by Glory Edozien
So you have just lost your job. your career feels like it is going no where. your business venture has failed and you are wondering what next. what do I do now? Dont tell me I have to start again. Trust me, I know the feeling. I have been there, done that, bought the ear rings and sold the shirt. life is all about mountains and valleys and starting over in many respects is part of the natural ebb and flow of life. trust me, you are not alone. Millions are where you are now and are making it through one step at a time and your situation will be no different.
Like i said, I have been there. One day, I woke up and a part of my life that gave me some level of confidence was over. The realisation that everything I had been building for over the last five years was gone and I had to begin again chocked and overwhelmed me. But life is about making decisions and as tempted as I was to bury my head in the sand I knew it wouldn’t do me much good.
So whether you have recently lost your job, a relationship, or a business and you now have to join the unemployment cue or borrow money to survive the next few months, here are a few tips you can borrow from me.
- Don’t bury your head in the sand
When confronted with a difficult situation, especially when we feel emotional and confused, it is natural to want to just carry on and pretend everything is okay. This does way more harm than good. If you are at a point in your life where you have to start over with your career, marriage o etc, face the facts. Tell yourself the truth and in your private moments come to terms with what has happened and gently, with the help of trusted friends and advisors, plan what your next steps will be
- Reflect on faults and make peace where you can
Many people who have lost jobs feel bitter. This is natural. We feel singled out, punished, or mistreated either by our employer or God. But carrying on with these feelings will not allow you make fruitful decisions. With time, you must come to the place of acceptance. Ask yourself how and if you contributed to the situation. Did you put everything into your job? Did you do well on your appraisals? Can the company realistically support the burden of your income given the current financial crisis and your level of productivity? These are tough questions but asking yourself this will guide you on the road to peace.
- Focus on blessings and opportunities
You become what you focus on. When faced with challenges, the easier option is to feel depressed, loose hope and focus on the negatives. However, I made a choice to count my blessings instead. God has brought me through WAY TOO MUCH in the past. Current circumstances notwithstanding, He isn’t suddenly surprised by what has happened and therefore must have a plan. All I need to do is find it. This isn’t blind optimism, it’s about being intentional about what I focus on
- Dust out your dreams
For many people, we’ve stopped dreaming. Life, bills and responsibilities have gotten in the way. We tell ourselves that we are only being real and our dreams can either wait or aren’t realistic. But when starting over, it’s time to dig out your dreams and the things that excite you. What do you want to do with your life? What excites you? What problems do you want to solve? Let that be your guide. Look at your dreams with optimism and take a chance on yourself.
- Ask yourself- what do I have?
For some our dreams may seem too big. I want to open a hotel, I want to start my own fashion line or day care centre. The thought of financing our dreams cripples us before we even start. But the best way to follow your dreams is to start small. Ask yourself- what do I have? What talents, skills, relationships, access to finance do I have and what can I do today with what I have?
- Do one thing every day
Sometimes going in the direction of your dreams can feel daunting. There are options, decisions to make and many what if’s. What I aim to do everyday is one thing. What one thing can I do today? And I do that the best way I can. That’s the trick with starting over. Never attempt to do so much all at once. Baby steps and build capacity slowly and sustainably
- Don’t make rushed decisions
Let’s face it, we all have responsibilities- so we are looking for the quickest decision that lets us meet our responsibilities without disrupting our life style. This is understandable. But be careful. Decisions made in a hurry are seldom the right ones. Ask yourself about the long term consequences of your decision and not just short term benefits.
- Use your fear
Fear is inevitable. Chances are you are scared. How will I pay my children’s school fees? What if my business fails? Where will my next bank alert come from? These are all relevant questions but you cannot let them hold you from moving forward. Admit to yourself that you are afraid and then take a step of faith. Like my friend Omilola Oshikoya would say, #DoitAfriad