Job Gone–Now What?

Whether it’s a case of being one of 100 people receiving the dreaded pink slip or just one poor soul who ran afoul of management and was shown the door, your job has gone and it’s not coming back. What do you do now? Of course, the exact circumstances can and probably do have some bearing on the actions you take. Being caught in a group layoff–even a small one–has a different tone than being fired for not meeting management’s expectations in some way.

On the other hand, I think it’s likely that you’ll be looking at some of the same actions regardless of the specific situation. What can or should those actions be? What do you need to know in order to move forward productively?

4 Points to Consider Following a Job Loss

According to an article by John Beeson, “You’ve Been Fired: Now What?,” you might want to consider these points:

  1. Your first step is realizing that you’re not alone.
  2. As you dust yourself off, think through those parts of the situation you need to own…think carefully about the messages you have received, however oblique, to see if you can identify issues you need to be alert to.
  3. Or perhaps the problem was not so much one of lack of skills as of fit.
  4. Once you’ve gleaned the two or three key lessons you should draw from your experience, move forward and don’t wallow in self-doubt or what might have been.

Basically, what Beeson is telling you is that it’s important for you to gain any useful information you can from the job loss situation, make sure it helps you avoid a similar situation in the future if possible, and then put the loss behind you as quickly as you can by shifting gears to move forward.

Other Tips for Meeting Job Loss Challenge

I’m going to start by saying that unless the situation genuinely leaped at you out of the blue and no one who was wide awake could have seen it coming, you might have to ask yourself why you missed apparently obvious signs that trouble was brewing. On the other hand, if you were doing a good job, not making any dumb mistakes, etc., you don’t have anything to reproach yourself with in most cases.

As the saying goes, sometimes life just happens in spite of your best efforts. However, if you should have realized something was off-kilter and didn’t, it might be a real wake-up call that requires serious thought.

That said, when your job has gone, you still need to answer the question, “Now what?” in order to meet the job loss challenge. Here are 4 other tips to keep in mind:

  1. Give yourself time to regroup if the departure was an unexpected shock. Just don’t let the adjustment period drag on too long.
  2. If you were suffering from burnout prior to the job loss, make sure your recovery process and time-frame takes that into account.
  3. Strive for a balance between pushing for a new job “tomorrow” and telling yourself you have enough funds (savings, severance if any, etc.) to cover an extended period and don’t need to rush into a new job.
  4. Decide what to tell your network and when–you want them to know you’re in the job market again and give them an idea of where you’re heading with that, but you don’t want to give the impression you’re desperate, bitter against your former employer, paralyzed by indecision about what to do next, or any one of a number of other negative outlooks.

“Job gone” might mean big challenges for you and for anyone else it affects (such as your family). However, once you’ve figured out the “what next” piece, you’re on the right path.

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