Back in the summer of July 2005 it felt like my whole world had suddenly caved in.
From out of nowhere, I had been made redundant from my job I loved, having been there 5 years. And I now found myself sitting back at home at 10am on a Monday morning in a state of confusion.
So what now? I was suddenly out of work and feeling pretty sorry with myself. I’d progressed through the ranks, establishing many friendships along the way and I’d now have to start all over again.
That was over 8 years ago, and after a few false starts I’m settled again in a role.
What I could have done with in 2005, was a structured plan of attack to how I could get my mojo back and restart my career.
If you find yourself in this situation, here are my top ten tips, written from experience, on how to stay motivated if you lose your job.
1. Believe in yourself
This was something I really struggled with when I was let go. But without rekindling your self-belief, you will have absolutely no chance finding a new role. If you don’t believe in you, who will?
Think back to all those times when you wowed a recruiter in an interview. Who says you can’t do that again?
Before you start that job search, sit down and write down all your positive attributes. Not only will it make them more tangible, but it will also give you a lift and reaffirm what you really know. Remember that there are plenty of roles out there just waiting for someone with your skill set.
2. Network, network, network
It is vital that you stay in contact with your network. You will have impressed more people than you realise over the years. From colleagues who were bowled over at the campaign you delivered, to the clients who would love to have had someone as talented as you working for their business.
After redundancy, I made the fatal mistake of not getting in contact with my ex-colleagues and clients, probably because of a sense of embarrassment.
Don’t make this same mistake. Don’t let people forget you. Whether its via the phone or social networks, tell people that you now looking for a new opportunity and if anybody knows of anything to get in touch.
3. Stay healthy
It is very easy to fall into a pit of self-pity, daytime TV and Doritos. And don’t, as I did, sit in front of a PC from 9am till 6pm waiting for roles to magically appear on job boards.
It is important to stay active whilst looking for a job. Being physically fit as well as mentally strong will help you remain focused on the challenge at hand.
Get out of the house for a few hours every day. Try and park those pangs of guilt you may feel when you escape from the job search. Rest assure that you won’t miss out on an opportunity just because you are taking the dog for a walk!
4. Stay Focused
It is all too easy to lose focus and heart on the task at hand. Although the job market is extremely competitive, there are many lazy candidates out there who have sloppy, poorly formatted CVs that they fire indiscriminately at every position going.
Don’t be one of these people. Don’t panic with your job applications. Apply only for those positions that you feel would be right for you and keep a track of all the applications you make.
It is also important that you set yourself a routine as to when you do your job search. Compile a list of online job boards in your favourites and work through them one by one. This will help you keep your eye on the ball.
5. Form a strategy
Following on from above, it is vital you approach your job search almost like a project.
Devise a strategy on how you are going to tackle the job search. Keep a journal of contacts, job boards, recruitment agencies, jobs applied for and hopefully a list of interviews.
Again, this is a great way of keeping your job search on track and your mind focused on the task at hand.
Thanks for reading the first part of how to stay motivated if you lose your job. Click here for the final 5 tips where we look at your CV, how to broaden your search and where you can go for further advice.