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5 Honest Job Loss Truths that need to be shared

 

Fearless Beetle on a weed

 

 

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.

 

Osho quote on barriers we create

 

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

Roslyn Tanner Evans profile pic

 

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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17 Responses to “5 Honest Job Loss Truths that need to be shared”

  1. Tamuria says:

    This is great information. I’ve seen loved ones really struggle when they’ve lost their job and even watched with heart breaking as one went into the pit of despair and suffered depression. Luckily he was able to pull himself out, using some of the techniques in this post, such as doing small things to lift his mood. He now has a full-time job that he excels at.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      The more senior and specialized that we become in our professions, the more difficult it becomes to cope with a job loss, Tamuria, especially given the hours that we work that our Self-Identification gets intertwined with our job. It is even worse when the life changing event happens during an economic downturn. When that happened to me in 2002, I did something similar and kept myself busy learning candle making and took to writing while actively looking for a job and attending interviews when they would come up. Like your relative, I did land a great job afterwards which I now look back at as my best of my corporate career. As part of keeping my morale going , I wrote a few children’s short stories which were published by 2 leading children’s magazines in India!

  2. Tamuria, I wish more people were able to use the time during job search to explore themselves as Vatsala did. She kept her spirits up by actively enjoying her interests and became a published writer in the process. These results are doable. Thanks for sharing your experience about someones job loss.

  3. Gisele says:

    What a wonderful post and I feel like I know you even more now Roz! Joe and I both ended up taking the path of having our own business when the company we both worked for downsized. Best decision we have ever made.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Roslyn is a multi-faceted and talented lady, Gisele. It is has been noticed that economic downturns create the most entrepreneurs. Sounds like your and Joe’s story is right out of one of the suggestions Roslyn offered!

    • So good to know that you Gisele and Joe made an important decision when faced with downsizing. Having each other to create something new is both inspiring, collaborative & if income must come from the joint venture, can be stressful until the business really gets going. Yes, who I knew myself to be for 30 years is more familiar, than thinking of myself as an artist for the past few. I loved writing this post and appreciated the request.

  4. From my own experience, I think it is challenging not to take it personally and be questioning everything about what happened when you are fired or layer off. I was much younger and probably would react differently now. It really is important to have people in your life who will support you and keep your foundation in place and sharing often sheds light on a situation by bringing an objective new perspective to it. The hard part would be when your family is not supportive and you feel even worse discussing it, than if you hadn’t.

    It is a tough topic, as the economic climate is so very different now, that being entrepreneurial is almost a better way to go than looking for employment with benefits. Things just aren’t like that any more and so many of the younger generation really get this and are creating their own way to move through the world and create their lives. Thanks for the inside look at the other side of the desk, Roslyn, as often we are so caught up in our feelings and what it “means” to us, that it is great to hear and see the other perspective from a seasoned professional like you.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      You’ve made some very important observations, Beverley. Thank you for sharing your insights. I feel once we overcome the immediate shock and learn to cope with the new status quo it becomes easier to decide whether we wish to use the life changing event as an opportunity to step into self-employment or keep ourselves busy until the right job comes along.

  5. Beverley, as you know, there is no right or wrong approach to being unemployed. However, one’s attitude during the transition can make or break the result. Not everyone is cut out to be entrepreneurial and when someone has a family to support, often a 9-5 paycheck seems safer. Yes, times are a changing and it is best to always keep abreast of the future.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I agree with you, Roslyn. There are times when the entrepreneurial urge may need to be put on the back burner for a while because there are others who are dependent on you and there is a need for a regular paycheck. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur even though the opportunities that present themselves are far better than the ones that were there till a decade and more ago. I have seen youngsters leave corporate jobs and set up businesses and then within a year go back to a job because they couldn’t handle the solo-preneur or small business owner demands. At the same time, I also know that these youngsters will emerge as entrepreneurs later in life with more experience under their belt.

  6. Yes I was in this situation before and also some of my colleagues and friends and, at the time, it seemed that the world ended. Luckily, I felt sorry for myself just for one day and after that started all over again.

    It’s true that having friends and family that encourage and support you is absolutely crucial.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Amen to support from family and friends, Delia, especially because there is a lot of anger in the beginning – how can this happen to me? It helps to have a strong support group to make sure that you get back into action to either land that new job or start on a new adventure that is more rewarding.

      • After reading comments from Robin Strohmaier, Kaz,Delia and Vatsala’s replies, I’m wondering what else can I contribute to move this conversation forward. As in any crises, and job loss is considered a major one, it is hard to be objective, to look at a situation from many perspectives. Yet, I know everyone can do just that. The people who love you and worry for you during job search, are stuck. They don’t know what to say. Should they ask how is it going or not say a word. You know how we are told to focus on someone else, not ourselves. This is a great opportunity to take the spotlight off your circumstance and take care of those around you. Talk about your efforts. Let them know you are doing ok. “Act as if” & it shall be.

  7. Kaz says:

    Great story and I love that she said “Act as if”. I used to be a recruiter and I didn’t like it at all. I still remember that I felt sick and depressed every Sundays…. That’s why I started looking for what I love to do. When I first moved to Canada, I couldn’t speak English well, and I was paid only $200 in the first month of my first job. But, I knew that I was moving towards “what you like to do”, that made me happy and kept me going more and more. It’s very nice to hear Roslyn’s story. It’s very inspiring! Thank you for sharing!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      It sounds like you followed Joseph Campbell’s advice to ‘follow your bliss’ to the letter and emerged on happier grounds after your Hero’s Journey to make a difference in the lives of others, Kaz. These are the real life stories that I love to read because they inspire me! I loved Roslyn’s suggestion to “Act as if” too. 🙂

  8. Robin Strohmaier says:

    Hi Roslyn and Vatsala,

    It is so nice to see you here, Roslyn. Vatsala, thank you for featuring Roslyn on your blog. Fantastic post!

    I have never had to walk this journey, but I do have family and friends that have. Losing your job for any reason is a humbling experience. It is difficult not to take it personally. Having a great support system and mindset is critical. I love your suggestion to “act as if.”

    Roslyn, thank you for sharing your wisdom on this and providing a professional’s view of the other side of the desk. Thank you again, Vatsala, for having Roslyn here!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks Robin. I think the job loss is painful for family and friends too because they see a loved one going through pain and losing confidence when the wait to another job takes long because they don’t have a magic wand to fix the situation. I remember my Dad who had never experienced a job loss, not sure what he could do to help demonstrated his love and faith in me in little ways. He used to drive me to the interviews and hang around somewhere and then come pick me up to give me moral support. My Mom did her bit as well and I remember that because they did not know how to guide me in the situation, they made sure that I was made to feel that I was more important than a ‘job’. Their actions spoke louder than words.

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Meet your coach

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who've hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that work.

Using a combination of intuition and analytical skills, I help my clients identify their real issues with exercises to still their mind and allow their inner feeling to emerge in a place of confidentiality and trust. 

When my clients first come to me, they are not in a very happy place and need clarity about themselves and their chosen vocation. Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know that they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

 

I really get it, because at one point, I also experienced getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to the other aspects of my life. I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

 
I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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