LOUISE FAIRSAVE: Overcoming job loss
The year 2014 will be marked by significant public sector lay-offs and some lay-offs in the private sector as well. The obvious pain of these job losses affects us all. In support of those who will be dealing with job loss during the year, here are seven pointers for overcoming the related doldrums:
1. Deal with the emotional reactions as promptly as possible. The sooner you can validate, accept and get over your grief, anger and similar emotions, the sooner you will have the clear mind needed to plan for an income recovery. Regular exercise or recreation is recommended to help keep one’s emotions in check and one’s mind clear and alert. Particularly, avoid bad-mouthing your former employer.
2. Losing one’s job is a major change; yet a crisis like this often opens up grand opportunities for even better circumstances. You may be forced to consider another approach to income earning that turns out to be successful and fulfilling. So, keep in mind that it is possible that you may be saying a big thank you for this circumstance which can cause you to find a better career than if you had remained in that job which you lost.
3. Think, dream and plan to the fullest extent possible. Identify and consider as broad a range of options as possible. This is the basis of good decision-making. A recommended approach is that, as you tend to settle on an area you think best to pursue, create a vision board to record your dreams and goals using photos from magazines and publications to decorate the board to reflect the planned achievement level in the long term. Keep that vision board very visible, say, over your vanity mirror.
4. Work where and when you can get work. For example, is it possible that you can offer secretarial services for a day here and a half-day elsewhere and so on over a period of time? It is piecemeal but work all the same. Once you are ahead of the cost of providing those services, then you should be willing to work on this more unstructured basis.
5. You need to network with people who can advise you as well as give you support and encouragement during your job search. Reject the feelings of shame and the urge to crawl into a corner and keep your own company; reach out to others who can help you. There may even be opportunities to offer short-term services to persons who are too busy in their jobs or businesses. Even reaching out to other job-losers can provide comfort and encouragement once you keep the conversations positive.
6. Leverage special skills that you have like cooking or sewing. You may also learn new skills that broaden your employability. Everyone can find ways to expand their computer knowledge and skills.
7. Exploit social media in making your electronic messaging ubiquitous. Move beyond the physical business card: get a professional email address; develop a simple website and mount video promotion of your skills and crafts. Join Twitter and LinkedIn.
The most important step in overcoming job loss is controlling the negative influences that drive you to believe there is little hope. Once you carefully examine a wide range of options and seek the counsel of many positive and encouraging people, you are likely to find an even more attractive path into a working situation again.
• Louise Fairsave is a personal financial management advisor, providing practical advice on money and estate matters. Her advice is general in nature; readers should seek advice about their specific circumstances.