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How to Deal with the Loss of Job Identity

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Most of us today spend really long hours at work, and our jobs have almost taken over our lives, leaving us with very little time for anything else. Hence, it is accurate to say that our designations have become our primary identity. Even when we walk into a party and are introduced to other people, our job title is very much a part of the introduction. So, what happens when we leave the job and lose the designation?

How to Deal with the Loss of Job Identity
Many people feel completely lost when they do not have a job. In fact, a lot of them experience severe shock and depression when they are asked to resign or simply laid off. However, if we deal with the situation with a positive attitude, this loss of job can turn out to be quite a boon instead of a bane. How? It would finally give you the time to step back a little and re-evaluate where you are in your life and career. It will give you an opportunity to stand back and re-identify what you like and what you don't and what your passions are. This will in turn enable you to re-define your career goals and make a move towards a new and perhaps more fulfilling identity for yourself.

Here are some simple ways to handle the loss of your job identity and approach job loss with the right attitude:

Seek professional support: Most people feel terribly embarrassed at losing their jobs and get depressed even if the job loss was not their fault. This could lead to a lack of focus, which in turn could lead to the loss of self-worth. In such a situation, try and be around as many people as possible, and, by people, I mean people who are supportive and not the ones that get more anxious about your job loss (for example, your spouse may not be very positive about your job loss because of the financial distress that it causes). Join a support group and deal with the situation with others who are in the same position as you. This will help you to allay the feeling of isolation. Talk to friends and ex-colleagues about your situation and take their help in finding new job opportunities. Speak with a career coach or a recruiter about your job loss and let them help you with your job search. The worst thing you can do to yourself when you are laid off is lock yourself up and wallow in self-pity. Pick yourself up, talk to people, and find that new job.

Focus on creating a work-life balance: Take this opportunity to spend some quality time with your family or pursuing interests and hobbies that you did not have time for when you were working. Creating a more balanced life will boost your energy levels and help you re-define yourself and your career. It will also calm you down enough to focus on the next steps to take.

Define a new identity: Make a list of things that you enjoy doing and look for job opportunities that help you pursue these activities. This could be a good time to change industries or re-evaluate your skill-set and apply for jobs that are more in sync with your interests and skills. For all you know, this job loss may lead you to a better opportunity and allow you to pursue your passions.

Remember there is always a silver lining to every dark cloud. All you need to do is to focus on this silver lining. Go out, meet people, try out new things
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By using Employment Crossing, I was able to find a job that I was qualified for and a place that I wanted to work at.
Madison Currin - Greenville, NC
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