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Keys to managing job loss, part 4

Today wraps up the four-part series in how to manage a layoff. Parts one, two, and three have already been discussed and the links can be used for a review. Here are the last five keys in this series:

Take a good look at your finances and make adjustments where necessary while you are unemployed.

As much as you would like to, you may not be able to maintain the same lifestyle that you are accustomed to while you are unemployed. Even if you have severance pay, it is a good idea to save a little more and spend a little less during this period. Today’s job search takes anywhere from 3 to 9 months, sometimes longer depending on salary, industry, and position, so you need to be prepared to weather the storm financially.

Take time to consider what you really want to do with the rest of your life.

Jumping right back into the same career that you just left may be the right decision. On the other hand, it is okay to explore other career interests that will allow you to use the transferrable skills you have accumulated during your career. Give yourself permission to explore different career opportunities. You may even find that this exercise is fun and refreshing and that it opens up your mind to greater possibilities.

Utilize some of your free time to complete projects in and around your home.

If you are like most people, you have a few unfinished projects around the home. Now that you have some free time on your hands, it makes sense to tackle a few of these projects. Don’t think that you have to work 40-60 hours each week looking for a job. That is a recipe for mental burnout and disaster. On the other hand, do not use your projects as an excuse not to get out there and find a job. Balance is the key. Put in some good time each day conducting your job search activities and spend some time completing your projects. What you may find is that while you are working on your projects, you may get some revelations in regards to your search, career interests, people you should speak with, etc.

Realize that your success and your security are your responsibility.

Accept it and own it. Even though there will be people that will help you along your journey to new employment, it is ultimately up to you to take control of your job search. Follow up with people that have made promises to pass your resume along, introduce you to new contacts, or check on a job for you. The job search is a project and you are the project manager. Everything should run through you and you should know all the moving parts and the status of these parts at all times.

Do not buy into negative information in the marketplace about job opportunities.

You can find job seekers crying and whining about not finding a job all over social media. New grads claim that they can’t get hired because of lack of experience. Boomers claim that they can’t get hired because of their age. Job seekers in the middle claim that they can’t get hired for a multitude of reasons. Bottom line: do not buy into this. You need to see yourself as being different. You have to convince yourself that you are employable and that you have a skill set that is valued in the marketplace. You have to have confidence in your abilities and understand what you bring to the table that will benefit your next employer. The job search is hard work, no doubt. But your mindset is where it all begins. If you think you can, you are right. If you think you can’t, you are right as well.