Losing Your Job or Income Can Be Hugely Crippling — Lionesses of Africa

by Paula Quinsee 

So many people’s jobs have been impacted financially by the pandemic either by having to take salary cuts, being made redundant due to the financial impact on business, or sadly business having to close down because they just couldn’t find a way to keep their doors open anymore.

Experiencing a loss such a this has a huge impact on our psyche, how we see ourselves and the world around us. For some it may have been the push they needed to get out of a job environment that was no longer serving them; yet had become comfortable in. For others it may have been a huge blow to a long-term career plan they had been fully invested in. Going through an experience like this not only has a huge impact on us financially but also on our sense of worth, value, belonging and identity.

Our ability to bounce forward from an event like this is largely impacted by our ability to implement 3 critical skills: self-discipline, self-leadership and resilience. It’s normal to experience a range of emotions while working through the changes happening in your life and still trying to make the best of the situation. The best approach is allowing yourself some personal time to process the situation and what insights you can apply going forward. Even in the toughest of situations, there is always knowledge, perspective and positives to be taken, and this is what can help you put a plan of action together for your next steps, whether that be job searching or starting something on your own.

It may also be worthwhile tapping into your support structures to help you with putting your plan of action together whether that be a mentor, coach or a professional. They can act as a sounding board and also give you different perspectives that you might not be able to see during the process, especially on those days when self-doubt, anxiety and worry may creep in.

It can be hard to keep positive and motivated if you have been job searching for a while. Every time we get a ‘sorry your application was unsuccessful’, it can trigger us to feeling more despondent and even questioning what is wrong with us, or believing we have no value to contribute.

It is at times like these that it may help to put some structure in place:

  • Structure your day so that you are not spending all your time scouring the many job sites and job ads, which can be a trigger to your mood and energy levels.

  • Find a mentor, peer group or network that you can tap into for reassurance, encouragement and potential opportunities.

  • Ask for feedback – reach out to your trusted circle, previous managers and colleagues and ask them what they think your strengths, development areas and valuable traits are. This can help you to keep focused on the positives and you can use the info to tweak your CV as well as use the insights for personalised cover letters and interview questions, giving you the potential edge over others.

  • Put yourself out there by attending the various webinars, seminars and online summits, it’s a great way to expand your network and skills at the same time.

  • Use the time to upskill yourself if you potentially need to re-invent yourself or pivot your career. More and more companies are taking short courses into account vs the traditional institutional qualifications as they see this as someone who is proactive, takes initiative and is not afraid to learn new things, which may just give you the edge over another candidate.

Remember failure is an event not a person, being retrenched or losing your business does not mean you failed. It may well have been due to reasons beyond your control like COVID and there is nothing you can do about it so focus forward and rise above the challenge – this is where self-discipling, self-leadership and resilience is crucial.

Lastly remember that you are more than your job title and a pay cheque, don’t let your identity rely solely on that to define your worth and contribution to the world.

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