You just lost your job. Now what? One of a man’s biggest fears is losing his job and being unable to provide for his family. In fact, some men would rather lose their lives than the ability to take care of their families financially.
That’s because as men, we often attach our value, self-worth, and identity to what we do for a living. But since what we do for a living isn’t actually who we are, what should a man do after he loses his job? How can he bounce back? Here are 5 things you can do to keep from losing your mind after you’ve lost your job.
1. Do an honest assessment.
Ask yourself some self-reflecting questions: Was it something you did or didn’t do that cost you the job? Were you a good steward of your time on the job? Were you faithful in the little things? Self-reflection is necessary so you don’t make the mistake of bringing the old you into a new job.
You may not be able to change what happened on your old job, but you can make sure it doesn’t happen again. So, honestly ask yourself: “What happened? Was it my fault? What could I have done differently?”
2. Resist playing the victim.
Even if it wasn’t your fault you lost your job, this is not the time to throw a pity party. First of all, nobody’s coming to it. Secondly, if the party lasts too long, you could end up losing a lot more than just your job. Instead, take your power back by standing on a truth you know in your heart, rather than believing a lie in your head.
Whenever I’ve ever lost a job, there’s a scripture in the Bible I immediately cling to: “All things will work together for my good, according to God’s ultimate purpose.” What truth do you cling to? Use this setback as a set-up for your comeback. That way, when you walk into your next job, you’ll thank God for it—and not just whine about the job you lost.
3. Humble yourself.
Lost your job? Be willing to take on any job you can get—even if you think it’s beneath you. The goal is to get the job you can until you’re able to get the job you want. When I once lost a job, I had trouble finding another one because I was “overqualified.” But I didn’t let my Ph.D. get in the way of getting a J-O-B as a salesman, which helped me provide for my family.
Yes, it was embarrassing. Yes, it made me feel bad about myself. But my bills didn’t care where the paycheck came from. They just needed to be paid. So, whether you’re a boss leading a team or an Uber driver chauffeuring a team, a paycheck is a paycheck. And speaking of teams…
4. Hire a team.
Let the people who know you best recruit for you. Instead of being embarrassed about losing your job, tell everyone you know that you’re looking for one. And be specific. Tell them what kind of jobs you’re looking for. When I was a university professor, my students used to ask, “Professor Martin, can you help me get a job?” And I always said, “Sure, McDonald’s is always hiring.” Of course, that’s not what they meant.
So I asked them to be more specific: “Are you looking for a specific position or just a paycheck?” In addition to posting your resume on LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, or other online platforms, don’t forget good old networking. I’ve found over the years that some of the best jobs are the ones that never get posted but get shared (and filled) through referrals.
5. Raise your stock.
While you’re unemployed, focus on raising your value. You have extra time now, so what new skills can you learn? What new opportunities can you pursue? How can you make yourself more valuable and indispensable for your next employer? What can you do to generate income as a “side hustle” that could potentially turn into a full-time career?
Use this time to work on you. Because whether you’re employed or not, you’re still the C-E-O of Y-O-U, Inc. And nobody is going to invest in a business that’s going bankrupt. Make sure your stock is always going up, even if your income is going down.
Sound off: What is the best advice you’ve ever been given about searching for and getting a new job?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you think you want to do when you grow up?”