In my first blog about losing a job or transitioning to a new job, we saw the big picture impact of this major life event. The reality is that time is needed to regroup and get back on your feet.

Time to Regroup

If you’re taking all the blame for your job loss, rightly or wrongly, it’s time to move on. You’ve made it this far in your career because you have value to offer. It’s time to focus on your strengths and forgive yourself for your “weaknesses”. If a friend was in a similar situation to you, I’m sure you would show compassion to them. You’d be supportive, encouraging and positive… why not treat yourself that way? Take inventory of your strengths and positive attributes and focus on those.

If you’re feeling negative, bitter or angry that’s okay… for a short time. Let’s face it, it feels good to vent and to get it all out… and you should. Personally, I wrote it all down, reread it a couple of times before deleting it both literally and figuratively.

It’s time to start planning for your future and to think positively…Take to begin thinking about the direction you want to take in your life. Do you want to get back into the field you were just in? Do you want to pursue a personal passion? Do you want to retreat into the mountains or travel the world in a way you never could before? Truth be told, I was surprised how hard it was to uncover my passion. I know you may not feel you have the time to devote to this part of yourself, but it’s an important part of positively moving forward. At the very least, plan a little time each day to focus on identifying your path. As for me, my next 2 jobs were on the same career path, but eventually I found my passion which led to a new path for me as a Career and Executive Coach.

Over the years, you’ve developed a routine that has just been blown apart. It’s time to start a new routine. Searching for a job can be a long, difficult and testing time in your life. There will be many days when you feel like you spent the whole day, very busy, but you have nothing to show for it.

The reality is that you probably did better than you think you did. One way to ensure this is to set realistic goals for yourself. What are your goals for the day? How many emails will you send? How many calls will you make? How many new contacts will you make through your existing contacts? The point is that you can be very detail oriented and you can measure your success each day and/or each week based on your short-term objectives and your daily success will not and should not be based on whether you got a new job or not.

What about YOU!!!???

You also need to take time away from your job search. It may come in the form of a morning meditation, it may be a daily exercise routine and it may include short 10-minute mind-clearing breaks throughout the day. Doing this is critical to keeping focused and energized on your new life.

Also, what about you as a person? Now that you’re out of work, do you also feel like you’ve lost your identity? Isaac Morehouse, founder and CEO of Praxis writes that there is more to every one of us than just our job or career. He challenges the status quo and explains, “Your story is fun, entertaining, unexpected, and lively.

It’s the narrative arc of your life, your motivations, your goals, what wakes you up in the morning, and why you do what you do. It’s not a summary of past accomplishments or even current activities.”, What is more interesting or compelling, someone who says “I’m a salesperson” or someone who says “I’m the father of 3 who is showing my kids how to impact the world in a positive way and I’m helping people better their situation at the same time”? Whatever the next stage of your life brings you, don’t define yourself by your job, define yourself by telling your story and what really is important to you.

Part 3 of this 4 part series is entitled: “Survive and thrive after a job loss when you’re 50+/- years old: Finding your way to a better life” will be published shortly.