Losing a job can be difficult if you don’t have a game plan. Authors Richard S. Deems, Ph.D. and Terri A. Deems, Ph.D. address the emotional stress of losing a job as well as how to create a plan to get your next job and get back on track in Make Job Loss Work for You: Get Over It and Get Your Career Back on Track.
Dealing with the Emotional
This book does a fantastic job of addressing the emotional side of losing a job. The authors have what they call the Job Loss Cycle, which parallels a lot of the general grief process. It includes:
- Shock and disbelief: Feeling like you’re in a fog. Might also include relief. May last hours or days.
- Anger and resentment: Due to the lack of control you’re feeling, you may direct your anger at the person or company that let you go, or you may keep it internal.
- Denial and bargaining: You may be unable to accept that you no longer have a job.
- Self-doubt and put-downs: You may begin to doubt your abilities and skills.
- Withdrawal and depression: You may be reluctant to start looking for another job.
- Acceptance and affirmation: Finally, you’re ready to move on to the next phase of your life.
Getting into a New Routine
The authors stress the importance of finding a new routine during your job hunt. They say you should structure your day to mimic what you did at work. Richard’s example is that he read the Wall Street Journal each morning at work, so once he was unemployed, he continued reading the newspaper every morning.
They suggest spending four to eight hours a day (five days a week) searching for a job. Break that up with other routines, like exercise and spending time with your family.
Look at Your Skills and Goals
Your next job will be a great opportunity for you to use the skills you’ve learned at past jobs. This book has some great worksheets that help you identify what you’ve done well in the past, as well as determine what you want in your next job.
During the Job Hunt
The authors stress the importance of staying organized while you’re looking for your next job. They suggest keeping a spreadsheet of all jobs you apply for, as well as tracking interviews and communications you’ve had with hiring managers.
Some great tips included on how to beef up your cover letter: For example, using bullet points to highlight your qualifications in your cover letter makes for an easy scan.
The authors also provide five JobGetting steps to help:
- Research the position: Find out who is in charge of hiring, and contact them.
- Research the organization: Go online to learn about the company. Read press releases and social media updates.
- Evaluate your strengths and interests: Determine whether this job would take advantage of your skills and interests.
- Design your positioning strategy: Decide how you will position yourself to be the most sought-after candidate.
- Implement: Deliver your application, and follow up after a few weeks.
Most job seekers wouldn’t think about buying a book to help them find their next role, but this book does a fantastic job of making your work easier. It’s well worth the investment in Make Job Loss Work for You: Get Over It and Get Your Career Back on Track. And one lucky winner will get my review copy! Just leave a comment and I’ll pick a winner randomly on January 18th, 2012.