5 Things To Do If You Lose Your Job

Why Listen to Me?

The life and career of a sales person can be a rollercoaster. Just ask my wife! We have had great years, and we have had some really tough times since 2008 when the economy was starting to prepare itself for a tailspin.

I am writing this from the experiences I have encountered since the start of the recession in 2008. I didn’t ask to lose my position(s). It just happened. I found myself in fear and not a clue what to do. After several cutbacks and reductions in workforce, I was able to put together a repeatable process that I have successfully used whenever I have found myself in a position of being on the sidelines. Unfortunately this has been more often than I care to have dealt with, but things happen in life that are unfair to all of us. And feeling sorry for yourself (well…maybe for one day) isn’t going to help the situation correct itself any faster.

So here are the five things that I have learned that are important during this time, and would highly recommend. 

1. Setting the right Attitude

The stress of losing your job can rank up there with divorce and losing a loved one. But do not become paralyzed by stress and fear during this crisis. You must resign to the fact that your first oder of action is to remain calm. By maintaining a positive attitude, you will be able to recognize that losing your job is not a bad thing, but rather an opportunity to embark on a new path. Early on it is important to embrace the fact that this will be hard work, and on the upside the rewards can potentially be great. I cannot emphasize the importance of maintaining a positive outlook on the journey to a new career position. The one thing that I would internally chant to myself to get through the rough patch is the following:

“Put it in your mind that this is a temporary setback, your former company is in your rear view mirror, and after this is over, you will be in a far better position than you were before.”

Your mental attitude during this time is critical to the success of your campaign. Attitude determines the course of your job search destiny. There will be tension in the household and one needs to be able to contend with this in a positive fashion. I recommend reading positive motivation material to keep you on track. One of my all time favorites is "The Little Gold Book of YES Attitude" by Jeffrey Gitomer. I highly recommend reading a couple of pages everyday to keep you mentally balanced during this trying time. 

 Jeffrey Gitomer's "YES" Attitude

Jeffrey Gitomer's "YES" Attitude

2. Conduct a Financial Analysis

In any business situation it is imperative to understand where you are at in any given situation. It is no different when it comes to your personal life and unemployment. The number one most important item, is to gain an assessment of where you (and your family) are at on several different fronts: first and foremost: Finances. This is the time to redo the budget, determine where the family can cut back on spending. Remember, this is temporary and there will be sacrifices. 

 Determine how much financial "Runway" you have 

Determine how much financial "Runway" you have 

Good places to start are to work with the cable companies by negotiating a better rate with them. They are very good about working with you rather than losing you as a customer. Other ideas of cost cutting include working with your bank to do "interest only" on your loans, call all utility and cell phone companies to set up minimum payments, scale back on groceries, and completely cut out all entertainment. Eating out and movies will have to be brought in house until further notice. This is a good excuse to bring fun back into the home. Secondly, have clarity on what your monthly costs are and how long your savings can carry you. This will be a determining factor on how selective you can be about an offer and your leverage when negotiating. Following a strict budget during this phase will ease the stress levels within the household. You must get things under control in this area in order to build a solid foundation for your upcoming job search campaign. No distractions while you are doing important work.

Thank you for joining me on Part 1 of "5 Things To Do If You Lose Your Job. Next week we will look at the last three suggestions. 

Email me with questions or suggestions to mark@boydsiview.com.