Exactly a month ago, I stopped working full time. It was completely unexpected and something we are still processing. Over the last few weeks, I’ve really felt the need to share my story and how I handled this unexpected job loss in hopes that it will help others in a similar situation. Losing a job is always really difficult, whether it was unexpected or you saw it coming, and?whether it was your fault or not. Last year I walked through both of my parents losing their jobs and I truly never expected to walk through it myself this year, especially just being shy of two years out from graduating college.
With all of that said, these last four weeks have been great in so many ways and God has been so faithful in providing everything we’ve needed financially, physically, and emotionally.
The reality is that most people will lose a job at some point in their life. I’m sure there’s a statistic out there to back that up, but it just seems like everyone goes through it at some point, even the best employees can be at the wrong place at the wrong time and end up losing their job over it. Whether you’re at the executive level or in an entry level position, it can happen to anyone. This isn’t a reason to live in fear, but it is something that you should keep in the back of your head and just remind yourself to never get too comfortable or not put forth effort in a job.
There are a few things that we have done over the last month that have really set the stage for making this a fairly easy transition and I hope some of them will help you, if the time ever comes that you need this advice.
Let yourself sulk
This doesn’t mean to lay in bed all day for weeks, but especially when it first happens, it’s okay to just let yourself feel everything that is going on. It’s okay to cry, scream, or punch your pillow if you need to. Especially if it all came as a pretty big surprise, you may be really feeling a lot of emotions. Feel them. Don’t ignore them.
Amidst a whole lot of confusion about what just happened or what’s going to happen next, take the time to seek God. More than likely He has a plan so much bigger than you can imagine. Take the time you need to figure out what that plan might be or what the next steps are for you to take.
Tell close friends
Regardless of?how you lost your job, there is probably going to be some guilt and shame that come with all of the other emotions you’re feeling. First of all, remind yourself that that guilt or shame is?not from God and you shouldn’t dwell on it. But also you should make sure not to let it control who you want to tell. Your friends (and family) are going to be the people who support you through the next chapter of figuring things out and it will help you in the long run to be open with them and let them know what’s going on. You’d want them to do the same for you, of course.
Figure out a game plan
This is the part two of seeking God. After some time, you might start to feel like you should or shouldn’t take certain next steps. Figure out your game plan and what’s best for your situation. Should you look for another job? File for unemployment? Assess your situation and your finances and figure out how you’re going to make the next period of time work. For us that was figuring out how to make our current bank account and savings last and also figuring out if we should look for another job right away. I’ll share more about what this really looked like for us in the next few weeks.
Don’t beat yourself up
If you’re the primary income in your family then it might be really easy to beat yourself up and blame yourself for any financial problems you may run into over the next few weeks or months searching for a job.?Don’t. It’s not healthy, it has no benefit to you and you shouldn’t do it. Things happen and regardless of how you ended up in the situation you’re in, it’s not a valid excuse for tearing yourself down because of what happened. Keep your head up and remember God’s plan for this next chapter.
This one is one of the most important, in my opinion. Along with not sulking, you also shouldn’t sit around aimlessly. It’s okay to stay busy, take some time for yourself or time to enjoy a hobby while you’re not working 8-5. Make sure to keep up with applying for jobs, if that fits within your plan, or keeping up with the things you need to around the house. Don’t let this time be an excuse to just waste days or weeks of time. Personally for me, having the extra free time has allowed me to sleep more and keep up with blogging and graphic design work more than I usually am able to. That part has been a much needed blessing for me!
Staying positive in the middle of a hardship like losing a job can be so difficult. But that positivity is what is going to make this time period a learning period and a time where God can use this uncertainty to bless you in some amazing ways. Whether this is a current season for you, upcoming season, or one you may never have gone through, I truly pray that you allow God to use it to mold your next chapter.
If you know someone who’s going through a situation like this, it would meant the world to me (and probably them!) if you shared this with them. You can share below!