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6 Reasons Losing Your Job Can be a Good Thing

6 Reasons Losing Your Job Can be a Good Thing

Unexpected things happen all the time; it’s a part of life. Sometimes those things are good, sometimes they just flat out stink. I recently had the misfortune of losing my job. The company I worked for announced, out of the blue, that they were merging with another company.

My first thought was panic. We needed my paycheck. My husband, friends and coworkers kept telling me things would be fine and that I just needed to start looking for another job.  I realized very quickly that if I didn’t stay positive and focus on the good, then all the bad would overwhelm me.

I’m not trying to belittle the pain and anxiety you feel when you lose your job. Trust me. I know how it feels. But in my experience, you can’t let the loss overcome you. You have to focus on the positive things or you’ll make this experience even harder than it has to be.

These are some of reasons I have found that losing your job can be a good thing:

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1. You finally have the chance to go back to school.

For many people, school is something they either didn’t get to do or haven’t finished yet. In my case I didn’t have the chance to finish my bachelor’s degree. I realized when I lost my job that I didn’t want to go back to work, I wanted to finish school. Finishing school will open more doors for me in the future than working would.

This choice is exciting and scary all at the same time. I haven’t gone to school in almost 10 years.

You need to make the decision whether continuing your education would benefit you or not and if it would be worth it.

2. You can spend some much needed time with the people who matter most.

You could spend these next days sleeping in and then sit on the couch all day and veg or you could wake up in the morning, get ready for the day and spend time with your friends and family. They are your support, they are the ones who will help you make it through this rough patch.

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Take advantage of this time and spend it with your friends and family. You could even ask for their help to spread the word that you are looking for work.

3. You get to choose whether or not to go into the same line of work.

Many people find that the field they have been working in isn’t for them but hesitate moving into a new field because the unknown can be scary. If you lose your job, you’re pushed into the unknown whether you want it or not. This is your chance to change your career path.

Take a minute and think about what interests you. I once heard someone say that whatever you do in your free time is what you should be doing for a living. Look into all of your options don’t just fall back on what you’re comfortable with.

4. This gives you the chance to reevaluate your priorities.

During this time some people realize that their priorities have been too focused on the wrong things. Maybe they were working too hard or not enough. Maybe their family was being pushed down the list. Some people find that they were living a little too far out of their budget. Use this time to sit down and evaluate your life. Find areas where you could cut back and areas that need a little more.

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It’s times like this that allow you to have a new start. You can decide now to make the changes that you’ve wanted to or needed to but couldn’t find a way.

5. You can take this time to travel.

Even though money might be tight, you can find ways to travel without breaking the budget. Whether you drive out of state to visit family or go camping for a week, there are always things to go do that get pushed off because of work.

Make sure that you set a budget for yourself and stick to it. When you don’t have paycheck coming in, you have be wary about how and where you’re spending money.

6. Find a better company.

A lot of people find that they get stuck working in a position for a company that they don’t like. As I stated before, quitting is scary because you’re choosing to step into the unknown. But, by losing your job, you’re being forced to step out. This is your chance to look and see what other companies are offering. Another company might provide better hours, more benefits, even a friendlier work environment. You should look for a company that provides whatever you felt your previous employer lacked.

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On the flip-side, there are a lot of people who loved the company they worked for. But you just have to remember that you can find that again. A new company will be different, but that doesn’t make it a bad thing. Stay open to new experiences.

Losing your job is hard, trust me, I know. But by focusing on the positive side of things, you are able to see things in a different light. You’ll find that when something like this happens, you can keep moving forward. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not even the end of your career. You can find new opportunities, meet new people and get started on a new path.

Featured photo credit: David Shankbone via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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