Suddenly Without a Job?
Losing a job can be scary. The demands of job loss can attack you emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. After losing your job, you may feel you have nothing to contribute to a new company or position. You may be wondering what you are going to do to get back into the workforce or why this has happened to you. Even in these uncertain and difficult times of being unemployed, you can find peace.
Below are some common concerns and suggestions for those who have recently lost their job:
It is normal after losing a job to feel grief. It is important to give yourself time to recover from such an experience, but it is also vital to begin looking for a new job soon after you become unemployed. Surviving Unemployment: An Opportunity to Rely on the Lord can help you identify specific actions you can take to get started searching for a job.
Losing your job can cause you to lose confidence in yourself and your abilities. Confidence is an important ingredient in getting a job. If you can identify your strengths and abilities, you will be able to show them to employers better.
Identify your strengths. Take time to identify the gifts and skills that you have. Think about how those gifts and skills have helped you to accomplish specific goals or tasks in your life. Employment Resource Services and Self-Reliance Centers offer a free workshop, called the Career Workshop, which can help you identify your abilities and confidently market those abilities to potential employers.
Learn a new skill. Another way you can rebuild your confidence is to learn something new. Identify something interesting that you would like to learn, whether big or small. Set a goal and learn it. Find a book or a workshop that can teach you the skills, or consider going back to school or taking a training course. If you need to, update your skills and prepare yourself for better employment.
Teach others. Look for opportunities to share your talents, skills, and abilities with others. Volunteer in the community. You may be surprised to find out how many volunteer opportunities are in your area.
Stress is a common side effect of job loss. It is manifest in many ways, including anxiety, trouble sleeping, physical pain, and relationship problems.
Identify your stress and plan how to deal with it. You can alleviate many of your stresses by identifying them and planning how to deal with them. Learn how to recognize and reduce your stress).
Pray. Ask in prayer for help to accomplish those tasks that are causing you stress. As you search for a job, remember to include God in your job search. Be thankful in your prayers.
Seek and find forgiveness. If you have left a job on bad terms, you may have negative feelings toward the company, an employer, a coworker, or even yourself. These negative emotions can add to your stress. They can also hinder your ability to move on. Seek to work out your feelings.
Look for ways to be happy. Remember to laugh and be positive every day.
This may be a perfect time to consider your choices.
Explore your options. Look at what jobs you have held in the past, your current interests, and your goals. Find out what types of jobs might suit you better by conducting informational interviews. Network to find out what jobs are available that are not advertised. Consider whether you would benefit from getting additional education.
Attend an employment workshop. Employment Resource Services and Self-Reliance Centers offer several free workshops: the Career Workshop, the Self-Employment Workshop, and, at some locations, the Professional Placement Program to help you be more successful in finding work or starting your own business.
Identify your transferrable skills. If you are changing careers, list the skills, talents, and abilities you have gained in previous jobs or volunteer experiences. Consider how your abilities have helped you to achieve specific accomplishments. Create a “me in 30 seconds” statement and power statements.
Find a mentor. Work with a mentor or job coach to prepare your “me in 30 seconds” statement, network profile, and power statements. Prepare a brief explanation that you can share with people about your circumstances. Doing so can help you feel confident when you talk to your networks. Role-play situations with your mentor. Plan how you can resolve questions that potential employers may have. As you begin to network, discuss your experiences with your mentor. Request his or her feedback and be willing to make changes.
Inform your networks. Seek out networking opportunities. Talk to everyone, join social networking groups, and distribute your network profile. Do not allow yourself to withdraw from others. Networking greatly increases your opportunities of finding work and can decrease the amount of time you are unemployed. Oftentimes, bishops, Relief Society and elders quorum presidents, and ward employment specialists can be your most helpful contacts.
Allow people to serve you. Losing your job can be humbling. Such an experience can cause you to grow in many aspects of your life. Be willing to let people assist you. Prayerfully request help from Heavenly Father to accept people’s service, suggestions, and good advice.
“God does notice us, and he watches over us,” said President Spencer W. Kimball (1973–1985). “But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom. The people of the Church need each other’s strength, support, and leadership in a community of believers as an enclave of disciples. In the Doctrine and Covenants we read about how important it is to ‘… succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees’ (D&C 81:5.)” (“Small Acts of Service,” Ensign, Dec. 1974, 2).
“Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers” (D&C 112:10).
You may be worried that no one will ever want to hire you again because of your work history, but remember that you have value as an employee. Think of your positive qualities and characteristics. Prepare a “me in 30 seconds” statement and power statements that you can share with those with whom you network and with potential employers. Focus on the positive aspects of your job history, work experience, and abilities. If you need help preparing these statements, consult with your mentor or a staff member from Employment Resource Services or a Self-Reliance Center. Take every opportunity to network and share your networking profile.
Be proactive at overcoming your weaknesses and improving your skills. The Career Workshop can assist you in planning how to conquer your obstacles and in identifying resources in your ward and community to help you.