A new door has opened in front of you. Will you walk through it?
You heard the rumours first. Sandra from accounting had told Daniel who text you the news: 'They're making cuts.' When you got an email from your line manager asking for a meeting, your anxiety peaked. Then came those dreaded words: 'We're sorry, we have to let you go.'
At first, you were in shock as they explained the redundancy process. You smiled and nodded; you said you understood. When it finally sinks in, you may feel tempted to fall into feelings of depression and defeat. But hold off ‒ this change could have an unexpected silver lining.
You will realise it's not the end of the world
Chances are, getting fired was on the top of your worry pile. More than a third of British adults are concerned about losing their jobs, according to the Mental Health Foundation. Now that it has happened to you, though, you might have come to a realisation. The worst happened and it wasn't as bad as you imagined. When they finally happen to us, the things that we fear most are rarely as catastrophic as we imagine. Surprisingly, the world did not crash around you.
Of course, you will need some time to mentally adjust to this change, but life goes on. You will move forward and get past this time of uncertainty. Rather than catastrophising, take a moment to reframe the situation in your mind. Whilst you no longer work for your former company, you have the opportunity to do something new.
You have time to stop and reassess
When you're busy working in a role, you hardly have time to stop and think. Many people never take a breath and consider whether the position they are in is right for them. Before now, you may have been bogged down with paperwork, endless emails, conference calls and appraisals. All of the above leaves little room for self-reflection or the opportunity to take a step back and figure out if you're on the right path.
Losing your job gives you a chance to pause and think about what you really want from a career. Was this role fulfilling your needs? Were you happy on this path? Do you have a clear vision of where you're heading in the future? On the other hand, were you stagnating? Take the time to consider all of these questions and think about how you can improve your prospects in the future.
You can start by making a pro and con list about your previous role. Be as honest as possible and jot down the things that you loved and didn't like about it. When you are finished, take stock of the list. If there are more cons than pros, the role was not a good fit for you.
You can consider a new path
Now that you've made your list, you may want to consider looking for work in a completely new sector. That's perfectly natural! The average Brit changes jobs 17 times through their career. You may have outgrown the sector or found something else that you're passionate about. Whatever the reason, losing your job could give you an opportunity to make a change.
If you have been working in the same industry since you graduated from college or university, it's likely that you have never considered changing things up. However, now that you have a break in your career, you can look into your options and decide what works for you. Rather than leaping directly back into a similar role to the one you lost, is there another, more fulfilling path that you want to follow?
Start by researching sectors that need your skills. Many of the skills you use in one role will be transferable to other positions. For example, a high school teacher may want to leave their role behind and start writing educational resources for a publishing company. Spend some time considering what skills you have and how they may apply to different or related sectors.
When you've pinpointed a sector in which you want to work, find out all you can about it. Read about it online, reach out to professionals on LinkedIn and even ask to have an informal chat with people in the industry. The more you learn about this sector, the better you will understand if it's right for you.
You have the opportunity to retrain
If you have had some time to think about your future and have decided you want a change, retraining is the way to go. Equally, if you want to stay in the same sector, you could enhance your qualifications to give yourself an edge when it comes to finding your next job.
Fortunately, there are plenty of courses you can take online that will help you reach your career goals. Start by checking out these 10 free resources for learning skills online and seeing if any of them suit your needs. You may also want to invest in an online course or even go back to university to further your education. Research your options and consider what works for you depending on your circumstances. You may find that there's a course that will help you propel your career forward in the years to come.
You will be pushed into a job search
Whilst you were employed, you may have daydreamed about landing a new job and enhancing your career, but did you do anything about it? Many of us would like to change our lives, and yet we get comfortable and stay in the same position for years on end. Now that you have been let go, you are being pushed into a job search scenario for possibly the first time in years.
Whilst that may sound scary, the truth of the matter is that it could be a gift. This change is forcing you to take stock of what's out there and find something new. Try to see the bright side of that. You may come across a role that is ideal for you which you would never have known about if you had kept the same job. Looking at new opportunities can only be a positive move forward.
You can find a role that's a better fit
Be honest, was your last role the perfect job for you? Unless you were exceptionally lucky, the chances are that it wasn't. Now that you no longer hold that position, you can have a fresh start and look for something that is. As you embark on your job search, consider what you want from a career. Are you looking for stability, progression or training opportunities? Do you want a job that offers flexible working and the chance to move abroad? Make a list of your ideal criteria before you get started.
Putting your needs front and centre could help you make the right decision when finding a job. Allow your requirements to lead the way rather than wildly looking for any company that is hiring. When you're sure about what you want and you're not afraid to ask for it, you will get the best role for you.
Keep moving forward
It may not seem like it when you're receiving the bad news, but losing your job can open the door to a number of career possibilities. If you're ready to start searching for your next role, you can begin by revamping your CV. Overall, try to keep a positive mindset and focus on the unexpected benefits of losing your job. This is a new beginning for you, so embrace it with open arms.
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