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Tips on getting back on the job market after losing a stable career

Starting again after losing a stable career

Are you back on the job market after a stable career and not sure where to start?

When you started your job years ago you committed to your company. You invested hours and hours of your time to do extra work because you cared for the company and valued your manager and team. You felt part of the company’s culture, you were loyal and committed and you did not get tempted by new job offers on the market. You gave what you could and in return you expected the company to invest in you and to look after you. Then times got hard, Covid 19 happened and the company you worked so hard for just let you go. No real explanation, no big pay out and not even a real thank you.

You might ask yourself; What now? You know you are a successful, educated expert in your job or industry. You used to run meetings, teams, projects and you were respected. You worked hard to get where you are in your career and gain respect from your peers and leaders. Now  you have to start again and you don’t want to! You keep thinking that you don’t deserve this. This is not fair. Why did it happen to me? You are angry and upset. How will you tell your friends and family? How will you pay your bills? How long will it take  to find a new job? Will you even find a new job?  Your brain is racing with all these questions  and all you want is for things to go back to normal but you know they won’t. Losing a job is a shock at the best of times but losing it right now is even harder. 

However maybe there’s a flip side. Maybe losing your job is exactly what you needed. I know it might sound strange but allow me to explain… 

When did you last have the opportunity to really sit down and review where you are in your job or career?  Stop with the self-pity and start looking for opportunities. You are not the only one in this situation but you are the only one who can decide how you are going to deal with it. 

Take time to review your life and career to date and once you are ready, decide which of the 3 categories apply to you. Then take the steps to get back on track with your career.

You loved your job and want to go back to the same/ similar role

  • Look at what roles are available in your industry but check different industries too
  • Make a list of companies you want to work for
  • Make a list of recruitment agencies specialising in the area of expertise you have and connect with them on LinkedIn
  • Search on Indeed what additional skills do these roles have you don’t mention on your CV and if you can do them add them
  • Search your chosen companies on LinkedIn and connect with them and their Talent/ HR representatives. Send them a message with your CV to consider you when they start hiring

You loved your job but lost your motivation, energy and passion for the job

You once used to like what you did for a living but you lost your interest in the job.  Maybe it was because you were in the same job for too long doing the same thing over and over without learning anything new and challenging yourself. You need a change.

  • Think of what was missing in your previous role, what would make it a great job again and what type of roles would provide that
  • Make a list of transferable skills you have and can use in a different role or industry
  • Look at consulting/advising positions in any areas of your expertise
  • Look into writing a guide or an e-book on the subject of your expertise
  • Research guest speaking opportunities or contribute to online forums in your industry through LinkedIn connections
  • Find things about the job to reignite your passion and follow them

You were in the completely wrong career and you kept pushing the little voice in your head away because the job paid you well

Finally you admitted it to yourself. You were unhappy in your job or career for years and the only thing that kept you there was the job security and the stable income. Now it is gone and you’ve had  time to think about it and you are ready to reinvent yourself.

  • Decide on what you want to do. If you are not sure, write a list of options, write or imagine how your day will look like, what skills will you be using, what type of people you will be surrounded by. Will you have a boss or will you be your own boss? Are you a leader, manager or an employee? Are you working remotely or are you required in the office when it becomes allowed?  What does your commute look like? What are your working hours?
  • Make a list of skills you have and the list of skills you need to do your new job and decide on the time frame and a cost. You might need to invest in yourself a little to make the change.
  • Write a plan of action you can follow every day to move closer to your ideal job. Learn from free online courses, watch YouTube videos, listen to podcasts, read blog posts.
  • If you are easily distracted or have a lack of motivation you need someone to make you accountable at least in the beginning. Get a coach or find someone close to you  who can support or help you. Listen to motivational material to keep your mind away from the doubts of doing the wrong thing when times get hard.
  • Look at online forums in your area of expertise and help people. It will keep your skills fresh and keep your confidence levels up until you make it and you never know, you might be helping your future clients.

Whatever your choice be patient and remember it’s you who will decide if this is a new opportunity or a disaster. 

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