“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss
I wrote this within two days of getting fired from my job, but decided to hold it till I’ve completed a couple of weeks. That gave me an opportunity to ensure that I applied all the Do’s and avoided all the Don’ts myself . These tips have not only allowed me to stay happy and motivated, but also focused on the new possibilities and making the right choices for the next phase of my life:
- Don’t deny it. If you aren’t normally prepared for the realities and changes in life, your first thoughts could be ‘I can’t believe it’, ‘It can’t be happening to me’. It’s OK, as long as you don’t remain in the state of denial for days or weeks. Remind yourself that thousands of people lose their jobs daily; it’s beyond your control. The quicker you accept the reality, the faster you can move on with your life.
- Don’t make it personal. Most sudden layoffs are results of corporate decisions, often part of cost-cutting exercises. Don’t make it personal with your boss or the HR manager. The world is too small to make enemies, and life is too short to hold grudges. And what if it is personal? Your best option is still to forgive, forget and move on.
- Don’t beat yourself. Unless you were terminated due to poor performance or misconduct, there’s no point in beating yourself and self-pity. Remind yourself of your skills and strengths that made you successful in this job, and will make you successful in your next venture.
- Don’t get angry. Getting angry with your family, friends, cat, the taxi guy or anyone else is not going to change anything, except adding to the negative emotions. Remind yourself ‘when things seem to be falling apart, sometimes they are actually falling into place.’ So keep your cool.
- Don’t give up your health regimen. Losing a job is no excuse to binge on unhealthy stuff or give up the exercise. That will only make your feel worse, while increased physical activity will boost your motivation.
- Don’t hide. It’s tough answering everyone’s questions, but hiding isn’t the answer. Have the courage to tell your family and friends what has happened, and what your plans are. You’ll be surprised how supportive most people are, and the opportunities they may have that are just right for you.
- Do stick to a routine. So what if you don’t have to go to work. You should still wake up in the morning, still shave and shower, still dress up… then get on with the job of finding a job or working on your business plan. That itself is a full-time job that needs a plan, schedule and total attention.
- Do get back on your passion or hobby. Something that you love doing; something for which you didn’t have the time. For me, it was more reading, more writing, more walking. This weekend I plan to start cooking and experimenting with new Paleo recipes.
- Do some personal development. Learn something that helps in your next job/venture; take a course. These days you can learn so much on your own through the Internet, without spending any money. Or find a teacher/mentor who is happy to share his knowledge with you for free.
- Do things that keep your positivity and motivation level high. Be grateful for what you still have. Think positive thoughts. Use powerful vocabulary. Listen to inspiring music (ask for my inspiration playlist if you are interested). Watch uplifting movies or TED talks.
Do you know anyone who has lost his job and is struggling to stay positive? Do him a favor and send this to him. Thanks again for your never-ending messages of support and encouragement!