How to move forward after losing a job

After moving my family 1,000 miles away and finding a job I thought would become a career for years to come, I got knocked on my butt and was told to hit the bricks. One year after starting, I was out. It hurt badly. Married, with a child, mortgage and car payments, and suddenly no income coming in, I was wounded and didn’t know what to do next.

If you’ve never been laid off or fired — you don’t know just how bad it feels. Combine the shock with the rush of anxious, fearful emotions and you’re scrambling just to stay sane. I get it. If you find yourself there now, please know that you WILL figure it out and find a way to move forward. It’s not easy. But overcoming this adversity will change your life forever.

Urgency clarifies your need for what’s most important. As the saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention.” Urgency inspires and induces your best, most creative thoughts. It’s only when you turn to fear of succeeding that you truly commit yourself to ruin.

The fear of failure is one of the greatest motivating tools all of us can use to our advantage if we just allow ourselves the freedom of will to do so.

I’ve seen in my own life that the down times — the real adversity and pain is never as bad as it appears at first blush. It’s when you have faith, discipline, perseverance, and vision for something better that you begin to see the life you know you’re destined to live.

If you find yourself thinking about giving up — wondering if you’ll ever land on your feet again — know that these shocking moments are here for a reason. They’re meant to keep us honest. And oftentimes, even in a global pandemic, they’re here to remind us that something better is going to come along if we’re willing to dig a bit deeper and find ourselves.

That painful shock inside that feels like it pierces your heart is a blessing in disguise. It’s a sign sent to you telling you that you can have what you desire most if you really want it. Here’s how to get there:

Create Your Plan for Success

Draw up a plan that starts with the following things:

  • Identifying your passion and strengths
  • List all of your transferable skills that could be applied to any job
  • Ask yourself the question, “What do I really want?” Even if you’re not able to get it in this market, you at least have a starting point that creates a framework for specificity. Getting specific will help you focus your search in a way that eliminates wasted time. And…
  • It helps you to best identify the people in your network that can help you. Your network will be your best group of people to rely on. Reach out once you know what you want. Be able to give concise details on exactly what you’re looking for so they’re best positioned to help you
  • Focus your time and energy (outside of your job search) on your family, loved ones, friends and activities that bring joy to your life. Bring as many positive vibes and experiences into your life
  • Adopt a meditation practice to help center you emotionally, mentally and spiritually
  • Exercise. Physical exercise like running, lifting weights and dancing will produce endorphins and actually help you release stress and pain
  • Focus on a holistic approach to your wellness and you will move forward with clarity, confidence and conviction

Don’t get discouraged if the results don’t happen immediately. Things have a way of working themselves out for those who continue to apply what they’ve learned and what they desire to do every day. Stop beating yourself up and hurting on the inside because you perceive that you haven’t done enough.

Remarkable Success Stories of People Who Lost Jobs

You just have to keep going and give things some time. Don’t believe me? Look at these success stories:

Steve Jobs was FIRED from the company he founded! When he returned to Apple over 10 years later, he built it into the most profitable company on the planet.

Michael Jordan suffered crushing playoff defeats for six seasons. He didn’t win a championship until his seventh season in the NBA. He then went on to win six championships in the next 6.5 seasons that he played.

Mark Cuban was famously fired as a salesman early on in his life, then went on to start several companies and has amassed a fortune of over $2 Billion.

J.K. Rowling endured depression, physical and mental abuse, poverty and humiliation. She had her book rejected by dozens of literary agents and publishers. Today, we know her as one of the most successful authors to ever live.

Anna Wintour was once working at Harper’s Bazaar as a junior fashion editor. Her editor wasn’t a huge fan and fired her after 9 months. She went on to become one of the most successful figures in the fashion world.

What we find in life is that everyone can ride high in the good times. But the good times don’t last forever. We’re going to encounter loss and adversity. Everyone can also meet defeat. It’s through our experiences that we grow and experience success, which only we can truly define for ourselves.

Adversity Will Help You

Dr. Laurence Weinzimmer, author of the book, The Wisdom of Failure, found that by researching 25 leadership books that many of them said the same thing. But what he extracted as a hidden lesson provides tremendous value to all of us:

“What we found with most of our interviews was that most leaders told us the most important lessons came from their toughest challenges.”

We’re going to have highs and lows. This is the part in life most people aren’t prepared for, because most people aren’t prepared to get knocked on their asses. Heck, I wasn’t. But thinking back to the times I had to pick up the pieces from scratch, I now recognize that it’s how I persevered mentally and emotionally that has mattered most in the end.

Losing my job, only to rebuild my professional life, work ethic, emotional framework and resolve to jump start my entrepreneurial and professional career? The best thing that ever happened to me for future success.

It’s crazy. Getting knocked down is the best thing that can happen to you as long as you promise yourself you’ll get back up — and never give up.

What about you — what’s next? What are you doing about it?

Remember where you are. Remember what this feels like. Use this to motivate you forward. You have a plan. You just need to execute.

Don’t ever think that progress you’ve made on your journey has been in vain. Don’t live with regret. You can always build off of the foundation you’ve created. These are your values. These are your wins and lessons learned. Use them to your advantage to propel yourself in the direction of the life you desire.

Successful people know it is through losing that we begin to build for the next win. We’re forced to go back to the drawing board and draw up the plans that will lead us to the life of our dreams. Get to work. You can do it.

This article first appeared on Medium.

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