The shock of losing a job, particularly if the loss is due to circumstances out of your control, is harsh and touches the deepest fabric of one’s SELF.
In part one of this article, I shared some initial steps to make this transition a bit easier for you and to help you achieve closure on a certainly distressing event.
Doing this work on your own is not easy, as it requires a different vantage point to reframe the situation, and to go through a wide range of emotions from anger, fear, sadness, resentment to acceptance, forgiveness and gratitude. Nonetheless, bringing closure is important, before moving into the next stages I outline on this piece.
The second part in the process of reframing your SELF is to turn up your sense of wonder, creativity and discovery about yourself. This will require for you to set aside what you know about yourself.
- Start by identifying your strengths. What are the hard and soft skills you’ve used to get where you are? Articulate them clearly. Go beyond what’s obvious. Ask people in your network, both allies and “foes.” If you’ve done assessments, such as CliftonStrengths (formerly Strengths Finder), VIA Character Strengths or MBTI®, analyze the results and pick only those that really resonate with you.
- Recalibrate and reconnect with your values. Although our values give us a sense of direction, most of the time they run quietly in the background of our life. Many people have a hard time articulating their core values. Being clear about them will serve as an awareness tool for when you need to make certain decisions about your career and in other aspects of your life. Connect with me to get the free Values Recalibration exercise.
- Redefine what happiness and success is for you. We go through life with an idea of happiness and success as a concept and not as an experience. We have ideas of what those two things should look like in our life, based on external factors, standards and sometimes unrealistic expectations. As you go through this transition, stop and think what makes you really happy and what it means for you to be successful. Very likely, what you thought about those two things in the past, has shifted. Ponder, inquire, and most importantly do not compare yourself to anyone else.
What I’ve covered so far is mostly inward exploration, which for some people is easier than for others. While I highly advise you not to rush to sort this out, push yourself to move forward at a steady pace to get this work done within two weeks max.
The third phase in the process of reframing your SELF is to “pack” your newly found strengths, core values, happiness and success to intentionally express and experience them in your life and to make adjustments if necessary.
- Examine your strengths and see where they can be of most value right now. You might not find a similar job, but your strengths and skills are likely transferable to other jobs or careers. Look for opportunities and gaps you can fill with your skills. Maybe, this is your chance to start your own business or to go back to school.
- As you are looking into new jobs, use your values to gauge if the job is going to really be an expression of your values. Learn more about the company and its values. Those values might not be 100 percent aligned with yours, but they may complement them. Make sure they do not conflict. Do not spend time applying for jobs that are not consistent with your values.
- Use your new definition of happiness and success to anchor you to go through this process of finding your next gig. Practice gratitude for what you have. Once you find your new job, stay alert and make sure you are not compromising your newfound expression of happiness and success. If your new job is not a path to fulfill your happiness and success, move on quickly.
You might be thinking “none of these things will give me access to immediate income.” They may or may not. Still, give it a try — you may get a surprise! Doing this work will support you through this transition and provide a foundation for making your career be a true expression of your SELF.
All of these steps are easier said than done. If you need support, connect with me for a free session.
Make sure that you don’t overlook other aspects of your job search, such as updating your resume, your LinkedIn profile, connecting with people, leveraging programs that the government and other organizations offer. If your ex-employer has offered outplacement services, make sure you take advantage of them.
¡Buena suerte y hasta pronto!