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Handling Forced Change

Tags:  Career advice, Job loss

-- by Doug Picirillo, Employaid Contributing Editor

What You Need Now
The worst has happened.  What do you do next?  You're going to need, clear thinking, emotional control, a good plan and lots of human contact.

Don't Lose Your Head
The turmoil in the financial industry has affected millions.  For some, the effects are minor changes in rates or prices.  For others, maybe YOU, the impact has been devastating.  You may have lost your job or your home or both.  Perhaps you are simply worried that one of these is going to happen to you.  You want to know where you go from here.  You want to know how to handle these major losses.  First, don't lose your head!  This is not just a glib play on words.  It's the truth.  You need to take a step back and see the situation with some emotional distance.  I know, that is easier to say than to do.  It may take a little time, a few days or a couple of weeks to find that distance.  But it is absolutely essential that you do so!  You're going to need a plan to deal with the situation.  To put together a plan that makes sense – and to carry it out – will require your best effort and clear thinking.

You Are Not Alone
You are not alone in what you are feeling right now.  You are experiencing some combination of anger, disappointment, hurt, embarrassment, frustration, shock and sadness.  Maybe you saw this coming and are in some sense relieved.  Whatever emotions are currently dominant, they all represent the same thing:  We all react emotionally to unwanted change.  We grieve when we lose something important.  Some will hide it well.  Others will just let it all come flooding out.  We don't all show our pain the same way, but we all feel it.  This is natural.  Don't fight it; but don't linger in it either. 

Put Your Grief on An Energy Budget
You won't be able to get rid of the past, heal from this shock and embrace the future as long as you let it have more energy than the healing process really requires.  It does require some.  Don't ignore it.  You need to invest a little bit of yourself and your energy in creating a sense of closure.  But own your emotions as you let them run their natural, healing course.  Put them on an energy budget.  You are going to need a lot of energy soon when you get going with your recovery plan.  Maybe not today, tomorrow or this week, but you will need to get going! 

Talk to People
Wherever you are in your transition, day one, day three or day thirty, you must talk to people.  Talk to people who know you.  Talk to people who will be honest with you.  Talk about your strengths and weaknesses.  Talk about your plan.  Find out if it makes sense to other people.  Network, network and network some more! 

Take an inventory of your sources of strength.  I don't mean your ""job strengths""; I mean your sources of inner strength.  Line them up in your mind's eye, take a deep breath and tap into them. 

It will be okay.

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