My Dad worked for the same company his whole life, but today people can expect to have 5 to 15 jobs in their lifetime. I’m 44 and have had 5 employers so far and been made redundant twice! The good news is that the more change we go through the more resilient we become, and that will benefit us in all areas of our lives. However, if we have worked in the same company for a long time and our job is threatened, it can be hard to handle. Our brains are designed to fear change, which can lead to anger, anxiety or depression when we feel under threat.
In my hypnotherapy business I’ve seen many clients who’ve lost their confidence after losing their jobs. As a Business Coach I’ve supported many people through restructures and helped them prepare for the job market.
So as someone who’s been through it, and someone who’s helped others, here are my top tips for dealing with changes at work.
Accept that no job is ‘safe’ forever, and make sure you’re prepared. Things you can do:
- Save 3 months wages. This means you won’t panic about where next months mortgage is coming from or feel you have to take the first job you’re offered, however unsuitable.
- Have an up-to-date C.V. I’ve coached people who haven’t updated their C.V. for 20 years and it can feel like a very big task when you need it in a hurry. Get a template online and focus on what you’ve achieved in each job rather than your day to day duties. Update your C.V. every 6 months to capture key achievements.
- Get on LinkedIn and once you’re on it, use it to network. Connect with friends and colleagues, engage with conversations and get yourself known. Many recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates, and many jobs come through connections before they’re even advertised.
- Register on job sites that specialise in your area of work. Even if you’re not looking it’s useful to keep an eye on the job market and see what roles are being advertised. When you do need to look, it’s one less thing to do.
If you do lose your job
- Accept it’s natural to feel sad and worried. You may be missing colleagues, banter, a sense of purpose. Give yourself time to grieve for what you’ve lost.
- Set aside time each day for job hunting. As well as applying for jobs online, you might also register with agencies, network or approach companies directly. A routine will help.
- Try and keep to the same sleep schedule and wake up time. It can be tempting to lie in bed but getting out of your routine will make it harder when you find another job. It can also leave you feeling demotivated and down.
- Make sure you get out and about and see friends and family. Being at home alone all day can affect your mental wellbeing. If all your friends and family are working in the day, consider going to a coffee shop to do your job hunting.
- People need a sense of purpose for good mental health. So now might be a good time to tackle a project you’ve not had time for before. It might be decorating, decluttering or getting fit. Make the most of the extra time, you’ll soon be back in work and wishing you’d made more of your time off!
- Take comfort in the fact that this experience will make you more resilient and adaptive to change in the future.
If your mental health has suffered after a job loss or poor working environment, get in touch to see how hypnotherapy can help.