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JOB  LOSS – What they did not tell you

Chad Prinsloo | Web Designer

Janine Do Cabo  | Sustainability & Leadership Development  |  JHB, SA

Sept 2020

Life has a funny way of teaching us lessons, doesn’t it? We’re taught from early on, that there’s a certain way our journey to success should look, and we naively believe that everyone who’s achieved great success, did so with little to no pain or effort.  But as we get older and endure growing pains, unexpected forks in the road could potentially throw us off. 


Things like being either retrenched or even worse having to deal with the pain and stigma that comes from being fired.  What’s worse is that no one gives you a handbook on how to handle curveballs like the possibility of having to apply for UIF as a result of job loss. 


In today’s blog post we will look at just how to deal with the process of accepting what’s happened, how to recover and, how to use the boulder in your way as a stepping stone to your next level.  In a nutshell- what they didn’t tell you about losing a job.

Job loss is exactly that – loss.  And, when we lose a loved one there’s a natural process that takes place.

Psychologists postulate that when we grieve, there are 5 emotions we’d experience:

Denial – Anger – Bargaining – Depression – Acceptance

It’s never linear, and it’s always messy, but, the light appears at the end of the tunnel when we reach acceptance.  These emotions are experienced when we lose a job, and, unlike when we lose a loved one, a job being replaceable, we get to decide when to accept the reality of what’s happened.

So, here’s what they never told us about losing a job.  It can happen, and it can happen suddenly.  No one is exempt.  Just remember that if a job decides to let you go, it doesn’t mean that their rejection of you makes you a reject.  You’re valuable in the right environment and the sooner you put yourself in the right mindset, the quicker you’d be up and out of what seems like a hopeless pit of despair.

Positive thinking, contrary to popular belief is not just pie in the sky.  In the book, “The Secret,” the authors highlight a list of extraordinary men and women who thought their way into success at the highest level – because what you believe you either attract or become.

Practically, using the obstacle of a boulder as a stepping stone would look like this:

  1. Fixing your attitude. If positive thinking didn’t help you get what you wanted,          then at least you’d go through life with a smile on your dial – something that              could only bring you happiness. Choose to be happy before the change occurs and        watch things  change.
  2. Expect that what you believe will manifest into your life.

Expectation, though similar in its makeup to belief, is fundamentally different.  Think about when you were a child and your parents told you that on Saturday after all your chores were done, they’d take you for ice-cream.  You’d believe them, but your belief would cause you to act in a way that by the time your chores were done on Saturday, you’d have what they promised.  So, the expectation would make you wake up early, get done with what you need to, get dressed, and wait in the car.  That is an expectation.  It is a verb, a verb is a word that does something – expect, the unexpected and anticipate how you’d receive it.

  1. Evaluate your strengths and look for ways to monetize your gifts.

Do you have an eye for fashion? Look into being a stylist.  Good at drawing? Start a blog that showcases your work and offers lessons to those who would like to learn to draw.  Know how to put a story together…well, you get my point.  Oftentimes we expect our next door to lead us into what we used to and if it doesn’t look familiar we close ourselves off to it. 

  1. Be open to opportunities. Napoleon Hill, famously wrote in his bestselling book, Think and grow rich, that,

“Opportunities often come disguised in the form of misfortune or temporary defeat.  Every adversity every failure, every heartbreak, carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

As you allow yourself to accept the loss, without allowing it to define your worth, may you identify the seeds of greater benefit, tucked away in the opportunities that may be disguised as misfortune.

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