Being unemployed or under-employed, can feel like the end of the world! The shock of losing your professional identity can have a really strong, negative impact on your life, and it takes time to accept and adjust to that new reality. When your career comes to a dead stop, you will experience many emotions: unresolved grief; rational and irrational fears; your self-esteem flies out the window; and you will find that there will be days where your “generalized anxiety” will go through the roof.
Word of caution: If you are spending time second-guessing hiring managers, job applications and HR decisions: Don’t! It is an absolute waste of your time and emotional energy. You will never be able to fathom what is going on in the decision-making process on any hire! After you hit “send” on that application, it’s wise to let go, pivot straight back to job search, and get more leads into the funnel.
While you’re in accepting and adapting mode, it’s a really good idea to get some perspective on where you are at with your career…It’s good to know where you stand on the continuum: Entry level (1-5 years)? Miid-level (5-10 years)? Senior level (10-15 years)? Exec level (15-20+ years)? Knowing where you stand will help you keep your expectations realistic about your own status within your own industry, and also will help you clearly articulate where you are heading next. When you clearly articulate what’s next, it puts others in a position to actually help you! Don’t leave anyone guessing!
Grief is real. Once you start moving through acceptance and adaptation, put your focus on reinvention, and getting to that next level! Do your career homework: re-write your goals, upgrade all your marketing tools like resumes, your Bio, your personal brand, and your social media profiles, and dive deep into researching companies that you would like to work with.
The New You!
Reinvention is the best way out of grief: try to embrace growing and changing; be clear on your messaging around where you want to head next; build a support network of peers; share your experience (past), strength (present) and hope (future); and connect, connect, CONNECT! If you’re looking for a peer group, consider joining one of mediaINTELLIGENCE’s Career Activism groups.
Self-care: You cannot do a good job of job search 24/7. You need to take mental breaks. You are allowed time off of job search, if you’re not feeling quite up to it on a given day. Give yourself permission to rest. Ensure you get some balance: social activities, connecting authentically with others, stay away from nay-sayers and those who aren’t actually qualified to give you career advice! Mitigate your stress through qualitative connecting, learning, meditation, nutrition a/o exercise. Most importantly, on evenings and weekends, don’t ruminate endlessly about making money. Focus on enjoying your life, replenishing your own well, and get back to revenue/lead generation on Monday morning!
The good news
Please understand that this is a temporary state only. Covid-19 has really levelled the playing field: everyone’s under-employed! There’s less societal “stigma” around unemployment than ever! Work on getting “truly conscious” about your goals, your personal growth, life balance, and your reinvention. And do your career homework!
You are not alone. You can reinvent. Contact me and let’s talk about your individual needs, and consider joining one of our Career Activism groups. We are here to help each other.