Lost your job? Don’t burn that bridge

Closed Door quote,I’m no stranger to being restructured out of a position, and unfortunately quite a few people I care about have also joined that club. It’s a tough reality in any position, that companies can change and evolve and they don’t always take you with them.

But how do you handle it?

Initially you might go through an entire gamut of emotions. You might be ecstatic because you didn’t even like the job anyway and this was just the push you needed to move on. You might feel incredibly sad and confused because you did like the job and your coworkers. You may even be angry at all those people that are still there when you have been cut loose.

No matter what you are feeling there is a hard reality in front of you – you need to find something else to do.

There are lots of options for people when they suddenly find themselves without a job. Here are just a few options.

#1 – Go find a job in your field but with another company

It makes sense. You lost your job so you should rush out and find the exact same job with the same hours and similar pay and then you can get your life back to normal. You have bills to pay and you need some stability again. Life seems crazy, go with the safe option.

#2 – Start your own business using the skills you already had

You were good at your job – really good. You know what you were doing and now that you aren’t with the company anymore, why not go out on your own? You know how it works and this will allow you to take those skills and all the profits for yourself.

#3 – Try out something new

Nothing says that you need to take a full time position immediately. This is the perfect time to dip your toes into the temporary worker pool and try out a contract. There are no rules in life that say you must take something for the next 10 years. Maybe you can try something out for 6 months and see if you like it and gain some new skills. What’s the worst that can happen?

4. Make a full career change

So many people get stuck with the job they think they should have instead of the job they WANT to have. Maybe the job you had was a little boring to you. Maybe you see something else that looks more exciting. What is holding you back? Now is the time to apply and see what happens. You might love the results!

#5 – Start your own business in a field entirely unrelated to your past work history

Maybe the company you worked for offered you a severance to go away. What if you took that money and decided to go after your dreams instead? Do you live in a big house and love helping people? Maybe you want to open a bed and breakfast. Now is your time. Nothing is holding you back now!

#6 – Sell all your belongings and backpack around the world

No joke, I have a friend that did this. She took off for a year with her husband and they had an amazing time. They saw wonderful things, met wonderful people and tried some fantastic food. Sure she had some issues as an independant woman when they were going through Northern Africa, but she survived. Perhaps you could to!

One of the best pieces of advice I can give anyone that suddenly finds themselves out of a job is to not burn any bridges with the company and the people you worked with.

More often than not, those people are not directly responsible for your job loss. The ones left behind might feel awful for you. They may not be sleeping at night because they aren’t sure what’s going to happen to you and your family and they may also be worried that they may be next. But there is another thing to consider – those people may also be great contacts that can help you find your next position. Maybe they have an insight into the industry and can point you towards places that are hiring. Maybe those people stay for 6 months, move onto something else and end up working for a company you are going to apply to in the future. How you behave now is going to be reflected on whether or not they would recommend you later.

I’ve known many people that get let go from companies who end up going on their own. They end up discovering a niche in the market where they are able to offer something no one else is. I have even seen those people successfully use their networks to end up freelancing or offering services to the company they worked for in the past. It is possible. I have seen it!

Oftentimes, a company needs to make some financial decisions to cut the losses on departments or products that just aren’t making a profit. Or the company sees a redundancy and has to make the tough decision to lay someone off. It’s nothing personal and may not be anything to do with all the people that worked in that department. It’s business and it happens every day and sadly it may happen to you.

Take some time to think of your options. Brainstorm some ideas and make something happen. The good news is, this is your chance. You can do anything!

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