"Don't make choices that will make you feel good at night without first considering if you'll still feel good in the morning" - Dan Allen, TradeMutt
What happens if you’ve found yourself in a nice stable job that has allowed you to feel safe and secure and then suddenly without much notice at all, things are suddenly all over? Job security is something that so many people crave but very few have the luxury of. Having a steady reliable source of income gives us the foundation upon which to build so many other parts of our lives and without it, it can be difficult to see any kind of positive future.
We get the fear – it’s natural. Absolutely everyone has been there before. It whole-heartedly sucks and quite often the first thing we do is go into survival mode.
Losing a job out of the blue causes a huge amount of stress, fear and anxiety, with the overarching feeling of “what the hell am I going to do now?”
So much of our identity stems from what profession we are in or what kind of worker we identify as. For example, you’re either a tradie, a programmer, a pilot or a digital strategist. The second that you don’t have a secure job, you can also find yourself falling into the trap of feeling like you’ve lost your identity.
The first thing to remember is that you are so much more than a tradie. People should not be distinguished by what they do for a living. Losing your job does not mean that you no longer serve a purpose or have a place in the world, it is simply an unforeseen shake-up, and as a resilient person, you will adapt and overcome.
You have the opportunity to choose the difficult path and exercise healthy coping mechanisms rather than unhealthy ones.
When a sudden life-changing event happens, as we process the situation, we are faced with a series of decisions or crossroads. At each one of these intersections, we can choose to go left or right. Whichever way we turn will then lead to a different set of decisions at the next crossroad. Ultimately, as we continue on the decision-making journey, we start to carve out a path that leads to two very different destinations.
Now here's the kicker – instead of thinking about turning left or right and not being sure of the destination, think of each intersection as the hard path and easy path, and understand that there are two outcomes - positive or negative.
This is a massive opportunity for you right now. The fear that you feel is warranted, the uncertainty is justified, but you now have the ability to prove to yourself that you can take a tough situation and use it for positive personal growth. We are not made of glass.
The way that you do this is by making a really conscious decision to choose healthy coping mechanisms.Don’t fight the feeling – If you’ve just lost your job, that sucks. Understand that the disappointment and fear that you feel is absolutely ok and that you are well within your rights to feel like shit. It’s about how you immediately deal with the disappointment that defines you.
- Turn off the TV and listen to music instead.
- Curate your social media feed so you stop seeing sensationalised clickbait media. This will be the best thing you can do.
- If you have toxic or unsupportive relationships, get rid of them.
- Getting outside and going for a walk/run/ride/swim.
- Eating something that doesn’t make you feel like crap.
- Talking to loved ones on the phone Tea instead of red wine.
- Put your phone away.
- Read a book before bed - it's a great way to make the eyelids heavy.
- Get horizontal at a reasonable time – sleep is good.
- Leave your alarm set as per usual, jump out of bed and go and make breakfast.
Above all else, remember one thing: Life throws curve balls all the time, and we can’t control the pace or the swing of it. But we can still grip onto the bat and throw the kitchen sink at the bitch.