How to cope after losing your job

Ines looks around like someone looking for an escape door. She tries to sit down in the chair next to her, but changes her mind. She mumbles unintelligible words before leaving the HR’s office with tears streaming down her cheeks.
Job loss is always a hard experience for anyone to deal with, but it is not the end of the world. (Net photo)
Job loss is always a hard experience for anyone to deal with, but it is not the end of the world. (Net photo)

Ines looks around like someone looking for an escape door. She tries to sit down in the chair next to her, but changes her mind. She mumbles unintelligible words before leaving the HR’s office with tears streaming down her cheeks. 

It is now obvious that something is terribly a miss with Ines. The personal secretary to the CEO just storms out of the building, forgetting her stuff and without talking to any of her colleagues. It is later revealed by management that Ines was fired from her job.

 

Many a person that is fired (for whatever reason) find themselves in a sort of box, where there is no exit route.

 

Others feel useless and helpless, especially if they have no other side hustle. Generally, losing a job is one of the hardest things one can ever encounter. It can affect your ability to think straight and could deal your self-esteem a big blow. In fact, some people (that wholly depend on the job for a living and to support extended family) take months or years to recover from the situation.

 

However, regardless of all this, one always needs to pick up the pieces and move on and start a new journey instead of dwelling on the sacking. So, what should one do to get back on track in such a situation?

Alex Mugerwa, a Kigali-based human resource expert, advises one to first control themselves and go to a quiet place where they can think about the next step of action.

Mugerwa says getting sacked can make some people ‘lose direction’ which is why the affected individuals must calm down before thinking of what to do next. He says it is important to avoid people with negative energy in such situations because they can give you wrong advice.

“Employees should always endeavour to save money that can help in case of emergency such as loss of job,” Mugerwa counsels.

He adds that having a side job or income-generating project also helps reduce the impact in case one is fired from their job.

Janvier Munyankunda, who works at a recruitment firm in town, says one should not isolate themselves in case of job loss.

Munyankunda argues that this can help you get in touch with people who can offer a job or useful advice.

After working out your options, Munyankunda says, one should update their CV and start applying for new jobs in their industry or in other sectors where they have expertise. Munyankunda says it is important for workers to keep updated CVs, arguing that they come in handy in case of a sack.

“When a person is fired it is like they are carrying a heavy load…So, if you have a ready CV it will ease your job-searching as you have a starting point.

Roger Ndemezo from Muhanga town advises people that have been made redundant to first take time off to figure out the next step.

He argues that this gives time to explore opportunities in new fields that you always wanted to try but never had time, like starting a business venture.

He advises people who have lost their jobs to seek help from their former employer in terms of recommendations to help them in the job-search.

He adds that one should not lose morale, and should have a positive attitude as they look for new openings and opportunities.

Jackie Mulerwa, a job-seeker in Kimironko, says it is important to draw a plan of action to guide you before venturing out looking for jobs.

“It’s not the end of your life. Meet friends and discuss new ideas…This will also help you stay occupied and avoid negative thoughts that could derail you or push you into conditions like depression or stress,” Mulerwa adds.

She also encourages those that might have lost their jobs not to lose hope, adding that this could be the right time to think about starting their own business (if they have savings).

The skills, experience and knowledge gained at the former employment can in fact come in handy to kick-start the enterprise. Secondly, do not isolate yourself from people, move with focus as you try to find another job or start your own business, says Mulerwa.

business@newtimes.co.rw

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Job-hunting made easy

Here are some quick time-saving job search tips that can help your hunt for a new job go smoothly.

Be prepared. Consider getting a separate email account to use for your job search, so you can stay organised.

Put your cell phone number on your resume so you can follow up in a timely manner. Always have an up-to-date resume ready to send - even if you are not currently looking for work. You never know when an opportunity that is too good to pass up might come along.

Don’t wait. If you are laid-off, file for unemployment benefits right away. You will most likely be able to file online or by phone.

Get social. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a good way to get job listings before they are listed elsewhere. Plus, you can promote your candidacy using the social media tools that are readily available for free for job seekers and companies are increasingly using social media for recruiting. This tip isn’t a time saver, but, it will broaden your online job search resources.

References ready. Have a list of three references, including name, job title, company, phone number and email address ready to give to interviewers. Print a copy of your reference list and bring it with you to interviews.

Use Your Network. Be cognisant of the fact that many, if not most, job openings aren’t advertised. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for work. Ask if they can help.

Review Samples. It’s always a good idea to look at sample letters and resumes to get ideas for your own job search materials.

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