We've all been there, that time when your contract was terminated, or it simply wasn't renewed. It sucks, and it's normal to feel anxious, sad, and desperate. We need to embrace these uncomfortable feelings, and to realize that it's also part of our constant development. The trick is to take these bitter experiences, and to use them in our advantage.
This time, I've got a few tips to navigate through this phase, and help you make the best of this situation:
1.- Take a moment to reflect on your past position:
At this moment, you might be feeling a bit heartbroken, or wondering - What could I have done better? Was that comment I made at the meeting what f**ked me up? Should I have been nicer to my boss? The answer to all those question is: it really doesn't matter. The decision was made, and you have to move on. Think about it like as if you broke up with your boyfriend, and a couple of months later you want to get back together. It'll never be the same, right?
Take a couple of hours to make a list of the good and the not-so-good things about your past job position. Make sure you map out your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing our capabilities is always a sign of strength. After this "reflection session", throw that list away, and try to stop feeling bad about yourself. It's officially time to focus on your next gig. It's coming soon, I promise you!
2.- Update your resume: With this Im referring to your cv, LinkedIn, and job boards. Take the time to put together an overview of your achievements from your last position.. Remember to quantify results (show your achievement using numbers), employers love those!
In addition, make sure to request a recommendation from your ex- coworkers/teammates. It doesn't matter if you were laid off, people are usually willing to help out, and to acknowledge your hard work. Trust me on this, we’ve all been on either end of the situation. No need to feel ashamed!
Recommendations will not only be useful when applying to for new positions, but will also boost your self-esteem!
3.- Conduct a strategic job search: One of the biggest reasons why we end up being frustrated at work, is because we jump into rushed decisions, and apply to positions/companies that might not be the right fit for us. If your cash flow allows - make finding a job, your full time job. Take your time to do some research on positions you like, and you feel passionate about the company’s mission. Apply only to those opportunities that seem to be a good vehicle for short, and long term professional growth.
4.- Be patient: This might be the hardest tip to follow, but trust me, It's worth to try it. You might get lucky and stumble upon a job opening that needs an immediate hire. However, hiring processes in bigger companies may take up to 3 months, or more.
When you find yourself in desperation, take a moment to unwind. Remember you got this, you are a valuable professional, and soon you'll look back at this uncomfortable experience and be grateful for all you've learned from it.
As a last and most important note - HAVE FUN!, take this "free" weeks/months as an unexpected opportunity to be a bit more flexible with yourself. Find something you've always wanted to do, but didn't do because work kept you busy. Join a running club, learn how to bake that beautiful cake you've always liked, read those fantasy books everyone is talking about, visit your family more often, take hikes with your dogs during a weekday... Enjoy all of these little things that will make your soul happy, and will help you keep your sanity!
Trust me! Sooner than you can imagine, you'll be swamped at work again, wishing you had a few days off! - Once again: