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25 Ways to Survive Job Loss

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Has your job defined you as a person? If you think your job is who you are, it is time to shed that notion. When you allow your job to define who you are, your identity is lost when you no longer have that job. As Dapo Bankole explains in this series of podcast, facing a job loss gave him an opportunity to rediscover his identity and his belief in God. If you ever face a situation such as job loss, which could be rampant in times as volatile as now – find solace in things that define you, find your inner peace and work towards building a stronger you.

Here’s what Dapo did:

  1. He went back to his roots. To God and to discover who he is.
  2. He set out to guide himself. He had been a guide to others, and so he applied those to himself. He has always helped others in times of need, acts which were not motivated with earning. People he had helped came back to help him and showed him what he had. It wasn’t intentional when he helped them but those seeds you sow, germinate over time and provide you the strength.
  3. As unusual as it is, Dapo decided to help others like himself who had undergone job loss by organizing a conference “Arise Calgary” with the help of his friends where they helped jobseekers find recruiters and provided other services such as creating an appealing resume and even starting a business. “It was the time when many people had lost jobs in the city. The suicide rates had jumped.” What drove him to do this was passion. Passion of doing something, ability to reach out and seek help and sponsors. While the event helped many others, it helped him the most. “Doing this got me out of the pit that I was in.”
  4. He sang and listened to music. For him, it was mostly gospel worship songs. What can’t music do?

Rediscover your relationships. It is in times of crises that you will know who your true friends are. Hold on to those who stand by and with you.

Now Dapo thinks back at the time and ponders over how he mishandled the situation and herein lies the lessons for you. If you ever face a period of job loss, consider these points and emerge stronger.

  1. Take every experience as a learning – good or bad. “I don’t think I would have been who I am today if it wasn’t for the job loss.” he said.
  2. Seek help: I wish we had sought help. I made my family and myself miserable with the shame.
  3. This too shall pass. It took nine months for him where the family had to go without consistent income, but everything has an expiry date. Good or bad.
  4. Journaling. Start pouring your heart into a paper. Write about your emotions, about what you see, feel and about anything and everything. Think of the Nigerian “Slum Book”- this will help you rediscover yourself and view your trajectory when you are in a different spot. It also helps you understand yourself.
  5. Remind yourself that your job does not define who you are. It should not have a bearing to your identity.
  6. Know that you can lose my job and thrive. Someone called JOBS – Just Over Broke.
  7. Rediscover your relationships. It is at times of crises that you will know who you true friends are. Hold on to those who stand by and with you.
  8. Don’t glorify Employment Insurance. EI comes with a lot of conditions and it is a percentage of what you used to earning and has an expiry.
  9. You can live on very less money. You don’t need a lot of things to survive. Your needs are limited.
  10. Trust your sixth sense or that intuition that you have.
  11. The people in leadership roles can value you but they will not always be able to save your job. They are also victims of the system and have their limitations.
  12. Office politics is real. Who your ally with in an office environment can save or break you.
  13. It pays to stay positive, regardless. Being negative takes a lot more from you than being positive.
  14. Don’t take actions in fear. Always make sure you are moving towards something.
  15. Tiny savings matter. Those automatic regular savings at your bank can be lifesavers at times of need. Use them.
  16. Go out and do not hide. Get things done. Do what makes you happy. Meet people.
  17. Have your sense of humor intact. Your sense of humor will come to your rescue during hard times. It attracts positive energy. Make fun of yourself.
  18. Value your family: All other is transient but family is forever. They are the ones who will stay with you no matter what happens to you.
  19. Cry if you want to. Don’t be ashamed of it.
  20. Job security is a mirage. Accept that if the organization does not need you, you will be let go. The only security you can have is the one you create for yourself.
  21. Bills have no respect for what is in your account. Bills don’t care. The days when you are earning is not your time to spend, it’s the time to save.

The intent of this series is prepare and not scare you. Life happens! Adversity is a part of life. And adversity doesn’t ask your permission before calling.

Be prepared.

Be guided.

Be proactive.

Listen to Episodes 83, 84 & 85 to hear about Dapo’s job loss and recovery journey.

Have you been through a similar situation? Share your experiences.

Are you an immigrant in search of a community? Join us.

This article was written by Meena Kaini.

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