How to bounce back after losing your job
You’ve lost your job, now what? Given the high cost of living in Bermuda I am of two minds regarding whether I should write about job loss.
Becoming unexpectedly unemployed is a stressful and life-altering event which can have long-lasting implications — and there is no easy fix.
So rather than a trite miracle cure, if you or someone in your family is in this predicament think of the following as a bit of encouragement — you are not in this alone — and possibly some helpful advice.
The very first thing to remember is that Bermuda is very small and everyone knows everyone. This is both good and bad when you are in urgent need of employment.
On the good side, your reputation will proceed you. If you have worked for a while in a particular industry and have consistently produced good work, prospective employers who know you by reputation will place your resume on the top of the pile when you apply for a position.
On the other hand, if you were best known at your last place of employment for your cantankerous personality or you left a huge mess for someone else to clean up your reputation will also proceed you …
Regardless of your starting point, what is the first step to finding a new position?
The best thing that you can do to help yourself secure a new job is to figure out how to speak well of the last place that you worked regardless of any emotions you might be feeling. Whatever you do, do not go on e-mail or social media and start telling the island a tale of woe, or bad-mouth your former employer or anyone who worked there, in public.
Instead, figure out how you would tell someone you met in the street about the good things that you contributed to your former employer. Examples would be the sort of work that most appeals to you, how your previous job skills might be transferable to another form of work or industry, how much your enjoy learning new things and how much you are looking forward to a change.
Get this down to three or four sentences and practise in the bathroom until you can say it calmly and naturally with a smile on your face.
Even if you think that this is a silly waste of time, it is absolutely essential that you do this because the first person that you need to convince that you are the ideal candidate for a new position is yourself.
Losing a job (whether you saw it coming or not) is very unsettling and a blow to the ego and your self-confidence. This is frequently true even when your separation from your employer was somewhat voluntary, as in the case of an early retirement offer, maternity leave or health considerations.
The second thing you need to do is make finding and securing your next position your full-time job until the day you secure and accept a new offer of employment. No matter how long this takes, get out of bed every day believing that you can find work and do at least three things every day to search for and/or apply for positions. And above all, remember that each life transition is in itself a journey and your quest for new employment will eventually end in a job offer as long as you believe in yourself and continue to put one foot in front of the next.
•Robin Trimingham is an author and thought leader in the field of retirement who specialises in helping corporate groups and individuals understand and prepare for a new life beyond work. Contact her at www.olderhoodgroup.com, 538-8937 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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