If you find yourself facing redundancy or job uncertainty as Christmas draws near, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. With the end of the budget year looming for many companies, they seek to cut costs and unfortunately, that can often result in job losses. Here are my ten top tips for coping with the festive period when you are feeling worried and anxious about your career.
- First of all, be compassionate towards yourself and give yourself permission to take some time off and enjoy some down time with your friends and family. You will feel more refreshed as a result and in a more positive frame of mind as you embark on your job search in the New Year.
- Acknowledge that change is a process. You will feel a range of different emotions as you disengage from your old job and start to adjust to your new situation. It won’t be easy, so be kind to yourself and accept that you will have down days or periods of time when you are feeling angry, upset or miserable.
- Find healthy ways to help you cope with the stress that often accompanies uncertainty. Exercise releases endorphins and makes new neurons in your brain, which makes you feel more positive. Try running, swimming, yoga or even a good walk. Set yourself a goal of doing something active at least three times a week.
- Try and adopt a positive mindset and see this as an opportunity to re-evaluate what you want from your career and try something new. Perhaps you can re-train or move into a role that will bring you more fulfilment and satisfaction?
- Pour yourself a glass of wine or make a nice cup of tea, find a pen and paper and go somewhere quiet and peaceful where you can create the space to reflect on what you want from your future. Try imagining that you are ten years into the future, and write about where you are, what you are doing, how you are feeling and what you have achieved in the last ten years. Write it as if it has already happened e.g. “it is 2026 and I am X years old, living in xxx…”
- Dust off your CV. Start with a blank piece of paper and brainstorm your key achievements in your most recent role. Try writing out each one using the STAR technique: what was the Situation, what was your Task, what Action did you take and what was the Result? Have a go at writing your ‘elevator pitch’ and see your CV as a marketing document.
- Think about potential employers. Who are your top 3 favourite employers? Why? What is it about them that appeals to you? What does that tell you about the type of organisation you want to work for? Who else could you look at?
- Start a jobs folder. As you find roles that fit your desired criteria, save them into a folder or print them out. Once you have a number of roles, go through them with a highlighter pen and identify the key skills that they are looking for. You can then cross check this with your CV to be sure you are selling yourself effectively.
- Be realistic about how long it might take you to find your next role. I often advise clients that it can take a few months to find a new job. Allow yourself to go through a process which may involve interviews and perhaps even job offers which you decline as you gradually formulate a clear idea about what is the right next step for you.
- Don’t go through it alone. Seek support and help from your friends and family. Talk about how you are feeling, and if you are finding the process difficult consult with an expert career coach. Sometimes an objective perspective is the insight that you need.
If you are interested in understanding more about how coaching can help you when making decisions about your career, why not get in touch with us for a free initial consultation? We will be launching a new one-day career workshop in the New Year, so if you prefer to work as part of a group, watch this space.