HANDLING THE LOSS OF A JOB AND STAYING PROFESSIONAL

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It was just another day like any other or at least it felt like it was. I was at work as always and just working my accounts as usual, when my coworkers and I were summoned to a conference room for a surprise meeting. I’m not a fan of meetings and even more I am never a fan of surprise meetings. Nothing good ever seems to come from surprise meetings.

The company that I have worked at for the past 16 years has just acquired another company which has become pretty typical for them. This was not at all surprising for us to find out since my current company has been has been on an upwards trajectory for the last few years. During this period of growth and expansion they have been purchasing many other companies along the way. This time however the company they purchased has a huge office of staff handling the same billing daily that my coworkers and I handle currently. As we gathered around the table on this very morning with questioning looks on our faces we all sensed something was not quite right. We were introduced to a young woman from Human Resources and this was the very moment that I realized this was not going to be good.

My coworkers and I were advised that the new company that had been purchased would be absorbing our positions. My coworkers and I would be kept on for a period of time to help get things in order for this transition. Our company would hopefully have some open positions available from within during this time frame for us to hire into or they would offer us severance pay. Each of us left that meeting in complete disbelief that day. Do you know why? Because despite the fact that we had all been employed for many years we never really believed it would happen to us.

Today as I share this with you I am still in the process of looking for a new job. I am not giving up on a job within my company for many reasons, including the fact that I still love working for this company. I am a 16 year employee of the company which means that my longevity with the company, really makes a difference in the time off I accrue as well as many other benefits.

Just a few things to remember when dealing with job loss

  • Remember your value as an employee and don’t sell yourself short. Don’t desperately take any available position because you feel you have to. You are a valuable employee and your time and experience matters. It is hard not to feel desperate when you are looking for a job suddenly, but you are worth more because of your experience so continue to believe in yourself and seek something equivalent to your experience when possible.
  • Don’t get angry and react poorly or lash out at anyone. Remember to stay professional throughout the whole experience no matter what the situation might be. You have many years of professional experience behind you and you do not want to allow this experience to get the best of you.
  • Get started as soon as possible applying for and preparing for new interviews. Do not wait too long, because you could miss out on some of the best opportunities if you do.

Important steps to take when dealing with a job loss

  • Start applying for jobs – use websites such as https://www.indeed.com , https://promotions.monster.com , https://www.snagajob.com/find-jobs , https://www.careerbuilder.com/browse, https://www.ziprecruiter.com
  • Update your resume – a few great websites that may help are https://www.retiredbrains.com/resume-writing-help.html, https://resume-help.org , https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/resume-writing-help
  • Compile a list of professional references to use when job searching or interviewing.
  • Cut back on unnecessary spending of any kind. This is critical especially if your income is going to be eliminated or if it already has been. You need to make sure that you have the necessary funds to pay your rent or mortgage, utilities, bills, food, etc.
  • If you have lost your job due to no fault of your own, you may be eligible for unemployment. This is a tough step for many people to take choosing to apply for unemployment. In certain cases it is absolutely necessary and when this step is needed you need to be prepared to swallow your pride and just do it. Check out this link with more details on unemployment and how it works. You will need to locate your local unemployment office for more complete details.
  • Make sure you still have health insurance coverage. The last thing you need right now during a period of job loss and uncertainty, is a massive pile of medical bills. Just in case something happens to you or one of your dependents, you absolutely need to have medical insurance. Check out this link for more info on what is available to you, when you are unemployed. https://www.healthcare.gov/unemployed/coverage/
  • Social networks updates – This may not be the first thing you think of when looking for a new job. However keep in mind that nowadays many employers view these prior to hiring a new employee. Take a good hard look at your social media presence and make sure that your profiles are professional looking and up to date. If you have a LinkedIn account, make sure that you have updated this with all current and past work info.
  • Any networking opportunities? Job fairs? Previous managers that may have open positions available? Right now would be a great time reach out or to utilize these opportunities. You may be surprised that your next job might be much closer than you ever imagined.
  • Try to Relax – No I am not telling you that you should not be stressed or that things will be just fine. I hate hearing those same lines from others as I am dealing with the same situation currently. What I am saying is Physically, mentally and emotionally you are causing yourself more harm just by continuing to just worry. Do something that helps you relax if you are having this problem. Take a walk or jog, call a friend or family member, read a book, do some deep breathing exercises. Do whatever it takes to keep calm, healthy and level headed throughout this period of uncertainty.
  • Make sure to take care of yourself – Do not allow the stress of this time period to wear you down. Make sure you are getting enough rest, exercise and eating right. Being in good health is something that many employers look for in their employees and something that is so important in general.

Always remember that you are not alone in this experience, many of us go through similar situations. Although the loss of a job is not ideal it does not define you. You are far more than your 9-5 job and you will recover from this experience and rise above it. I would love to hear about your own similar experiences. I would also love any advice you may have for myself or for others going through a similar situation. I hope you find the resources and advice I have shared today to be helpful. Each job loss is different and many have different layers of difficulty for each of us. No matter what the situation is never pleasant and it can leave each of us feeling less than joyful. My prayer for you my friends is that in this difficult time that you can still find joy and peace in your life. I hope that you remember that this will not last forever and that there is a better future out there just waiting for you to embrace it.

Job loss