Friday, April 20, 2012

It does get better

I participate in several Twitter chats each week, and while one was going on, I saw someone who said something to the effect of 'I'm jobless and depressed.'

It was a short tweet, but it got the message across. I don't know what the particulars of this person's situation was, and my attempts to find out more to try and assist went unanswered.

But my personal experiences can help you, if you find yourself in a similar situation. The loss of a job or business may feel like the worst thing to ever happen in the moment, but it can be a great opportunity to move on!

I lost my business a bit over six months ago. I was crushed, but I'm only in my 20s. I have a long life ahead of me. I just didn't know where to next proceed. I took a couple of months to not only unwind, but make sure all my legal obligations were taken care of. Once I had that all finished, I needed to figure out what to do next.

If you also lose your business, do the same thing. Make sure your legal obligations are fulfilled before moving onto the next thing. If you lose your job, take a week or two to just unwind, decompress and run through the five stages of grief.

From there, make sure you get your resume in order. In my opinion, a functional resume is best as it puts your skills up front and most likely to be seen when recruiters scan your resume. But what else do you do with your time? It may take months to find your next gig, especially if you are trying to change industries.

The answer is simple: Volunteer.

Find a non-profit that is operating near where you live. They are always looking for help. Whether it is making phone calls, raising funds, trying to reduce costs, public relations and the list goes on and on. Just 10 or 15 hours a week can make a difference not only for that group or organization, but it can help put you in a better mood if you are still down!

In addition, it is a great way to network locally! In addition, you keep your skills fresh and perhaps pick up some new skills you can use moving forward. You may find your next career through the work you do as a volunteer, especially if you meet local business leaders. Or, you may find that the work you are doing for the non-profit is fulfilling and perhaps that becomes your next career. You just never know.

I am currently working for a local non-profit. I certainly enjoy the work, and I have been able to network significantly. I also am keeping my skills fresh and current. I'm not quite sure yet where all of this will lead me, but I am moving on and by doing what I am doing, you can too!

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