How to Climb Back (and Better) After You’ve Been Let Go.

Leverage the people around you to regain your footing after a job loss.

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One of the unavoidable (and emotionally charged) variables involved with job loss is people. Resentment toward people in your company for letting you go. Fear of embarrassment in the eyes of friends and coworkers. Devastation at the prospect of disappointing your family.

In fact, one of the main fears associated with job loss is fear of being viewed as a failure.

My uncle, Ken Sullivan, recalls losing his position as a Regional Sales Manager on Wall Street in 2002.

“It was pretty to-the-point. I got a call that they needed to reduce the head count. That included me.”

Sullivan’s company was facing an alarming shortage of capital in large part due to over-inflated stock prices.
 Though let go because of his company’s ominous financial situation rather than his own performance, Sullivan still found it difficult to deal with.
“It was definitely hard to break it to my wife. It also put a degree of financial strain on us that we did not anticipate.”

Anyone in Sullivan's shoes can relate to these pressures. But if you want to bounce back, you can leverage the people around you to regain your footing after a job loss.

Personal healing. After job loss, finding a new position is inevitably going to occupy a large and loud spot in your mental space. Going out for lunch or meeting up with friends will give your mind a respite from ruminating. And if it comes up, don’t be afraid to share. Responses can provide perspective and maybe even a job lead or two.

Professional recovery. Following his termination, my uncle was pleasantly surprised at the power of his personal network. “A few days after I was let go, I started making calls to friends, professional associates and relatives. I landed a new job within a month.” As many as 85% of jobs are filled through networking. Simply put, leverage your network to your advantage.

Job loss can be devastating, and the people in your life are inescapably tied to it — directly and indirectly. The key to recovery is harnessing their potential to offer a way forward, so you can climb back and better than ever before.

About the Author

Kenneth Vesey is an undergraduate at Fordham University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Marketing. With a background in Irish music and competitive forensic speech, Kenny is deeply interested in creative expression as a means to empower individuals in the workplace and transform companies at scale. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
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