2 out of 3 Americans 50 years or older will lose their jobs. If it's happened to you or someone you know, learn how to start over and share your success story.
Nancy Steiger, Partner, CEO Advisory Network
So You've Lost Your Job...Now What?
It’s estimated that more than half of American workers 50 years and older will be ousted from their jobs at least once. A 20-year-old study that began in the 1990s tracked employment patterns of professionals who turned 50 just to see the impact of unemployment through the remainder of their career (20,000 people surveyed):
It’s shocking when you think about it -- odds are two out of every three of us will be unexpectedly unemployed at some point.
So, what do you do if you’re suddenly the recipient of the proverbial pink slip? For most of us, our first reaction is to panic. That’s perfectly normal. But more importantly, step back… take stock… and take time.
Step back... Take Stock... Take Time!
My best advice to the unexpectedly unemployed is this: You have to do what is right for you and take the steps that make sense for your personal situation and emotional state of mind. No matter what, make sure your next step is well thought-out and that you aren’t rushing into anything.
1. Focus on the future: For many of us, the sudden shock of job loss has us stuck on what we could have, should have or would have done differently in our last gig. I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t matter. Keep your eyes on the horizon, the only view of your last employer should be in your rear view mirror.
2. Don’t let your current job status define who you are: People who interpret job loss as a sign of personal inadequacy or failure are less likely to be able to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and get back to it. Job loss is the perfect opportunity to grow in self-awareness, and most importantly, re-evaluate your happiness, life and future. Almost everyone I know who has lost a job is in a better spot now and is far happier.
3. Prioritize taking care of you: Now is the time to focus on your health (physical and mental). Don’t jump into the job search immediately. Take a little time to clear your head, energize your body and lift your spirits. When coaching executives who have recently experienced a job loss, my first bit of advice is to find your True North. Think about what makes you happiest in life and write personal mission, vision and values statements. This helps you focus and bring clarity to what matters most to you.
4. Surround yourself with positive people: Now is the time to connect with friends…. I mean your real friends… the ones who will remind you of how fabulous you really are.
I recently had the privilege of speaking with a fellow healthcare worker who was restructured out of a long, 30-year career with his employer. He was devastated! Like so many people in his situation, he felt he had nothing to offer a new employer – after all, he hadn’t worked anywhere else. He was asking himself, “Who would hire me?” I remember saying to him, “Who wouldn’t hire you? You’ve been a stable thriving leader in an organization that was at the top of its game for years, you’ve helped advance a mission, driven a healthy bottom line, and trained generations of young healthcare workers who are now leaders in organizations all across the country.” Any organization would be lucky to have someone with that level of expertise and experience. It’s all about connecting with the right organization and finding YOUR North Star.
Over the next several weeks, I will be exploring the journey to reemployment, independence, and personal happiness. Next week, I’ll share how to write your personal mission, vision and values statements. In a couple of weeks, some practical steps for finding work in 2019, especially when you’re up against a radically changing work force that is moving at light speed in the digital era. In the meantime, if you or someone you know is reentering the job force and looking for support with their executive resume materials or preparing for an interview, or just needs help processing the journey they are on, please email me at Nancy.email@example.com