What was your attitude when you first lost your job: Shock, Anger, Denial, Fear, Panic, Embarrassment, Shame? If you are experiencing any of these negative feelings, don’t be too hard on yourself. These are common emotions when a person loses a job. While these are normal feelings, they typically are considered to be bad or negative. What is wrong with a negative attitude? Even though an initial negative attitude is normal, it is not very helpful. In fact, it is downright harmful when you are in the process of seeking a new job. Step One will help in identifying your attitude and taking positive actions to create a positive new attitude.
Purpose: The purpose of this section is to help the job seeker deal with the emotions involved in losing a job and not quickly finding another. Why: Until the job seeker has dealt with the emotions of losing the last job, he or she is not in a position to interview effectively for the next job.
Job Seeker Life Cycle
There is a cycle of emotions that the job seeker, (who has lost his or her previous job,) experiences. These are shown graphically on the Job Seekers Life Cycle on the next page. Note: point X is a critical juncture. At this point a job seeker either begins to work diligently at finding the next job, or sinks into paralyzing despair.
The purpose of this section is to allow the job seeker and his or her spouse to understand the stress that lack of a job can place on a marital relationship, and how to reduce that stress. Why: It is typical for the “other spouse” (particularly if he or she is employed”, to suspect that the job seeker is not doing all that he or she could/should be doing to get the next job.
The “Stockdale” Paradox
When a person is in a job seeking mode, it is easy to become overly optimistic or pessimistic depending on current circumstances. The most appropriate mental posture is to be both realistic and hopeful.
Job Search Awareness
It is important that everyone you know and interact with is aware that you are in a job transition. Keeping this information secret will greatly hinder your job search.
A job search typically requires several months. One rule of thumb is that a job search will require one month for every ten thousand dollars of expected salary.
You may find that when you are in job search mode, you have some time for volunteer activities. Use these opportunities to expand your network and to gain experience in a potential new career direction.
The Role of Prayer
We have an all-powerful, loving God who desires the best for us and who has a plan for our lives. To only pray for a new job while not pursuing job search activities is not what God expects of us. Depending on our own efforts and not praying about the matter is worse.