It's A Wonderful Life

5 Tips For Surviving The “Oh No” After A Job Loss

in Life

Unemployment is really high right now. Chances are you or someone you know has recently been let go. This sucks, but honestly, you can’t allow yourself to dwell on it.

You have to act fast because you’re possibly about to make the biggest mistake when faced with a job loss: allowing negative emotions to take over your life. This isn’t something to take lightly –it results in losing your self-esteem and makes it very difficult to find another job.

Use these five tips to deal with a job loss constructively and you’ll be back at it in no time!

Don’t Lose Your Momentum

People tend to do a funny thing after they lose their job, and particularly if unemployment benefits are involved. After an initial panic, they start to form this delusion in their head and it goes something like this: “Time off will do me some good. I’ll have some time to do things that I really want to do. After all, it’s not like I chose for this to happen. I deserve a little R&R!.” 

Ever notice how sometimes we try to reason with ourselves the way a child would try to reason with an adult? Acting as both the child and the adult, we attempt to charm ourselves into believing something we know is a load of crap. This type of thinking is very dangerous. Let me explain.

Naturally, happiness and self-esteem are closely linked. Our self-esteem is largely developed and maintained by receiving positive feedback from those around us who recognize our unique contributions –whatever those may be. In other words, it’s your work that sustains your self-esteem. Your job should be the platform where you express yourself through the efforts of your own ability –this is creation. If this doesn’t ring true for you, you should be happy you lost your job because now you have an opportunity to find work that truly inspires you.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking “time off” is going to revive you. When you’re working there is a certain momentum to your life (even if it’s very little). If you do what you love that momentum is probably very high. Keep it rockin’. Don’t risk interrupting it –it’s very hard to get back into the swing of things after you’ve slowed down.

The only way to maintain your momentum while unemployed is by controlling your emotions. The one thing that almost all successful people have in common is that they’ve mastered the ability to regulate negative emotions. This isn’t idealistic B.S. which doesn’t work in the real world. For the most part, the world you see around you is the direct result of your thoughts and decisions. This is a profound realization once it’s fully understood –it will change your life forever.

Simply put: avoid the pity parties and don’t waste energy perpetuating the very thing that’s making you miserable –it’s insanity and we’ve all done it.

Making Enemies Will Get You Nowhere

Perhaps you have already made this mistake, and it might have even been justified, but telling the person who just fired you to #@&! off is not worth the two seconds of satisfaction you get out of it. Understand that firing someone is almost as difficult as being fired. Trust me, letting a person go (under any circumstance) really sucks. Don’t take it personally –even though it obviously feels personal. Again, practice control over your emotions.

The reason why you don’t want to burn bridges with former colleagues is that these people might be your best resource for securing a new job. Not only do these people know your talents and strengths, but they are also more than likely in the same industry as you. You will be much more successful in finding a job if you can get a referral or recommendation from a former colleague. You never know when one of these people might pop back into your life down the road –keep that in mind.

I suggest that immediately after a job loss you send an email out to all your colleagues thanking them for the opportunity to work together and wishing them the best of luck. Do this and they will remember you. Plus, it’s just a dignified thing to do, right?

Spending All Day Sending Out Your Resume Is Not Being Productive

Unless you have a highly specialized skill, you’re probably not going to get anywhere by simply sending your resume to every job on Craigslist and Monster.com –especially in the current job market. There are too many people doing the exact same thing. In the meantime, the company will end up hiring someone referred by one of their current employees. That’s just how it works.

As a matter of fact, going this route is little more than wishful thinking. You might as well be playing the lotto. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t send out your resume, but your efforts need to go beyond that.

Don’t attempt to supplement the feeling of being a bum by trying to convince yourself you’ve been productive by sitting at the computer all day sending out your resume. Again, this is a slippery slope. How? Well, after a few days of not getting any calls back you start telling yourself (and everyone around you), “I try and try and nobody will give me a chance… I can’t do anything, blah blah”. It’s so easy to fall into these thought patterns. It’s funny because of the ridiculousness of it –we’re all so much more capable than we give ourselves credit.

Your best bet is to get out there and start talking to people in person. Anything to keep you busy and positive. You see, it works twofold: it keeps you out of isolation and slipping into a depression, and it sets you apart from the pool of thousands of other people going for the same jobs.

Companies Don’t Hire Desperate People

I have this method –a certain demeanor– I use during job interviews and it has worked very well for me. I walk in there like I could care less if I got the job.  Furthermore, through subtleties, I go as far as putting off the vibe that I’m not even sure if I want the job. That is, they’d better be damn impressive to win over a talented person such as myself.

Now I’m not talking about being a cocky asshole. Nobody is going to hire someone they don’t like. You have to be likable –rather, you have to be a rock star. Picture the typical rock star in your head. Everybody loves the rock star even though the rock star openly displays the high worth he places on himself. Why does everyone like the rock star? Because of his Talent. And what do you think companies want in an employee? Talent.

Another thing I come across when interviewing people is the mistake of saying something to the effect of, “I think this would be a great opportunity”. Statements like this rub potential employers the wrong way. After all, the employer wants to know what you can do for them, not the other way around!

During interviews you should focus on always directing the conversation back to what you can do for them –do this and you’ll be ahead of 90% of the other applicants.

Stay Composed In Front Of Your Kids

You should never expose the stress you are dealing with to your kids. This is especially true if they are young. Children have a certain quality about them –a pureness by which they are naively compelled to help fix the situation.

There is nothing your children can do to help other than bring you joy during your darkest hours. Don’t taint this joy by needlessly causing stress in a child who can’t even really understand the dynamics of the stress they are feeling.

This is because it’s not stress at all, but love –and through this love, they find themselves imitating your emotions, with the hope that you may take notice and approve of their efforts. So instead of imitating your despair, let them imitate your happiness.

Ryan Bales

About Ryan Bales


Ryan is the Founder and CEO of Bync, which he founded in 2012.

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