Let’s accept the harsh reality of future of our work life – ‘Job for Life‘ is a thing of the past. It doesn’t exist anymore.
We live in a highly competitive world of business. Disruptive technologies are wiping out industries. Losing a job is part of life. There are times when you know it is coming and times it comes as a surprise. Even large corporations are not spared.
When established enterprises can go bust in no time, you can imagine what could happen to small and medium enterprises.
You can only hope that you never have to go through such turbulent times. However, not being prepared for such an event will be foolish. In this article, I share how to cope with such setbacks and ensure you can come out of it unscathed.
9 possible reasons you were possibly fired from your job:
- You were not good at sucking up. Your co-workers were better at it.
- Your boss was insecure about you.
- Your employer did not know how to manage their finances and very soon they intend to file for bankruptcy.
- You were over qualified.
- Your employer got merged/acquired by another business entity.
- Your role is no longer required after a re-structuring.
- Your workplace was toxic and had a blame culture and hence you were not able to perform to your potential.
- It’s the economy.
- You are in your mid-life crisis and you have been asking yourself for past few months/years – ‘Do I have anything more to myself or should I continue with what I am doing at the moment to pay the bills ?
As you would have noted above, except for the last one, none of the them has got anything to do with you – so just relax :).
The last reason is unavoidable and happens to most people in their 40’s and in the past few decades, with people even in their early 30’s.
How do people react when they are let go for no fault of theirs?
Depending on your own internal strength, it is you who has to make up your mind to be strong and bounce back in life. This is just a minor setback. It is not the end of the world. You are still alive. In fact, it is a beginning of a whole new world of opportunities you never imagined. Perhaps, this is what you have been secretly wished for because you felt you were stuck in a rut. Freedom from corporate slavery at least for few weeks or months. You might want to re-think what you want to do next in your life.
Don’t be surprised when you walk out on your last day, your co-workers with whom you had lunch possibly for years, will suddenly act very funny and strange. They might not want to interact with you and avoid you as if you were recently diagnosed with a contagious disease. Don’t worry about such morons. You should have known about them before. This will be a learning for you why you should never trust a co-worker again. They will face a similar fate someday.
Remember Suvarna’s Law – ‘Karma is a bitch and she comes back to haunt those who hurt others.’
Walk out with your head held high, with a smile and maintain your dignity at all times. Your smile will get them confused about your reaction. They would probably expect you to get confrontational. But your smile should send out a strong message that you are only happy to walk out as you are confident there will be something better lined up for you.
You will realize only later on in your life, that those you worked with for years, and what your co-workers / supervisors thought about you, does not matter at all in the end. It was just a job. If your employer did not know your worth, you are better off doing something else – in a much better place.
If you are lucky – few of your co-workers will walk with you till the door – Just thank them and be in touch with them if you wish.
Remember – Never burn the bridges. It’s a small world.
Managing your own emotions during employment gap
It is all right to feel angry about what happened with you. You feel you gave your blood and soul to your employer and you have made many sacrifices and that you deserved a better treatment. Let the anger out to someone who cares about you. Don’t keep it bottled up inside. It won’t help make the situation better.
Don’t let your frustration show in the presence of your kids (if you are a parent). I understand you are facing a highly stressful situation. But your innocent children were not at fault and they should not feel the heat. Remember – life will only get better and it does. You just need to have patience. Have faith in God.
You won’t have the Monday blues anymore. Did you ever have a persistent headache while you had a job ? Well that will surely disappear. You will feel much lighter.
However, you will have a new set of worries. Something bigger, something you never experienced before – an inner voice asking yourself a question all the time ‘How will I pay my bills ?’. Later in this article, I share few tips how to explore alternative opportunities in your own industry or an alternative career.
However, if you are in a positive frame of mind, then always assume that life is only going to get better.
You have to manage your own health and that is your priority. There is nothing more important for you and your dependents than your own health if you are the bread winner for the family.
The challenges you will face in-between employment
The biggest challenge you will face is not the anxiety of being out of work or your friends/relatives asking you questions you don’t want to answer, but the people you will interact with when you apply for jobs.
You would have watched videos and read articles at least a million times about ‘Failure’ and that ‘Failure is the stepping stone to success’. Try explaining this to your recruitment agent. They will bombard you with hundreds of questions you wished they did not ask. If you manage to get an interview call, you should always be positive and confident. Your body language will reflect which will be observed by the interviewers.
Do not lose hope or get frustrated if you are not selected in first few interviews. Your dream job is yet to come. Never give up.
What should one do while you wait for calls for a job interview …
Waiting for an interview call especially when you are out of work could be very frustrating. However, just waiting for the call won’t help you ease your stress.
First and foremost, you should step out of your home at your scheduled time to work in your office attire. Spend time at a Starbucks, any coffee shop or even a library.
Get a personal visiting card if you don’t have one already.
Try and find out of there are networking events for your industry in your town/city. If possible attend these networking event or even any social events. It is best to meet people face to face and present your visiting card and let them know you are looking for opportunities. Meeting people face to face is much better than connecting with people on social media.
Create a blog / website highlighting your thought leadership on your subject matter expertise. Your blog should look like an extended resume.
Buy books or latest magazines for your industry e.g. Retail, e-commerce, Telecoms etc.
Set up a google alert for your industry. You will regularly get e-mails for latest events in your industry.
Keeping yourself updated in your industry will help you during your interviews.
This is also the right time to explore an alternative career.
A lot of people try to find a similar job with the experience they have. Sometimes, you might find that there are other career options with your kind of experience which is in demand else where. For example, if you have worked within supply chain or merchandising for a retailer, there is a likelihood that there are many software solution providers who might require your vast knowledge and experience in retail industry to provide training and support or even helping software developers build a software product.
There are other career options like market research companies who require people with industry experience and a bit of research and writing skills that you can explore too.
Those who were in managerial position can also explore starting their own business coaching to start up founders and small business owners as your corporate experience will be highly valuable for first time entrepreneurs.
Starting your own business is not for the faint heart
Starting your own business is the last option I would recommend. However, those who are prepared for the long and hard grind will most likely not seek anyone’s advice. They will go for it. They will fail. They will try again.
If you can sustain for few years without any other source of income and if you know what it will take, then you should think about the long-term about starting a business. Do not expect to be a millionaire straight away. Your first priority should be to earn as much as you earned in your corporate career or the minimum to pay the bills.
It may take months or years. But do not despair again if you fail. Only few lucky ones succeed. It could be you. 🙂
Entrepreneurship will give you an enriching experience that no formal education can give you. However, entrepreneurship also comes with a price. If you are prepared for the struggle…Go for it.
Remember – Everything happens for a reason. Losing a job is God’s way to get you out of the comfort zone and do something bigger and better for your own good.
You will only thank yourself later on for what happened to you in the past and only laugh about it along with your family.
Have faith in God and never give up.
Good luck !!! 🙂