You’re not working at the moment. Whether you resigned or were retrenched, it’s a time of transition which can be empowering or debilitating, depending on how you handle it.
Recharge your batteries
If you were a bundle of nerves, exercise-free, marinated in stress and on top of everything, caffeine-powered while on the job, now’s the time to change things up. Catch up on sleep, but avoid sleeping too late, as you may get into the habit of staying up late at night and then sleeping the day away. You body will benefit from getting sun early in the day. Take the opportunity to start exercising again. Start slowly if you’re out of shape, but work on building your workout time slowly. The oxygen fizzing around your bloodstream will have you feeling and looking better; a vitality that will be clearly evident during job interviews or meetings you attend. Make a point of cutting down on your caffeine intake. Rather indulge in one high-octane double espresso each day than sipping at interminable, watery brews of inferior java.
Devote time to yourself each day. Terminating a job – whether you finished a contract and left gracefully or were the casualty of a corporate purge – is stressful. Devote time each day to the things you enjoy but seldom have time for – movies, walks, time with friends, whatever. This apparent indulgence is actually a sound investment in your mental and physical health.
Consider a change
If you find yourself able to move around the country or the world, now might be a good time to examine the possibilities. A stint of six months in Prague or a year in Kuala Lumpur might be just what you need to rejuvenate your CV and your life. If you received a severance package, resist the temptation to splurge, but be willing to investigate options such as investing in a franchise or business.
Maintain contact with friends, family and business associates. You may not be in a position to throw lavish parties, but you can still maintain your contacts without seeming mercenary. This is also a good time to build strong family bonds, which may well have been neglected during your busy time on the job.
When you receive a tip about a job, make a point of sending a note of thanks. In this instance, the handwritten version beats an emailed message by far. And keep it neat and civil – you never know to whom the note might be passed.
Don’t lose patience if a plum position doesn’t immediately show up. It’s natural, but not justified, that your self-esteem should take a dive at times like these. Read, listen to wise friends and mentors, and thank them.