I was worried for Lira. The global team was axed en masse over an email. The repercussions of that hitting the India region couldn’t be far. Lira was an epitome of optimism and positivity. We spoke for over an hour and she said she had seen it coming and could handle it. She called a week, later. She was calm at first then all of a sudden, the dam of despair burst. The challenge and pain of not finding a job terrified her. The panic of no call-backs and few opportunities in the market had taken their toll on her.
The pandemic has been instrumental in the escalating figures of unemployment, this year. There are a number of job seekers going through a tumultuous time. The rollercoaster of emotions gives vent to feelings of the fear, uncertainty, rejection, frustration, disappointment, hopelessness and low self -esteem. It is driving even the achievers into an emotional spiral, affecting their overall mental health.
The signs of the upheaval show up through moodiness, shaky confidence, anxiety, stress in the form of physical aches and pains and a morbid view of life. I like to call a job loss as the ‘time to shift your gear’. When you don’t do it, the Universe does it for you. It is time for change and reinvention. It is needed for you to grow and get closer to the person you are meant to be. The universe cannot assist your growth if you do not choose to move.
Once you understand this, you are better-equipped at managing the plummeting emotions caused by a job loss.
I understand, a job loss is traumatic and what you are going through is hard. Acknowledge that your feelings are normal and it is a part of the process. Importantly, remember, it is a temporary phase. It is not a reflection of your skill or abilities. So, do not berate yourself. There are many going through the same challenge.
Some things are beyond your control therefore, focus on what you can control. And, what’s in your control; is your state of mind. Begin with that and first, mitigate the unnecessary negative conversations and avoid people that drain your emotions. You possess the power to choose being upbeat.
- Keep a separate book for your job search.
- Record all developments pertaining to your search in this book.
- Begin with visualising your dream job. What do you see, hear and feel in this visualisation? You attract what you dream of.
- Establish your career objective.
- List down your strengths.
- Write down the list of industries and companies that excite you and where you can make a difference.
- Make a list of talent search companies who can get you a foot in the door.
- List people to network with.
A job may take anywhere between one to five months.
- Based on your industry, decide how effectively, you can create your resume. Research states, recruiters take 10secs to scan a resume. Be creative and develop one that will force the reader to stop and read.
- Prepare 4 different versions of your resume and at least 6 covering letter versions because one size does not fit all.
- Practice for the online job interview. Study your body language, appropriate lighting, camera and eye contact, choice and colour of dress, virtual background, identify a distraction-free zone, use of quality headphones, etc. Focus on how can you make up for the lack of personal, offline interaction.
- Rehearse the top six dreaded questions - why should you be hired, why do you want to work with us, what are your weaknesses, what was your worst boss like, why is there a gap in your CV and tell us about yourself. Most interviews at some point will have one or two of these questions.
- Upskill, in the meantime for a future role. Knowledge is power.
- Daily 10. 5+3+1 = 10. Each day, reach out to at least 5 connections via a text or call. Follow up with at least 3, daily. Make sure, you have 1 coffee meeting per day. Do this, relentlessly even when you don’t feel like. Consistency is everything.
While searching for a job is a full-time job, factoring a break is also imperative to keep the motivation going.
- Do other things that give your mind and body rest. You could exercise, cook, watch movies, listen to music, play with your pet, record a song or do nothing but watch the trees or doodle.
- Reflect on what is working for you and what requires honing and recalibration. This keeps things in perspective.
You don’t have to do it all by yourself. At times, you may be overwhelmed or reclusive. Get yourself out there. Be seen and heard. Network with people because jobs are not always, advertised. They are hidden in networking conversations. Build new relationships. Reach out to people who elevate your energy and inspire you to think, differently. Seek the help of a coach if you find it hard to navigate by yourself. You need not do this alone.
A job loss is traumatic and there is no way to assuage the pain however, there is a silver lining in it. The courage to find a new you. Use your emotions to create that magic of revival. Will yourself to make a strong comeback despite the setback.
And, lest you forget, the victor resides within you.
Keep marching. Keep moving. Be victorious.