Life is not a straight line. Sometimes, unforeseen forces will alter your way and spin around what used to feel like a comfortable and everyday existence. With this new year, my life has reached a crossroad, a fork, a detour, and I would like to share that with you. I lost my job.
Don’t Panic – A Working-Class Guide to Employment
#1 – Accept the Loss
In this critical time in my life, I have learned to take a step back. Don’t panic.
It’s easier said than done. While my heart jumps at the anger, the shock, the denial, the fear, and the depression of loss, it’s all just an emotional reaction to things outside my control. I have to accept it.
Before you consider all the questions that arise after losing your job (i.e. what’s going to happen to me?), you need to slow down. This is not the time to jump into hyper-drive. The best thing you can do is simply tie up your loose ends. Cultivate what resources are still available to you (from your old job), and sit on them until you are ready to move forward.
Slow down, and tie up your loose ends.
For me, those “resources” were the coworkers who connected with me on a profound level – fellow writers, idea-makers, and people with aspirations that went beyond the corporate roles we shared. We all make friends at the office. Create a list of contacts, and keep those professional colleagues close. They will help you out down the road.
Other “resources” may include intellectual property that gave you and your company a competitive edge, but that, unfortunately, does not entirely belong to you. Ask yourself, “what belongs to you?” You’ll find that, beyond the relationships you made, there is little else to harvest. Accept your losses, and you’ll have an easier time moving forward.
From the moment you walk outside, the very moment you accept that you’re unemployed, you have to look out for yourself, and nobody else.
Don’t panic. When one door closes, another opens.