Job Loss Tips

7 Tips For Digging Out From The Storm Of Job Loss

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I’ve known loss. Haven’t we all?

A blizzard storms through our lives, creating paralyzing white-out conditions.

In my life, a painful storm occurred when my first husband requested a divorce. Within months, I was thrust into life-altering decisions that, even under the best of emotional situations, would have been difficult.

Initially, life lines were tossed my way by family and friends. After years of self-sufficiency, I was faced with either “going it alone” or accept the help of sincerely caring people. I swallowed my pride and chose the latter.

I acted as well: traction was the name of the game to maintain my sanity, emotional stability, and overall fortitude. Like job loss, the death of a marriage or following the actual death of a spouse or other loved one, the storm requires mourning, but then requires forward movement to recover. Sometimes, the two must be managed concurrently.

During my divorce, I did not have the luxury of flying off to a tropical island and licking my wounds or even spending a few weeks resting and healing. Instead, I had imminent bills to pay and clients to attend to. Miraculously, I was able to “fake it ’til I made it.”

For example, I recall one client telling me (during the thick of the storm) I was always such a positive person when he and I met! I was strengthened by his sweet comment – further reinforcing the need for forward movement as a key to recovery.

Similarly, job hunters in the midst of career storms must often keep plunging through the cold hard ground of job search. I will venture to say, with persistence and willingness to make changes, these forward-moving job seekers will see sprouts of growth emerge even during the harshest of climates.

Digging Out From The Storm Of Job Loss

I imagine the wind-knocked-out-of-me experience I knew following divorce is something people experiencing job loss or major job transition can relate to. I hope some of the practical and soul-fortifying steps I took also may assist job seekers in moving forward in recovery. Here are a few steps I took:

1. Adjust Your Sails

I sold my home and downsized to a town-home (saving money and dramatically reducing my commute to a then brick-and-mortar office from 45 minutes to five minutes).

Unfortunately, I hear too many stories of job seekers hanging on to what was versus adjusting their sails and course to mesh with the wind. Sometimes letting go of real estate, other belongings and past lifestyle desires is just the antidote and relief to calm the storms and further work on rebuilding a newer, stronger and often better-than-ever-imagined foundation for the future!

2. Be Your Sole Supporter

I immediately began the process to transform my business, which, at that time, was only three years young and not really ready to be self-supporting. I had no choice – I was now my sole supporter! I amped up my industry credentials. I wanted to increase my service offerings (and revenue), so in addition to my Certified Professional Resume Writer credential, I achieved the Certified Employment Interview Professional (interview coaching) training in Dallas, Texas.

3. Keep Learning

I earned the globally unique Master Resume Writer credential and received near-immediate PR and revenue.

When encountered with a hard-hit economy and job search, I encourage job seekers to consider future needs, research, and listen to other professional opinions and then ACT. If you may benefit by earning a new credential to better market yourself – go get it! Or, simply, reach for more training, more training and yet, more training. Continuing education opportunities abound either virtually or within brick and mortar settings!

4. Re-Focus Your Time

I assertively pursued industry partnerships and re-focused time and energy on building relationships that would further build my business reputation, visibility, and ultimately, revenue.

Likewise, I encourage job seekers to seek out and build relationships with key partners who may propel their job search. Encourage recruiters, hiring managers, companies and human resources to follow you and your value proposition via Twitter and build your career reputation. Unfurl the sails, look beneath the layers and get curious. Step by step, you’ll learn the ropes of job search, and it will not only flex your untapped job search muscles, but it will even be fun–an adventure, at times!

Moreover, visit LinkedIn and set up an account.

Through LinkedIn, start stimulating conversations with other professionals and with recruiters, hiring decision makers and human resource managers. Boost your visibility and credibility via a website established exclusively for movers and shakers who not only take pride in their careers but seek to boost their image and career opportunities.

5. Refit, Rewire, Reword

I hired another writer and career coach to help shepherd me through a career repositioning and hold me accountable to implement action steps.

As well, job hunters may revisit their career story arsenal: refit, rewire, reword. A plethora of free articles on building a meaty, value-laden resume may be found, starting with articles on my blog and extending through to a plethora of blog posts by resume writers, career coaches, and recruiters.

You may also hire a Master Resume Writer or other professional career writer, coach and/or consultant from. Resume writers, coaches and consultants will help uncover the snow-shrouded career story-book and then parse chapters, sub-titles, and talk points that reveal your true value to your target audience!

6. Embrace Today’s Job Search

I transitioned my business from a locally based, brick and mortar office (with premium office space leasing costs) to a globally focused, completely virtual operation serving clients from coast to coast in the United States, Canada, and also in far-flung places such as Europe and Asia!

Likewise, job seekers should embrace the global design of today’s job search. The Internet, and in particular, Twitter, offers a treasure chest of career strategy resources. First, I recommend joining Twitter, creating a pithy profile, and start following others.

7. Focus On Fulfillment

I focused on my personal life recovery and fulfillment: getting out there and dating–making it an adventure versus a drudgery. I ENJOYED (for the most part) the interesting conversations and new opportunities to meet new friends. The world was my oyster! It was a series of shared experiences that added value to my day to day life until, one day, I met and married the love of my life. He is leaps and bounds beyond my expectations, and not because he is perfect (sorry, darling!), but because he is my heart-mate.

Just as the snowstorm that swept through my fare city this holiday season (or that swept through my personal life several years ago), career slamming challenges erupt from time to time, packing your job search hulls with snow that weighs you down, virtually paralyzing movement.

After you’ve licked your wounds, commiserated with others about the tragedy that has beset you, I encourage you to take action. Grab that shovel and start digging! Get out from under that avalanche of job search snow and regain your career footing.

Captain your career, mend your sails, learn the new rules of career navigation, partner with career experts and SET SAIL!

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Since 1997, Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, Chief Career Writer and President, Career Trend, has collaborated with professionals in career transition, or those individuals who have a desire to ignite their existing careers.

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