Hitting Life’s Curveball, Or How to Handle Losing Your Job

It is an all-too common story in the current economic climate: an employee at a mid-sized company with a decent amount of talent and experience – maybe not the most, but by no means the least – is told without warning one day that that he is being laid off. In that moment, that employees life, all the dreams and ambitions he cherished with reference to her job, are quickly and mercilessly reduced to a pile of ash. And now the only question is, what am I going to do now?

The shock and the pain of suddenly being you are no longer gainfully employed is hard to understand for those who have never experienced it. Literally everything you once took for granted – food, your home, your family’s well-being – has the rug pulled out from under it. The shear volume of things you now have to worry about can very easily overwhelm you. As such, when you first lose your job, it is wise to spend some time getting your affairs in order and making plans about what you are going to do next. A single business week is the ideal time period: any less and the planning will be rushed and haphazard; any more and you will easily get lazy and have a hard time getting back into the flow of an every day routine.

The most important thing after this brief adaptation phase is that, no matter how difficult or hopeless things may seem, you must never succumb to despair or apathy. Even if you have sent your resume to every company you would be qualified to work for in the entire country and have not gotten any responses, you cannot become discouraged or resign yourself to the idea that it is impossible to find a job. For one, make sure to follow up with the companies you apply to; and in fact, make sure you follow up at least two or three times after that if you do not get at least an interview. Positions are constantly opening up, and being persistent is the best way to get your foot in the door.

Then again, you may feel that there are other ways you could improve your long term prospects instead of looking for employment. Look up your local community college and see if they have any classes that would be relevant to your area of expertise, or even just something you are interested in. It will look much better on your resume to say that you spent the time you were unemployed trying to better yourself than if you can only put that you searched fruitlessly for a job for months on end and never got any offers.

Another option is to try volunteer work. This is especially useful to help you understand that, in spite of your recent misfortunes, you really do not have it all that bad. Furthermore, studies have shown that helping people encourages the release neurotransmitters that create a sense of happiness and fulfillment. What is more, you will have something to put on your resume to show that you did more than sulk about how bad you have had it.

There are countless other things you can do to help handle losing your job: the most important thing is that you do something. The minute you become unemployed, you become like a shark: you have to keep constantly moving forward or you will end up figuratively dead.