Grieving a job loss and adjusting to unemployment takes time. In this article, we will look at a possible scenario, how to deal with a job loss and how to reinvent yourself after a job loss.
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Good morning, David. Management has had to take some decisions in view of the current economic realities. Turnover year on year has dropped by 53% and we have had our second quarterly operational loss in a row. The company is right-sizing to survive as the economy is not projected to bounce back until 20…
In view of all these, we are sorry we have to let you go. This decision has affected about 270 of our work force. You will receive X amount in compensation. You are expected to submit all company properties in your possession to admin by close of work today. We would also need you to sign these documents. Any questions? Any questions, David?
It may be 5 or 9 or 17 years that one has worked in an organisation, but the feeling of losing one’s job is rarely good news; not even if one loathed the job. Just like that, all the hard work, late hours, working entire weekends go puff. One’s attention moves from immediate anger to bills. Rent, school fees, utility bills, health bills and unexpected bills. Of course I have a million questions.
A job loss is never easy, but the following tips, while not going to shield you from the realities of a loss of income and, if not properly managed a loss of self esteem, would help you cope better and get back on your feet quicker.
How To Deal With A Job Loss
Cut Your Expenses
Many lose jobs and for reasons that range from pride to self-disillusion, continue to maintain the appearance of still having a job. Some stretch this façade to waking up early and still maintaining a typical work day schedule.
Be real with yourself and until you get guaranteed income again, you can’t maintain your usual spend rate. Immediately reduce your expenses. Turn off the lights, you don’t need the air conditioner on at all times; look at your DSTV and grocery options again.
You may eventually have to change schools for the kids; even your accommodation. These are hard realities and you need to be mentally prepared for this. Get out of any monthly reoccurring expenses. Gym and pool fees should not be renewed when they come up for renewal. Scrap new clothes purchase and limit eating out.
Go to only important places as well to save on petrol bills or go by public transport. Your money won’t last as long as you think especially when it is not periodically reimbursed.
There are two ways forward career wise. Getting another job or starting or joining an existing business. The former is a prospect that is out of your control. There are few companies hiring and there are many qualified people just like you in the job market. Yes, stay optimistic, but I would advise you tend more towards starting or joining an existing business.
You could have skills and cash and can join an existing business but do your due diligence and have the businesses’ books checked and assessed by an independent source to be sure of its viability.
Before another job comes in, you must put some effort into getting income coming in again. The following are safe ways to get income coming in again.
Take up a distributorship of a popular and fast moving product. Don’t get lured into picking up distributorship for a product that is about to enter the market or an unpopular product without verifiable sales records. Stay risk averse, your immediate priorities are safety of funds and not high returns.
You must have acquired some skills while on the job. Can you think of 2nd- and 3rd-tier companies in your industry or related industry that may require your skills? While they may not hire you full-time, you could work with them on a consulting basis.
An easy way to sell your consulting service is to get the mailing addresses of the decision makers in these companies and send them a weekly or bi-monthly report that shows them how to increase profit, reduce cost (without layoffs), and increase efficiency. Besides these, you could offer basic services we use every day. Laundry, hair grooming, home cleaning, tutoring, child minding, etc.
Avoid manufacturing, farming and trading outside a distributor type system. Your learning curve will be steep, you will lose money and your enthusiasm for entrepreneurship.
Physical And Mental Fitness
For the last few years on the job, you have had to wake up early, retire to bed late and had almost no time for staying fit. Now is the time to get out your workout shoes and resume working out. Start with walks and proceed to jogs and some aerobics. Do this a minimum of two times a week, preferably in the mornings.
Also, start to feed your mind with good information, not junk. Read up on your industry and also outside your industry. Take advantage of free organised seminars and online courses. When the courses come with a small cost and you consider them worthwhile, go ahead and pay to attend them, so long as your cash position can allow it.
Networking here has two approaches. You should reach out to old colleagues and acquaintances and let them know you are back in the job market. No shame in this as everyone understands the economy is slow and companies are laying off.
The other approach is to find new circles and friends that might be useful towards helping you secure another job or helping you get customers for your new business. There are two simple rules with networking. One is for you to be a person of value and the other is for you to continuously push useful and relevant information across to the other party without expecting anything in return.
A loss of income comes with many challenges and if not properly managed, could lead to a loss of self esteem especially for men. Stay open with communication with your spouse and kids and help them understand certain privileges may stop and there definitely will be lifestyle adjustments. What you lost is a job, don’t lose your family too.
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