I remember the exact time when I got the call saying I’ve lost my job. It was 3:16 PM on a Thursday afternoon.
“We’ve decided to shut down… we will email you the details… but starting right now stop all work…”
It was a rather odd phone call and despite hearing rumours for months, about the likeliness of our company shutting down, I still couldn’t comprehend.
“Stop all work? So what am I supposed to do?” I asked, rather stupidly, in hindsight.
Losing your job is something you can never prepare for. I had been hearing rumours for months but there was a part of me that felt like it wouldn’t really happen. ‘All companies go through a rough patch,’ I told myself, ‘and I am a good employee why would I lose my job?’ Well, it happened and I took it really hard.
Surprisingly, it was not the lack of money, but the lack of having nothing to do that scared me the most. The panic over money did come in, eventually, but at that very moment, I felt like I was losing out on a huge part of my identity. I think that is one of the biggest battles that you have to deal with, along with the lack of cash flow, when you lose your job.
It took me weeks of crying, feeling uninterested in my surroundings and completely giving up on a corporate career before I pulled myself together and got going again.
First came acceptance.
I did not tell anyone that I had lost my job for two whole months. Except for my husband, my brother and two of my closest friends, no one knew. I didn’t tell my parents because I knew they’d worry and I didn’t tell some of my closest friends because I felt like a failure. Who loses their job in their late 20s anyway? Well, guess what, it’s not your fault. It took me some time to accept that shit happens and you need to deal with it, instead of cutting out the rest of the world and crying.
Kool Kanya Tip: Talk to people, have discussions, and you’ll be surprised at the number of people who’ve dealt with sudden job losses, and the brilliant ways in which they’ve coped.
Then, I started networking.
I didn’t necessarily tell recruiters that I lost my job, but I put it out there that I was urgently looking for work. I went all out, with statuses on Facebook and Twitter, and looking through LinkedIn, twice, every half an hour. I was ruthless, and it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I wanted to get back in the game as early as possible and get out of this horrible feeling worthlessness. Of course, it was wrong of me to let a job, or rather the lack of, bother me so much, but it did, and I wanted all the negative emotions to end. Hence I became a social-media-savvy-job-
Kool Kanya Tip: Don’t feel ashamed in asking people for work. You are not asking for free money; you are a good employee who just had a setback. Having said that, if you want to use this time to take a break and rejuvenate, that’s okay too.
I also created a budget.
Because come on, I needed to. I cut out most expenses but I also did it in a realistic manner. Instead of shutting myself at home and saying no to Saturday night dinners with the people I genuinely loved, I started eating at home before heading out. This way I still got to meet and be around my people, but also spend the least amount of money. Plus I had great friends, which helped!
Kool Kanya Tip: It’s absolutely okay to tell people that you don’t have money. Be honest about your finances instead of making excuses and avoiding the people you love. Trust me, everyone understands and absolutely no one judges!
I also learnt to deal with the rejection constructively.
Nope, I did not get the first interview that I gave post the job, and maybe you won’t either. It’s okay… a failed interview does not mean that you will ‘never ever work again’. I learnt to control these negative emotions; as soon as I got a rejection call, I started the process of looking for a job all over again. Yes, it was weary, hopeless and some days I just wanted to sit down, put my head down and cry for hours. But I didn’t; I learnt to control those feelings and it really helped. It’s okay, of course, to feel sad and depressed, this is a big deal after all, but at some point, you will have to pull yourself together.
Kool Kanya Tip: You will feel like this is the end of your career, well guess what, it isn’t. Surround yourself with happy, positive people and see the change that brings in your outlook. After all not having a job is not the worst thing in the world!
Then I got the call.
Honestly, it came out of nowhere. A friend of a friend told me about the job, I emailed the recruiter and didn’t hear back for a month. I got the interview call one day, quite randomly, went for the interview, twice, and again got radio silence for a month and a half. Then just like that, I got the job! Basically, that’s how it will work. Stay positive, and trust me when I say it’ll all work out because it really did.
Kool Kanya Tip: Hang in there, it’ll all going to work out.
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