I’m starting November with a blog post from a dear friend and colleague Roslyn Tanner Evans who is the epitome of the Karmic Ally Coaching view that you can have it all! Roslyn turned her passion for jewelry designing into a successful full time business post retirement from her career of 30 years as a professional career counselor. At 76, Roslyn is still breaking new ground with her business but today, she is sharing her wisdom with us on tackling job loss and what you can do to keep your morale going.
Job Loss Truths from a Career Counselor’s Perspective
After 30 years of career counseling diverse populations, I look back and realize certain things I should have told the unemployed I served. Talking with people when they are most vulnerable often requires more sensitivity, not always truthfulness. I know that what I did say was beneficial and probably expected and only from a place of distance can I consider other discussions and issues I would have liked having.
In no particular order of importance, these are areas I really would have wanted to counsel in depth; however time constraints in my schedule did not often permit.
Don’t take it Personally
There were a few times I felt compelled to say that the reason for the job loss was not personal. It was a business decision and you and others were excess, so it really wasn’t about you or your performance. However, I know that when you are on the receiving end, it felt very personal.
Your hidden thoughts might go something like this, “If I was as good as they had me believe, they would have found a way to keep me”. That was what I thought when I was unexpectedly furloughed from a government job when no one ever was laid off. Imagine if we were able to really flesh this out, bare it from behind the curtain, and once and for all disappear the conversation in our heads, so you don’t have to feel ashamed. It really was not personal. Just numbers. The freedom I and others could have had if we truly accepted this.
Who Really Knows?
Have you told your family, friends, business associates and neighbors so they can support you and help you network? I’m thinking of a client who woke every day, dressed in his blue suit and tie, kept his same morning routine, took the train and sat in the public library doing his job search, but he was pretending to be going to his professional executive job. When it came time to sign his kids up for sleep away camp, he snuck a painting out of his home and sold it to pay the tuition.
Eventually, we did talk about what he was doing and his belief was he would find a job before his severance ran out and his family didn’t need to know or make adjustments. He was in his 50’s, in the financial area and it was in the 80’s. How do you think things turned out?
I Don’t Like Charity!
It often surprised me when someone said they hadn’t applied for unemployment benefits because it felt like charity. Despite correcting the facts about where the funds came from, it was hard to be persuasive. Imagine if this client was open to everything available, all communities have free and public services, from the libraries to religious institutions, adult education programs, meet-ups, networking groups, and more. Taking advantage of as many free services that are appropriate is a really smart move.
Who Critiqued Your Resume?
Looking at the piece of paper that represents your personal work history is really an art. Often it gets shown to our best friend who found a new job quickly using a particular format, but how come it isn’t working for you? Or you keep updating the one you had professionally done 10 years ago.
It is legitimate to be attached to your resume, to have strong feelings about it, after all, it is all about you. There is only one purpose to a resume and that is to get you the interview. If it is not getting that result, then it is not working and should be critiqued by a professional in YOUR FIELD.
I Never Have Trouble Finding a New Job Quickly!
That might have been true a few years prior, but the job market changes, add few years of background, age and salary and it is not the same search. Don’t live from a financial perspective as if everything is fine and your salary will be flowing in soon.
Take good stock of where you can cut expenses at the START of your job search. Prepare financially for the long haul, even if you received a good severance package, even if you have a few good interviews lined up. Truly look to see where you can cut back, dinners out, entertaining friends, gifts, postpone the vacation. Add in new expenses that job search will incur and calculate how far your reserves will last. It can get scary, but better to have thought it out than to get caught in a financially desperate situation.
And now we are getting to my two favorite areas I wish to impart wisdom from my perspective.
Explore What You Really Want To Do!
So often we rush into seeking the exact or similar job we just left and that we complained about all the time. And even if we loved it, stop and use the time to explore if the industry you were in suited you. Could you perform the same type of job in an area you have personal interest in and love it even more?
For example; you are creative and enjoy the arts. Imagine the pleasure you could experience in an environment that has a service or product in an artistic field rather than the manufacturing environment you were just in. You own your skill set and they may be very transferable to a new industry for you.
Another example; you hated your job and for years have been dreaming of a service you could offer. Take some time to explore if this is viable for you to start now.
More and more individuals are creating on-line businesses, working from home, becoming self-employed, free lancing and if you didn’t start it while working full time because you had no time, this could be the right time.
How To Keep Going?
If feeling depressed, upset, angry, frightened, worried- all these energy draining emotions, it is hard to keep going day after day, taking all the steps you need to become reemployed.
Have you heard the comment, “looking for a job is a full time job”? It’s true. There is nothing more important in job search as your mental attitude. Maintaining it can be done with a routine and creating balance. If you always fit in a workout or exercise, keep doing that. Use your daily planner to manage tasks and time.
Notice when you are feeling discouraged- what lifts you up- a movie, music, a talk with a friend, spouse or counselor? Eating healthy and not making yourself feel better with the extras and night treats, don’t get into feeling sorry for yourself. And most of all, “Act As If”.
You may be familiar with this expression as it applies to your job interview, but I’m suggesting it in a different context. You may have lost your job, but you did not lose your skills. Don’t lose your sense of self worth. It may take longer than hoped for, but if you “Act As If” it will happen, after a few months you can become employed again.
It won’t take long before you start building up complaints about your new boss or colleagues. At some point, instead of just breathing a sigh of relief, reflect and spend some time to jot down anything you would do differently if it happens again.
You may not have control of your circumstances, but you do have control over how you handle it, as in everything else in life.
Karmic Ally’s Question: Have you been in this situation? How did you make it out of the hole and back into the sunlight of employment? I’d love to read about your experiences in the Comments box below.
About Roslyn Tanner Evans
I loved going to work each day for 30 years as a professional career counselor. I worked for a government agency providing services first to underprivileged individuals and then a sharp turn in the economy had me counseling unemployed professionals who had never been unemployed. The volume was so great, I turned to daily workshops where I was able to reach 30 at a time rather than the 3 I could see individually each morning. My goal was always to impart useful information, be motivational and give my audience back their self-esteem. I felt blessed to know I made a difference in many lives.
When I retired, I explored my creativity and regard for crafts until I discovered beading. I had no idea I had any talent nor that I would become passionate about it. At age 68, I turned my new found passion – jewelry design into a business. Fortunately my artistic daughter joined me as she does all the photography, copy, many graphics and her amazing jewelry designs. At age 72 I took on learning about social media marketing and developing my computer skills. I am still creating jewelry at age 76 and for the past two years, have an ecommerce site https://EarthandMoonDesign.com.
Note from Karmic Ally: Earth and Moon Designs doesn’t currently ship to India but if you are in the USA, UK & Canada, then do take advantage of Roslyn’s generous offer of receiving a gift card of $7 off your first purchase by subscribing to her newsletter here http://eepurl.com/YqUpX . If in the continental USA you will receive free shipping for life and exclusive offers including early access to their new collections and sales. Earth and Moon Designs respects your time and usually sends a newsletter monthly and occasionally to introduce you to their holiday collections.
Did I mention their blog is very informative?
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