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3 Ways to Build Resiliency: Rebound from a Job Loss or Career Change

Any job change can be distressing, whether you're laid off, fired, or switching your career. Still, losing your job can hit much harder than a career change. When you get fired or laid off, your profession, income, and self-esteem can all take a blow! It can feel like you're starting over.

Do you know how to rebound? Are you thinking of it as an opportunity to carve a life and career you love? Sometimes, when there are unexpected changes, we may need the change but not realize it!

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes 

A business man carrying his belongings out of the office after a job layoff.

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This unexpected turn can have direct consequences for your financial safety and emotional well-being, as well as repercussions for your family. And while you may have no control over losing your work, you do have power over how you react to it. If you build resiliency, you will be able to bounce back and focus on the good parts of these challenging circumstances.

What Is Career Resilience?

Career resilience refers to your ability to easily adjust and adapt to a change in your career, regardless of the circumstances. With ongoing unemployment and layoffs, many are still recovering from the havoc the pandemic caused, while others are considering changing careers, finding a new job with more flexibility, or starting their own business. The unpredictability of COVID-19 required many to step out of their comfort zone. This uncertainty is where career resilience is useful.

Don’t worry, even though we’re not born with this emotional intelligence skill, career resilience can be learned and practiced over time. And what better time to start than now?

Thoughtful African American businessman leaning on his desk and looking away.

The First Step to Building Resilience after a Job Loss or Major Change

After a job loss or career change, it's natural to feel let down for some time. However, you can't afford to stay down. One of the best ways to rebound from any hardship, especially a job loss, is to keep yourself moving forward. That's why, after you've calmed down, rested, and reassessed, you need to throw yourself back into the ring and start looking for a new job. If you want to practice career resiliency, it's helpful to start while you're formulating a plan and job hunting.

The first step to building resiliency is recognizing that this ending can be a new beginning. Accepting that job hunting could be a lengthy process, but a growth mindset will give you the needed encouragement.

By building resilience, you'll be able to bounce back from all the rejections and ignored emails and keep moving forward day after day while job hunting. With perseverance, one day, you will get that positive email or call, and all your job hunt efforts will be worth it. Or perhaps, you'll decide at this juncture, that it's the perfect opportunity to start your own business.

Be ready and Brain-fit for Work and Life. This course will build resilience for the changes ahead.

3 Ways to Cultivate Resiliency

Like we said before, resilience is not something you were just born with. It's an emotional intelligence skill you can build and exercise over time. And practicing resilience doesn't have to stop after you've landed the job. On the contrary, there are numerous ways you can continue building and practicing resilience every day.

To help you, below are three ways to build resiliency and rebound from a job loss or career change.

A couple working on a computer together, excited about their new business venture.

1. Look at Setbacks as Opportunities

One of the best ways to build your resiliency and rebound from a job loss or major change is to look at the experience as an opportunity. Instead of allowing your misfortune to discourage you or looking at the event as your personal failure, require yourself to see all the positive sides. Maybe you grew tired of your job, were looking for a possibility to change careers, or wanted to go back to school—you can use this time to do whatever you want. If we look squarely at ourselves, we often discover that we needed the change.

Explore your passions and interests; figure out what you’ve always wanted to try, and give it a shot. Once you have your new job, you can use this positive outlook to face minor setbacks. Perhaps you hoped for a different position. Your new employer might start you at a lower salary than your last job.

Seeing the outcome as an opportunity instead of a setback, you'll focus on the clear pathway for promotion and dig in with gusto. This mindset is a crucial part of resiliency. Any disappointment can turn into a new beginning and an opportunity for you to continue your professional and personal growth. By developing yourself through the ups and downs and hardships, you'll come out stronger on the other side.

2. Try to Be Flexible

Resilient people recognize that things change and that well-laid plans sometimes need to be revised or abandoned. That's why it's imperative you're always willing to consider alternate paths to your goals or even to change your goals entirely if required. When it comes to resilience, you can’t be too set in your ways in neither life or career.

For example, you may need to adjust the timeline you had planned to change your career due to unforeseen circumstances. Or, you might even choose an entirely different path to achieve your end goal.

Your plans might require you to move to a different city or state altogether, and you need to be open to moving even if it may be stressful. The stress might even double if you are relocating with kids; however, if this new opportunity will benefit your family in the future, consider it. If you plan well, you can organize the entire move in just a few days with the safety and well-being of your little ones in mind.

A young woman in a high intensity fitness workout with weighted balls at the gym.

3.  Maintain a Healthy and Active Lifestyle

There have been a lot of studies that show that getting adequate sleep and exercising are vital for stress management. If you can manage your stress well, you can deal with obstacles and setbacks in your everyday life, no matter how big or small. This recommendation is especially true with any major change. Often, exercise is the first thing we relinquish when our schedules are hectic.

Good physical and mental health can assist you in adjusting and adapting to changes more quickly without building resentment or piling up negative thoughts and feelings. So, don't skip that workout to lay around on the couch, which may only make you feel worse about yourself at the end of the day.

Final Thoughts

Resiliency is an essential life skill you need to build so you can navigate through these unprecedented times as stress-free as possible. Building resilience and embracing flexibility and a positive mindset can help you accept any change, positive or negative. These days, it can be crucial if you're looking to rebound from a job loss. Being resilient can prevent you from moving into discouragement or despair and, instead, allow you to start a job hunt sooner. Moreover, it can help you better navigate your career change or adjust to your new career with grace.

To learn greater emotional resilience and get customized support to rebound from a major career change or job loss, contact us at support@heartmanity.com.

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Guest Blogger: Ellie LottGuest Blogger: Ellie Lott
Ellie Lott is a writer and personal finance blogger living in Davis, California. She is passionate about millennial financial planning and uses her website to help educate this generation to make smart decisions with their money.

Posted in Business and Leadership, Emotional Intelligence

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