On average, we change jobs five times in our lives and it is not always a planned change. There is a high probability that you will lose a job at least once in your lifetime. To make it less painful, it is good to take care of your freedom while you are still working.
A loss of employment is a traumatic event for many of us. However, it is important to realize that the trauma depends largely on our beliefs and decisions taken in the past.
There is not a single job that lasts for life. We often think that others might lose their jobs, but it is not going to happen to us. Although we might acknowledge the statistics, we often think we are above them until we receive an invitation for a Friday afternoon meeting from HR. We then feel hurt and usually ask where the sense of justice is.
There are two important pillars of your identity: professional and personal. Taking care of both is fundamental to your well being. If you do, then losing a job does not mean losing everything. People often neglect their private lives and build their identity around their company’s values. When they are laid off, they do not only experience anxiety about money or career, but, above all, the loss of identity. This is very painful. Smart employees maintain a balanced life and build a career around their private goals, so the self-esteem is not dependent on company or position.
Building a partnership relationship with the employer is equally important. While working, rather than passively submit to the company’s vision, keep in mind your own development goals. Learn what you think is important and necessary, not only what your employer needs. The point is to be attractive in the labor market, not just to the company itself. This way you minimize the emotional costs of a dismissal.
The time you learn about the loss of a job is not easy, but it’s also a time to negotiate with your employer. As difficult as it sounds, it is important to stay cool and not let yourself be guided by anger or disappointment, that way ensuring the best possible conditions for your leave. Do not hesitate to tell the employer what kind of support you need. Usually companies prepare a notice in accordance with the Labor Law and employment contract. However, conditions may be changed by mutual agreement. You may, for example, trade a long notice period for payment or the opportunity to benefit from outplacement assistance.
While working, we are often consumed by the company’s affairs, internal policies and responsibilities. While looking for a new job, you might want to think about your development. The free time you suddenly have can be seen as a resource to use. Having said goodbye to your former employer, you face new opportunities and it is only up to you whether you can recognize them.
How can you take care of your mental strength before and after the loss of a job?
1. Do not waste time on self-pity.
Do not complain about the circumstances and how badly you were treated. Take the responsibility for the roles you play in your life and understand that life is not always easy or fair.
2. Do not allow others to take control over your emotions.
Don’t say for example “My boss makes me feel bad,” as it is you who decide how you respond in every situation and you have control over your emotions.
3. Do not waste your energy on things you cannot change.
Focus on the things you can control. Sometimes your attitude could be your best friend.
4. Do not expect immediate results.
Invest your time and effort in what you are good at and understand that achieving success takes time.
Being out of the comfort zone costs us a lot of effort. We are forced to drop our old comfortable habits and take on new challenges. When you look at the loss of a job as an opportunity or turning point, then you free your motivation and mobilization to act for your future benefits.