Have you ever had a sporting injury?
If so, you'll know that taking some key actions in the first 48 hours plays a key part in minimizing damage and speeding your recovery.
Whether you've strained a muscle, damaged some ligaments or incurred something more serious, it will help if you rest, apply ice or compression, elevate the area, take anti- inflammatory drugs or see an expert such as a physiotherapist.
Taking these actions in the first 48 hours helps the body get over the initial shock whilst really accelerating the recovery process.
This very same principle applies when dealing with another type of shock - losing your job.
The following 5 steps are not exactly rocket science - most people will take the majority of these actions over time. But the key point is the TIMING of these actions.
1. Give yourself permission
Give yourself permission to be a little 'all over the place.'
It's not uncommon to have a whole set of conflicting emotions: feeling sad, angry, shocked, in denial as well as being relieved or even happy- all within the first few days. Being 'up and down' emotionally is part of the process, so don't worry too much about it. It's very normal.
2. Recruit a support team
Rather than holding back out of embarrassment or shame, ensure you inform your inner circle what has happened as soon as you know about it. Friends, family, colleagues and clients should all know about your situation. What's more, they should hear it from you, not the City grapevine.
All the support, ideas, contacts and opportunities will come via the people who know you. So the quicker these people know - the better placed they are to help you.
3. Update your recruiters
Call 2 or 3 recruiters who you know to update them on your circumstances.
Don't worry about updating CVs just yet or even going to meet recruiters. You just want to be on their radar in case something interesting comes up. If they're keen to meet immediately or they call you with what sounds like the right opportunity, then that becomes your cue to update your CV. But don't hold off making the calls just because your CV isn't ready.
4. Book a meeting with a career expert
Most City firms will include some form of professional career coaching through an outplacement firm as part of your termination package (e.g outplacement support from companies such as DBM, Right Management or Penna). If you have such support already paid for, it's wise to contact the firm and set up an initial conversation.
If your employers haven't made such arrangements, then start thinking about whether you need to find professional help get your career back on track. Whilst not always essential - just like working with a physiotherapist to help with an injury - a career expert will accelerate your progress and often minimise lost earnings from being out of work.
5. Start planning a break
Whether it's a weekend break, a 2-week holiday or 6 months travelling the world - it's important to create some time to get away. The change of scenery will give you time to reflect, think and come back with a fresh perspective.
Just ensure you've made some of the calls suggested above so that you feel more in control and less guilty when you go away.
A little like recovering from a sports injury, you only have a short window of opportunity to kick-start your progress after redundancy. If you miss the window, you will still recover - but it just may just take a little longer than you would have liked.
Sital helps a variety of mid-career professionals make successful career transitions in less time and with less stress. To learn more click here