Whether you’ve been right-sized, downsized, underutilized, or just plain fired, looking for work is a life-changing experience that rocks your world. Regain your equilibrium with these ten strategies and get back to being your best.
1. Take time to grieve for what is lost. Losing a job is big. Find a way to acknowledge the loss. What ritual could you perform or symbol could you use to say goodbye to the past? What positive habit could you develop to help you transition to the future?
2. Admit your feelings. This helps you gauge where you are in the process and help you determine what next step to take. Typically you feel anger, sadness, fear, embarrassment, loss of confidence, and more—and that’s normal!
3. Write about your fears, dreams, hopes, and losses. Getting it down on paper helps you make sense of the change and put it into perspective.
4. Look for the humor in the situation. Humor is transformational. It heals us and changes the way we view a situation and our attitude toward it. Open your heart and mind to the humor in everyday life.
5. Appreciate the neutral zone for what it is, a fallow time full of uncertainty and possibility. You can’t will-power your way through this period; it takes as long as it takes. This transition can be a period of both chaos and great creativity.
6. Reframe your experience and seek to reinvent yourself. Ask, “How else can I look at this?” What future door opened when this door closed? How can you reinvent yourself?
7. Change your vocabulary. Choose powerful words rather than powerless words. Keep a list of powerful words posted nearby and refer to them often. Notice how your feelings change when you say:
* “I can” instead of “I have to. ”
* “I have choices” instead of “I have no options. ”
* “This is an opportunity” instead of “I have a problem. ”
* “I see success around the corner” instead of “I am a failure. ”
* “I can hardly wait!” instead of “I am dreading…”
8. Ask for help when you need it. We all need the help and support of family and friends at various points in our lives. Use your support system and seek outside help when you feel overwhelmed.
9. Cut yourself and everyone else some slack. We are all human. In times of stress and change, we are bound to make mistakes. Accept and forgive your own mistakes and those of others so that you can focus on the important things.
10. Dare to dream again! Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Develop the courage to build a new dream.
Mary Jeanne Vincent is the author of Acing the Interview tip cards featuring answers to the top 20 “killer” interview questions. Also included are tips for interviewing in the new economy, ideas for responding to illegal and trick questions, and suggestions for avoiding 10 deadly interview mistakes.
Go to http://www.2bworkwise.com for free job search articles and to sign up for the free WorkWise e-zine. For information on individual job and career coaching or to find out about other practical, easy-to-use career tools call Mary Jeanne at 831.657.9151.