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  • Writer's pictureLetesia Gibson

Help. I've lost my job. Now what?

Have you been on furlough and been let go? Read on.

I have always thought redundancy is a blessing in disguise. That may feel rich from someone who hasn’t personally experienced it, and it’s not to belittle the impact it has on one emotionally and financially. But what I always observe in clients and friends who've been through it, is that in the end, it was exactly what they needed to flourish and grow.

Ahead of you is an amazing opportunity. It probably doesn’t feel like it right now, because you will probably be focusing on the uncertainty, the lack of stability and the heaviness of needing to find something new. But there's a rare chance to inquire into what you really want and need here. And especially in this COVID moment, to actually go out and get it.

Here are my top tips to help you navigate this.

It’s not personal.

Redundancy feels very personal, because we know that usually there are others that didn’t lose their job. So someone had to put your name on a list. It’s worth reminding yourself that when a business needs to make staff redundant, it fundamentally indicates they are no longer fit for purpose and have to make change. If you stayed, it would not be the same company or the same vibe.

Don’t panic!

Rushing into applications, interviews or even just calls and emails to your contacts without taking a moment to really think about what you want, is not the way. Start by practically work out how much income you have and how much time you can afford to not be working. Calculate when you need to have a new role and put that date in your diary. Now you are in a good place to start think and plan for your future.

Keep perspective.

Stop reading the negative news about the job market. It’s hard with so much focus on COVID and the sea of news stories focusing on how its impacting industries, unemployment rates, the economy overall. There is always a story of how bad or hard things can be. Yet in this time, people are successfully stepping out as freelancers, launching new agencies or are being promoted in thriving businesses and industries. Staying connected to the sense of possibility will keep your mind open, your head clear and your feet on the ground. Fear-based decisions are never the right ones.

Know your values.

When life gets uncertain, always come back to your core values. Do you actually know what they are? This is a moment to get back to basics to know what principles guide you in work and in life. Too many people jump too soon without doing this foundation work and can end up repeating the same work-life patterns or end up finding the new role doesn’t bring the joy they were hoping for. Misaligned values are the root of much work related angst. I find this a great start point for values work.

Reconnect with your unwritten story.

Has the lockdown awakened some deeper thoughts about what you actually want to be doing or given you fresh clarity on that really don’t light you up? This is the perfect moment to put aside expectations and the ideas of what you think you are supposed to be doing. Many things about work and life have dramatically changed and have a unique opportunity to be reimagined. Yes, it feels scary, irresponsible even to think about really going for what you want at a time when nothing feels certain. But when else will you have this moment? Don’t waste it. With smart strategy, creativity and courage, lots can be possible.

Invest in the work.

Being intentional about how you need to show up to do different tasks helps you bring the right kind of energy to move you forward right. So many feel overwhelmed by the scale of it and can quickly burn out or lose motivation. Knowing what kind of energy, you need to bring to each task, will keep the momentum and this is certainly where coaching can be incredibly helpful to ensure you do what you really need to. Think about being out in nature for more introspective tasks. Load up on whatever inspires you before you dive into thinking about new ideas or possibilities. Bring focus and strategy when you start looking at how your network can support you. Get imaginative about how to approach companies of interest. Learn how to tell your story to employers or as a freelancer. Get confident asking for what you need and want.

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