Transition stages, after job loss:

In Transition?  What stage are you at?

Are you in transition because you have been laid off, resource actioned (not sure if that is a verb), outsourced, downsized or whatever H.R. calls it at your previous firm?  I’m sure you have heard of the 7 stages of grief but the University of Minnesota describes the 7 stages of grief of job loss — yes it is grief to end a long term relationship of working for a company and a group of people and/or clients.  Gonig through grief even if we do not call it such does happen when you learn that you do not work there any longer.  Some individuals are prepared and have planned so they move through this process quickly whereas others who are caught off guard or would not believe it could happen to them because their ratings were good, their performance valued and or they had great sales last quarter are faced with many conflicting emotions.

University of Minnesota – Stages of Grief from Income Loss 

The reason there are no straight lines is that we usually go back and forth through the stages as  our feelings fluctuate as we move through the stages.  Makes sense since there are good days and bad days followed with better days.  Great website to learn more to know which stage you are at right now.

Some strategies since most of us want to move on and get hired or start something:

Step 1 – Determine which stage you are in right now!
Step 2 –Each week set goals that are reasonable and attainable.  When you are laid off in today’s economy, you must take the time to reassess your life and your options be gentle with yourself but have at least a few goals each day or items to complete each day.  You will be amazed how well you feel when you can say you completed something you set out to complete at the end of the day.

Step 3.  Find a group of others in transition such as networking group that will give you space and resources to help you get skills for job searching or re-inventing self.  Many of us have been in the same corporation for many years and are out of practice of job hunting.   For example in Fairfield County, Connecticut we host a weekly networking meeting at the Easton Library that provides group coaching and resources to help individuals who are in transition or looking to re-invent themselves.

Step 4. Identify your options – develop a plan A and plan B.

Step 5.  Determine when you must be earning either a living by working for someone else or starting your own business.  By doing your financial analysis, you can determine your must do something date.  By setting a goal for when you will want to be closer to last stage of returning to meaningful work — say for example, in 5 months or 1 year. Do not just go with the end of unemployment checks — some states will allow you to collect if you start a business since it takes a few months to break even and generating income for owners.

These steps get you in the drivers seat and not the victim.  This gives you internal approval to move through the stages — you deserve to mourn the loss and move through the process at a speed that makes sense for you.  This is not to beat yourself up if you do not achieve the time frame but allow yourself to feel what you feel — feelings are not good or bad they are just feelings.  Many times being aware of the current feelings coupled with how you ultimately want to be feeling will get us through and make us ready.

We have learned that if you are making life changing decisions while still in the early stages of shock and denial — you will go through the stages in your new job or new career.

What do you think?  Have you attracted the ideal job or new career when you were angry, overwhelmed and feeling helpless?

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