Thursday, July 18, 2013

Reflections on Losing My Job

In my last post, I wrote about having lost my job only a few days after it happened. In the nearly three weeks since then, I've been working on sorting out my feelings on the matter, and feel like I've figured a few things out. I'd like to share some tips and reflections I've come up with.
  • Don't be ashamed. People lose their jobs for a lot of reasons. Assuming you didn't do something awful like steal or harass people, try not to let the cause of your termination (if you were given one) haunt you. Forgive yourself if you need to, try to learn from it, and move forward.
  • Rely on whatever support system you have. I am fortunate, I know, that my parents are nearby and willing to help me financially. I would prefer to be completely independent, but I'm not. And I have rent and bills that I need help with. Instead of wallowing, I am accepting the help while trying to find a way to get back on my feet.
  • Apply for unemployment. Government aid is there for a reason. Besides, you were paying into it. There's no shame in taking help. That's why it exists. No, it won't solve all of your problems, but it's there to give you a little cushion so you aren't completely lost. The labor department for your state should have a website with info.
  • Take some time to grieve, but don't wallow. Obviously, your financial need may dictate how long you can go before finding more work, but it can be healthy to take a few days and be sad and angry or consider plans for firebombing your former place of employment (note: don't actually do that). But don't let yourself fall into a hole you can't climb out of. Start looking for jobs as soon as you feel sort of human again.
  • Keep yourself busy. It's really easy to sleep all day and watch Netflix all evening. And maybe that makes you feel better for a few days. But try and do some productive things as well. Clean your apartment. Read. Work on that novel, or some crafts, or whatever creative outlet you've been meaning to try. Find free events and explore your city. Find things that you enjoy but haven't had time to do, and do them in between sending out job applications.
  • Stay up-to-date. Make sure your resume is accurate and you have a good basic cover letter you can tailor to different job applications. On top of that, keep abreast of happenings in your field. Do some research. Also, follow the news every day. If you land an interview you want to be as sharp as possible, and not like someone who just crawled out of a cave and threw on a suit.

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