I was hit for six when I found out I was been made redundant. I think I went into complete shock for about 6 weeks. I had been with my company for 3 years and in many ways had become a bit lethargic.
When I awoke from my dormant subdued “shock” phase real anger and resentment set in. Why me?…Poor me…Damn them. After a week of raging anger…..Fear and anxietyarrived. What if I cannot find another job? I am not getting any younger. How am I going to support my family? By this stage I was completely crippled by my own fear. Every ounce of energy I had was sucked into the Fear vacuum. My lack of motivation and my appetite for dreadful day time TV was mind boggling.
About a month later it dawned on me….It was not the Fear that was holding me back, it was the fact that my life had no direction, no shape…..No Structure!
From birth we are shaped into a routine and that never stops. Remember your childhood? School start s at 9am, finishes at 3.30pm, PE on a Wednesday, Dinner at 6, The park on a Sunday, bed by 8pm. Our routine changes somewhat as we grow up, but our reliance on it doesn’t. I remember my last job – I had to be out the door by 8.15pm to catch the 8.20am train. I methodically checked my emails first thing and finished my day off with sales calls (which I hated by the way). I knew where I stood.
So what is my point?
Well I realised that in order to get moving again…I needed to structure my day and I created a rigid routine (well not overly rigid).
So what did I do?
- I set some ground rules. No TV on between 9am until 5pm. (Many day time sporting events were sacrificed). I ditched the kitchen table as an office and dedicated a space specifically to work. In fact I made myself a little office space behind the TV.(so there was no way I could look at it). This made a big difference as I was not conveniently distracted by laundry or dirty dishes that urgently needed washing.
- Bizarrely, one of mv favourite times of the day was when I was commuting to and from work. This was when I planned my day and got my head focused on the tasks that lay ahead. On my way home I had the opportunity to switch off. So I started to get into the habit of going for a 30 minute walk every morning. Igrabbed some fresh air and planned my day. At the end of the day I would go out for a quick walk around the local park and celebrate my day’s successes and leave my disappointments behind. This not only made me feel much better in myself, but also lead to a much happier household. – I was more relaxed with my wife and children.
- I actually treated my job seeking seriously. I became a proactive job seeker. I attended networking events. I met with agencies face to face and I spent time targeting employers and sending off speculative applications. I also ensured that every application I made was followed up with a phone call. I built a weekly timetable and stuck to a routine.
- Be persistent…..many days I had to push myself to get out of bed and did not feel like being a job seeker that day. But I did it and was always grateful for my persistence at the end of the day.