What should you do if you've lost your job? There are a million things you can do, but it's difficult to know where to start. Even if, like me, you're blessed enough to be employed in spite of the global economic turmoil, it's important to know how to rebound if you're sent packing without warning.
1. Give thanks. Whether it's to your higher power, your friends, your family, your pets, or yourself, there is something for you to appreciate and be grateful for. No matter how bad you feel that you've lost your job, things could be worse - you're well aware of the suffering many humans have gone and are going through. This first step might be just the thing you need to kick-start your deflated ego's motivation to go out and find the next great thing in your life.
2. Do what you love and be different doing it. You know you have skill, knowledge or passion that gives you an edge over others who are competing fiercely in the job market. Can you create something useful, beautiful, or just plain silly? Sell it on Etsy. Have you kept a journal? Publish it as a memoir on Lulu. Passionate about helping the homeless, furthering animal welfare, or ending cancer? Get involved and volunteer - you never know who you'll meet or what positive changes you'll bring about in others' lives and your own.
3. Communicate. Starting a blog; joining Facebook, LinkedIn, and "real-life" networking groups like Rainmakers; calling old buddies, coworkers and teachers - that's all great and might generate some good leads toward a new job or career. But don't overlook the power in the simplicity of talking to your neighbors, folks you see regularly at your local haunt, or heck, even your supposed enemies. No matter how you get in touch with people in our high-tech times, having a good conversation is as powerful as ever. Unfortunately, we often rely too much on our email, Facebook or text messaging to communicate instead of having simple face-to-face conversations. Plus, conversation is a good reason to have a cup of coffee or good meal.
4. Learn. The world is based on change, and you won't get anywhere if you aren't open to new experiences. Though the cost of learning can be quite high, it's likely to pay off, especially when you need every advantage you can get with the number of skilled, well-educated people hunting for jobs today. Learning doesn't have to mean going to college. Use your local library, the internet, or find professionals who are willing to have you as an apprentice. Into woodcarving, cooking, marketing, or pretty much anything else? There are more ways than ever to educate yourself, gain experience, and profit for your own well-being, as long as you have the will to do so. Don't have the will? Go back to #1 and start again.
5. Be different. Lots of people are in the same situation you are. Lots of people have the same experience, education, lack of money, desire to succeed as you. But are they all different in employers', investors', purchasers' or supporters' eyes? Probably not. There's a good chance someone else has your name (I know you've Googled your name!), and there's an infinitely better chance that in this world, someone's competing for the same space in life that you're vying for. But there is a way for you to stand out, and you know it. Exploit it. Share it. If you haven't found it, go back to step 3 and ask someone how you're different - you might be pleasantly surprised.
Bonus tip (sorry, I lied when I wrote "Top 5"): Be a jack of many trades and also a master of one. Many people know a little about a lot of things - do you know a lot about one thing, too? If not, learn how to apply everything you know and everything you enjoy to doing what you love. You'll not only be a more well-rounded person, you'll be more marketable in the job market, more happy, and you'll make the world a better place.
Songs randomly played in my iTunes library while writing this post:
"Give Thanks" - Bob Marley
"It's a Shame" - the Spinners
"The Days" - Eliot Lipp
"Somebody" - Depeche Mode
"Tchaparian" - Hot Chip
"Revolution" the Beatles
"You" - Marvin Gaye
"Had to Cry Today" - Blind Faith
"Don Gon Do It" - the Rapture
"Fit You Haffe Fit" - Black Uhuru
"No Rain" - Blind Melon
"Side 8" - Tobacco
"Take This Job and Shove It" - Dead Kennedys
"Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved" - James Brown
I'm not kidding about the last two!
What tips can you offer about those who are out of work and searching for employment?
A bonus bonus tip: Don't dwell. What's done is done, and thinking about what you coulda shoulda woulda done gets you nowhere but further into the hole you're in. Look forward to positive changes, and good things will come.