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A job hunter once described the feeling of job loss like this: “We seem to lose ourselves when we lose a job.”

Job loss is rough, to be sure. It can knock you down and leave you feeling like you have been run over by a truck.

What is the secret is to rise up strong after such a downfall? The Japanese have a saying:

Nana korobi, ya oki” which means “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” It means choosing to never give up hope, and to always strive for more. It means that your focus isn’t on the reality in front of you, but on a greater vision that may not be reality yet.” (Quote from writer Sarah Witmer)

Here are five inside moves that will help you to recover and reclaim yourself.

The first three come from Charles Pixley, the Wall Street guy who lost his job at the onset of the Great Recession, who made headlines when he drew a sandwich board version of his resume and stood at the corner of Broadway and Wall St. until he got noticed…and got a job.

When asked by a newspaper reporter what he would say to others affected by job loss, Pixley said:  

You gotta believe in yourself, improve yourself, and put yourself out there.

These three beliefs are the core, in my view, of the resilience needed by job hunters to bounce back after defeat. And now I want to add two more.

You gotta inspire yourself – The word “inspire” means to breathe, and by breathing you fill your lungs with life-giving air. When you inspire yourself, you fill your being with life-giving energy.

How do you inspire yourself? There is no end of inspirational literature available these days. Ask a friend for a recommendation. Go to TED Talks and browse around. Many of the talks there are quite uplifting. For example, the talk on happiness featuring Brother David.

Get out into nature as much as you can. Nature itself will inspire and bathe you.

Meet up with others. Meet up with loved ones who are there for you, who want to see you succeed. And meet up with those who are also in the process of career transition. Give each other the breath of inspiring input and ideas.

Write down your own personal mission statement. What do you want to do, with what you have, to make this world a better place?

Create your own vision board. Hang it somewhere in your home where you will see it every day. Place your mission statement in the center of it. Surround it with inspiring quotes.

The fifth belief of resilience is You gotta ignite!

The word “ignite” means to set on fire. As someone who has experienced a major life event, you may feel like your fire has gone out completely. How do you catch fire again?

One strategy is to engage your strengths in a meaningful activity. Our strengths are skills of ours that we are especially good at, that we really enjoy using, that strengthen us when we use them because we feel happier, more energized, and at our best.

What else can you do to recapture your excitement? If you are practicing the first four beliefs, this one should be the result. Your enthusiasm should return. You should start to combust.

To recap:

Believe in yourself – You are not deadwood. You have value. Take stock of yourself, especially your skills and accomplishments. Then put together your value proposition.

Improve yourself – Learning must be a lifelong imperative. Luckily in today’s booming internet, there is free learning galore just a keystroke away. What new skills and knowledge should you be proactively acquiring to enhance your value?

Put yourself out there – Get up, get dressed, get moving, and go (virtually) be with others. Draw energy from positive people who are there to support you.

Inspire yourself – Fill your whole self with positive thoughts, prayers, quotes, and messages. Do this every day.

Ignite – Come back to life! Galvanize into action. Be the driving force in your life. Be the change.

This week’s article is a follow-up to last week’s one called “Take Good Care of You” and is part of an upcoming publication on resilience for career transitioners.

About the author: I’m Terrence “Terry” Seamon. Having been “in transition” five times over the course of my career, I’ve learned some things about what it takes to rise up after crashing and burning. I work with career transitioners to help them set and achieve their career goals. Additionally, I design and deliver leadership development programs for corporate clients on topics such as leadership, team effectiveness, creativity, time management, stress management, and managing change.

#resilience #risingup #ignite