoff has nothing to do with your work performance and is literally just due to budgetary cuts. If so, take the opportunity to ask for a signed letter of recommendation that you may include when applying to future jobs. You can scan the document and save it as a .pdf to easily forward to prospective employers.
Take Some Emotional “Me” Time
Even though your first thought may be to scour the job sites all day every day until you land your next job, make sure to pencil in some quality self-care time into your schedule, too. Sleep in, read a good book, or meet a friend for coffee. Take this unplanned time off to rest up physically, emotionally, and mentally. That way, you will be most prepared to put your best foot forward during your next interview.
Spruce up your Resume
While your old job is still “fresh,” list some of your major successes as bullet points on your vita. In addition to showing a prospective employer what you’ve accomplished, this activity will also help you to remember how much you did do at your previous job. Feel proud of your contributions and of the relationships you made.
Resilience Is Key
We can learn to fail or fail to learn. The happiest and most productive individuals are those who are resilient, especially during difficult times. What can you learn from your past job? What mistakes did you make that you do not want to repeat? How will you use this next job opportunity to grow and accomplish even more of your short- and long-term goals? While it is important to take ownership for any mistakes that you made in your prior job, you should also consider the specific steps you might take if in a similar position so as to have a better result the next time. This approach builds confidence as we learn from (and move on from) failures and disappointments.
Copyright© 2018 Amy Cooper Hakim