Oh no! I’m unemployed!!!…Oh dear, are you going to make lemons or lemonade?

Whether you have suddenly lost your job or quit without anything on the horizon, finding yourself unemployed can be a shock to the system. Yet in the face of adversity, do you turn your job loss into an opportunity, or do you crumble and allow it to consume you?

For those of you who can relate to this situation you probably remember that sick, sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach as you realised the magnitude of your situation. Yep, bills are still rolling in but the money has dried up. Did you blame yourself? Your employer? The industry or the government? Did you scream? Cry? Bang your fists on the table? A strong emotional reaction is normal under such circumstances, but at what point did you realise that you had fixed your identity to your job? That you validated your existence by the salary and security of a job that you no longer had? When did you lose your personal identity to your professional identity?

Regardless of how you have come to be unemployed, finding your next big venture after losing a job, and maybe even a career, can be a challenge. But in that moment, when you are forced to reconsider your future, you may just realise that you actually want more from life. You may just realise that you have not been living your dream and this is now your chance to chase your goals and make them a reality. Losing your job can actually be the beginning of a new journey for you.

Recovering your career, or perhaps your purpose in life, requires a concerted effort to change. For many of us, being unemployed has led to a depressive state. Don’t let this be your roadblock!!!! Accepting your situation is the first step to moving on while having the knowledge that you can change your future is the positive mindset you need to move forward. The attitude you adopt will play a key role in what lies ahead for you. And whether you realise it or not, taking a negative mindset does translate. With others. In interviews. When you can, surround yourself with positive people.

It may take a while to adjust to a different routine and rediscover your purpose in life, but once the shockwave has passed and the palpitations have ceased, where did your mind take you? For some of you the answer will be to the career you always wanted to pursue but somehow deviated from. And even though you may have worked in an industry longer than you were married (yes, sadly this is a reality of life too) it is never too late to revive an ambition. The plan of attack may now be to head back to the lecture rooms and gain a new qualification. Or it may be to tap into your long dormant talents and kick start a new business venture. Regardless of the path you are now beginning to envision before you, one thing is clear, losing your job is actually an opportunity! One that may very well lead to good fortune.

Taking stock and reflecting is an important step in your journey to living the life that makes you happy. Taking time out is just as important. And what I mean here is, take a holiday. Don’t allow your mind to race in an effort to figure out what’s next. Often when you checkout from the ups and downs of life you are struck by what is really important to you. Some of you may refer to this as your ‘ah-ha’ moment.  Despite the unravelling, and probably overwhelming career change, you need to find a way to breathe and enjoy the simple things in life. It is when perspective and clarity unite.

When faced with unemployment, understanding that you can change and that investing in yourself so that you may grow is exciting. With the past behind you and a positive mindset you can move forward in a direction that will give you greater purpose than you ever had before. But if you attach too much of your self-worth to what you do, you tend not to function well and wind up finding yourself at a loose end. Take a moment to look at your career from a different perspective. What do you see? Is a lemon a lemon? Something that is bitter and sour? Or do you see beyond the outer layers to something sweet and refreshing… like lemonade?

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SJ Personnel offer recruitment and HR services to businesses and candidates throughout Geelong, Surf Coast, The Bellarine and western Victoria region

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