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How to bounce back after losing your job

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 16 Jun 2021

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Losing your job is never easy and most of the time, not a very positive experience at all. People lose their jobs for a variety of reasons but whether it’s because your contract is ending, you’ve been made redundant or you’ve just moved on, it’s never an easy process. If you do lose your job, most people are in a situation where they need to find a new one, but you may not feel up to the challenge straight away. It’s important to start this by saying that everything should be done at the speed you feel comfortable with. Try not to compare yourself to others and work at your own pace. Life throws all kinds of different things at us and they’re all a learning experience. Afterall, it’s what you make of a situation, so try and turn a bad one into a positive.

Letting go of the disappointment

It can be very disappointing to leave a job that you like or if you simply don’t want to leave for other reasons. Sudden change can leave us feeling vulnerable and unsure of our next steps, but it’s okay to feel this way, you won’t be the only one. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t feel negative emotions, because that’s impossible. But accept what has happened, take the time you need and then when ready, leave the past in the past and focus on what you want to do now.

Losing a job can be the catalyst some people need to make the change they didn’t know they wanted. Although it can be negative to begin with, use those emptions to motivate you to get where you want to be. There are opportunities out there, you just have to start looking for them.

Use your time wisely

Often, people think that in order to get a new job, they have to funnel all of their time and energy into the job search. Where it is important to work hard, you want to take time to do the things you enjoy, just like you would if you were in a job. Take breaks, evenings off and weekends to do the things you would usually do. Your job search might become your ‘day job’ for a while, so don’t let it get the best of you and lead you to become burnt out. It’s highly likely that you’ll begin to resent it if you do things this way.

However, it is important not to get caught up with having all of this ‘time off’. You do need to put in the work. I find that if you treat Monday morning like a workday and plan your week in advance, it can help you stay on track. Have goals, stick to your to-do list, and make sure you are being kind to yourself at the same time. Job seeking is not easy, but it can be very rewarding if you put in the work. It’s all about a healthy balance and finding what works best for you and your situation.

Get a new routine

When we have a typical day job, we find that it’s our routine that gets us through the day. We know when we need to be doing something and when we need to be somewhere. Although, this will change after losing your job, it’s important to find a new normal and a new routine to get you through the week. A routine can help all kinds of things, including, your mental health, being able to split time into work and play and keeping healthy and energized.

As much as it might be tempting to stay up late and eat junk food for a while, it’s not going to help you in the long run. Stick to a similar routine that you had at work. Wake up at similar times, keep a balanced diet and make sure to make time for exercise and socialising. Just make sure that it works for you and helps you stay motivated and happy.

Now is the time to use your network

You’ve probably had people tell you in the past how important your network is, and they were right. Whilst your applying for jobs and waiting for employers to respond to you, you can take some time to talk to people from your past and see how they are doing. If they work in a similar sector to you, they might just have something available where they work. If not, it’s still worth keeping in contact with people that can help you in the future.

If you can, try and go to online and real-life courses and events. There are loads of likeminded professionals to talk to and it might just be what you’re looking for. Much like a typical day at work, we all need change every now and again. It’s good to get up and go places or switch up your routine, get involved in the community and see what else is out there. Job seeking isn’t all about applying online.

Work on your CV

This one is probably a bit obvious, but before you dust off your old CV, make sure you have taken the time to go over it and update anything that needs changing. It’s the things like address, contact number and email address that often get overlooked and your contact details are one of the most important things on your CV. Otherwise how are they supposed to contact you? So, make sure this and any other parts of your CV are updated.

Your cover letter is also very important, this is the place where you talk about your passions. So, make sure it is tailored and you are checking this and your CV before you click the submit application button.

Losing a job can mean different things to different people, but it’s all about taking the time that is right for you and the steps necessary to get back on your feet. Although it might feel like your next opportunity is a million miles away, you will get there.