To Survive and Thrive a Job Loss When You’re 50+/- Years Old Part 3: Finding Your Way to a Better Life
Rebuild some structure into your life
One of the big challenges in being out of work is a loss of structure. Up until this point in your life, you’ve probably established a strong routine that revolved around your job.
Suddenly, this structure is gone. It can be unsettling and scary… but it can be awesome too.
Where to Start
Take a step back to consider the path you want to take. Do you want to get back into the type of role you just left, or do you want to consider another direction? To make this decision, identify the experiences, projects, and teams you’ve worked on plus the skills that brought you success and joy in the past.
Don’t miss this opportunity to reconnect with your family. A “silver lining” of being out of work is that it often reminds us of the things we miss when we’re caught up in our work. Family dinners, time with your kids and/or partner are the truly meaningful things in life. Now is a great time to rediscover life’s joys. Also, find time to discuss your goals, fears, and concerns, but let them know you have a plan (or you’re developing one) to get back on track to rebuild your life in a way that is better than it was before.
Chart your Course
You know that structure, good planning & organization are keys to success. So, develop a system to organize your time and keep track of your appointments and contacts. Microsoft Outlook™ or Google Calendar™ are easy programs to use and easily link with your phone. The first thing to plan is getting yourself right both physically and mentally. This will put you in a better place to clearly define and see the path you want to take.
Identify your needs
This may take some time. Do you need to find a job that brings in the same income, or more, than your previous role? Are you ready for the next step on your career ladder? Do you want to start a whole new career?
Your ultimate decision may be as simple as getting on the same career track you were on for any number of reasons… you like it, it pays well, you need the medical benefits. But don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime…Take some time to think of the possibilities.
You may take a job now and, at the same time, begin preparing yourself for that rediscovered passion you have deep inside you. You can develop a new beginning for not only your professional life, but for your personal life too.
Learn who and what you need to know
Next, it’s time to plan how you’re going to get there. The chances are that you will land your next job through someone you know. LinkedIn™ is going to play a key role in how you build your network, market yourself, and it is where most recruiters look to fill roles they’re working on.
Start searching your LinkedIn connections and other networking groups to identify key people to connect or reconnect with. Remember, networking is not about interviewing or asking for a job… and it’s not even about you. It’s about getting yourself out there, learning about other career tracks and opening doors for future job opportunities.
Set goals for yourself regarding the number of calls you’ll make and the number of key contacts you’ll reach out to. Metrics will help you feel more productive even on those days when you feel like you didn’t get anywhere at all.
Two keys to a successful career or job transition are planning and patience. You can’t shortcut the process. But, if you put the time in up front, it will make things go a lot smoother as you get further along in the process.