Often when a person has just been fired, they experience low self-esteem and a drop in confidence. Many times, they are counselled by friends and relatives to take some time off to relax. This would seem difficult to do when that person is overwhelmed at the outlook of being unemployed.
I often counsel my clients that are faced with sudden unemployment to do the following:
- Start thinking about why you were terminated. What kind of story do you feel comfortable disclosing?
- Analyze your finances and make a plan for at least three months that includes cutting back on discretionary spending.
- Review your resume, research current resume writing tools and formats, and begin to update your resume.
- Make a list of personal references who will understand your story and be supportive, and then contact your references to discuss what they will say when they are contacted by potential employers.
I encourage my clients to understand that once they have completed these tasks, they will likely feel more confident and be better equipped to start looking for work. When counselled to follow scheduled hours while looking for a new job — from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — and to take weekends off, a realization is often quickly made that they now have a job, which is looking for work.
People soon discover that they can start to relax because they are doing something to improve their situation.
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Dr. Patricia Turner, Registered Psychologist, Calgary, Alberta