“Remember this, nobody is thinking about you.”
The pandemic of 2020 brought new challenges to the world of work. Many people have lost their job, their business, their livelihood.
As someone who has experienced painful job loss more than once, I want to share a few tips from my experience on the theme of resilience, or the ability to spring back in to shape.
1. Remember – it’s your job that’s redundant, not you. I know it doesn’t feel like that sometimes, but try not to take it personally and don’t beat yourself up.
2. Don’t define yourself by the job you’ve been doing. Most people are capable of switching to other careers, or even starting their own business. I changed career at 49. You could do that. Believe it.
3. Stay connected with your support network. Popstar-turned-vicar Rev. Richard Coles wrote of a piece of advice given to him by an aunt when he was young. She said “Remember this, Richard, nobody is thinking about you.” It’s generally true that most people are thinking mainly about themselves, so you need to be proactive and be the one that reaches out to others. Remember particularly that it’s hard for your loved ones at this time, too.
4. Treat looking for a job as your job. Work at it as a 9-5 job with structure, proper breaks and the occasional treat.
5. Develop a desire to hear the word “No”. Every no is a potential learning opportunity and gets you closer to the eventual “Yes”.
6. Break the rules sometimes. If a job advert says to apply by email, find a way around it. Make an old-fashioned phone call. You may be making their job of filling the vacancy easier. I know this works.
7. Do your homework. Research the company and work out some good questions to ask them. People love that (and expect it).
8. Keep the pipeline full. Never sit back waiting for people to respond (nobody’s thinking about you, remember?). Keep churning out those applications.
9. Tell everyone that you’re on the market – I mean, everyone. Friends, ex-colleagues, the postman, the man at the Off-Licence, everyone. People know people and often want to help.
10. It’s OK to be down, as long as you don’t stay down. There’ll be days when your energy and spirits are high, and others when you feel demotivated. Accept that it’s a rollercoaster and make the most of the ups.
Finally, since I started work in 1977, I have experienced the effects of redundancy, recessions, restructures, takeovers, financial crises, strikes, good years, bad years and everything in between. And now a global pandemic. But I’m still here, still working, and probably enjoying my “third career” as much as anything I’ve done before. Resilience has a lot to do with that.
Paul Reynolds is the Program Director for our Step into Management Program and delivers executive coaching programs for those who want to really accelerate their performance. To find out more about how Paul can help you and your team please call 01606 883383 or email firstname.lastname@example.org