So...I lost my job!
"Loosing a job is a serious matter but unfortunately only to the person who actually lost it"
"Say f*** you to the things that don't matter in your life"
"Be prepared to work your ass off"
Funny how the start of my blogging "career" happens just as I loose my job. I wonder how many blogging careers started the same way... I do say "career" loosely. I believe I've been caught in the wave of dreams where you can work while you sip on coffee or a gin and tonic in the setting of your choice. Sounds appealing right? Well, not when you've just lost your job and are on your last pay week. Living your dreams actually go to the back burner when you are running out of money and know that you have no job to go to. Yet I find myself writing on a blog while I sip on the cheapest cider they have in my local pub. Every £20 I take out seems like £1000 that I won't have tomorrow and suddenly buying organic isn't really that important to my health!
So, how did I find myself in this situation after 13 years working for a company that promised me a lifetime career? Honestly, I have no bloody clue. Loosing a job is a serious matter but unfortunately only to the person who actually lost it. In all honesty, no one (except those closest to you, and I mean direct family, partner and closest friends) really care what you are going through. I don't
mean to sound harsh but its the truth. People, unless directly effected, couldn't give a shit how you will deal with the aftermath of loosing your job. Sure, at first everyone wants to help and is temporarily listening to your woes but after it wears away, they go back to their life. Sounds like I am moaning about it, but I'm not, it actually makes sense and to tell the truth, I would probably do the same myself. But, it has made me realise (perhaps a little too late in the game) that i am on my own. That I am responsible for my own life and that the only one that will get me out of this is me.
On the first day out of a job, I remember laying in bed staring at the ceiling and wondering what I would do after 13 years of building my career, handling major business projects, heading up meetings with teams across the world and dedicating myself to one department and suddenly it all comes to an end. I am now a past memory to that place. I honestly felt like I was useless, my self esteem was rock bottom and I suddenly stared at myself across the room in a world where I could easily fall into drugs, alcohol and suicide. To those who haven't experienced it, it will sound dramatic and I can tell you that it is quite the dramatic experience. It gets so dramatic that you are willing to give up your life because of the situation you find yourself in. However; I was able to pull myself back to reality and think logically. I wiped the tears and dealt with the pain and saw this as a new opportunity, a blank slate and possibly an opportunity that not many people get to start fresh. I had to give myself some rules to keep me in a straight path. These helped me to not cross that line between life and death:
- Be your own fan: At this moment in time, you are the only one that matters and the only one that can tell you that you matter. Do not put your trust or emotions on other people. Its unfair for them and it'll loose you loads of valuable YOU time. Sure, talk to people so you can let it out but don't count on others to do the work for you. Only you can make your dreams a reality.
- Consider your finances: Very quickly and as soon as possible work out how you will survive for up to 2 months with no work. Every penny counts and even if you think that the extra coffee is only two pound eighty, really think about it and save it. Have a back up plan and don't turn your nose up at the idea of working for a minimum wage if needed. Its ok, you will survive and you will find a new path while doing something you don't love. The fact alone that you took that minimum wage job shows your determination, so you will succeed.
- Exercise: When I wake up and go straight for a run, it revitalises me and helps me focus. Almost gives me a new perspective. If you had to cancel your gym membership, thats fine. Its a huge saving and there's always a you tube HIIT video that you can do ANYWHERE!
- What really matters in life: Honestly take this time to say fuck you to the things that don't matter in your life. Once you've cleared the closet of those, then embrace what does matter or make a list so you don't forget. If you don't know or 'think' you don't have anything, then look at yourself in the mirror and start with that!
- Feel lost and have a good cry in the rain: Perhaps bring a rain coat so you dont get sick but I found that sitting in the middle of an empty park in the rain and having a good scream and cry also helped me clear my mind and literally sling me back to reality. Like a huge slap in the face, bringing yourself to a low place helps you realise that the only way to go is up
- Timeline yourself: Give yourself a deadline for your anger or depression. On that day, you will rise like the phoenix that you are and shake it all off.
Ultimately, there isn't a perfect solution to how you feel and I promise it wont resolve itself within a week. It'll take time but if you put in the work I promise something will come out of it. When you are focused and ready, be prepared to work your ass off. Ok you wont get paid but you are working hard for yourself, for the reinvention of yourself. Trust me, its time well invested. Apply for jobs you know you can do even if you feel nervous because you might be rejected. Most likely your self esteem is quite low at first but think about it, you have NOTHING to loose. After applying for over 70 jobs and still counting, I have had every frustrating experience under the sun (still with no job). Yet I currently find myself here and focused on success. I often wonder where I will be in a few months time and realise that the only person that knows the answer to that is me.
SIGN UP to myGwork, the global networking and recruitment hub for LGBTI professionals and graduates