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Keys to managing job loss, part 3

Losing a job can be a difficult situation for most people. The most important thing to understand is that unemployment is a temporary situation and that you can return to gainful employment. Parts one and two of this series dealt with ten ways to deal with a layoff. Part three discusses five additional keys.

Watch for signs of depression and seek proper medical attention if necessary.

There is a grieving process that occurs when you lose a job and with any grieving process, there is a chance that depression can set in. If you notice that this is happening to you do not be too prideful to seek assistance, If you are a friend or family member of a loved one that has been downsized and you notice signs of depression, talk to them about what you are seeing and help them get the assistance they may need. The job search cannot start or continue until this depression is addressed.

Don’t rush back into the market before you have accessed your skills and developed your messaging.

This advice is paramount. Don’t be so intent to reenter the marketplace that you do not stop and take time to evaluate what you have done, what you want to do, and what you are good at. In addition, you will need to develop some key messages that you will communicate throughout your career search, namely, an explanation as to why you left your former employer, your 30-second marketing statement, and your marketing plan. Brushing over these areas or worse, disregarding them, can put you at a severe disadvantage when it comes to securing your next career opportunity.

Don’t burn bridges with your former employer or colleagues; they can serve as an asset to your career search.

The key here is to remain humble. Do not force yourself to go it alone. You do not know everyone or everything there is to know when it comes to finding employment. As the saying goes, there is strength in numbers. Use this strength to your advantage. Connect with select colleagues on LinkedIn. Set up informational interviews with people in your network to discuss the market place as it relates to your field or other fields that you are interested in. Ask for introductions to key professionals from people that you already know.

Although your job search will be full time commitment, pace yourself so that you do not burn out.

Sometimes a job search will take weeks, even months, no matter how effective your strategy is. Working sun up to sun down, seven days a week is just not a good idea. It is important for you to build in several opportunities to take that much needed mental break from your search to clear your mind, reflect on missed opportunities, and to recharge yourself. Do not neglect your mental health during this challenging time period.

Do not be ashamed of your situation. Being laid off is not the end of the world.

Hold your head up high! Although you are embarking on what may be a tough road, there is nothing to be ashamed of. To bolster your confidence, review your performance appraisals, looking for those key accomplishments that single you out as a performer. Don’t have access to your performance appraisals? Then select a few colleagues that know your work and have lunch or coffee to talk through projects that you may have worked on together to get their opinion of your impact. Reading about your accomplishments or hearing others speak well about your career successes can help to maintain your confidence.