Losing Your Job Could Actually Ignite Your Career

Bearded man researching what to do when you lose your job, while sitting on a brick wall above the city skyline.

Whatever the cause, losing or quitting your job can be one of the biggest life changes you’ll ever encounter. You thought you were headed in one direction, but now what?

It can be a blow to your self-esteem and even make you doubt what you’re doing with your life. How can you take lessons learned from your last job, make adjustments, and push forward? Think of the unique experiences you have, and ask yourself which ones were most fulfilling.

Remember that life is a journey — the next step could be just that: one step of many until you find the job you will settle into for an extended period of time. And that’s okay! No one said you need to have it figured out right now.

Find your calling

Being unemployed isn’t just an opportunity to rework your résumé and hang around networking events, either. There’s no shortage of career advice out there, but what about your calling?

Leaving a job is the perfect time to reflect on your professional life. While searching for your next position, don’t be scared to find your vocation.

My friend Tina spent five years as a teacher before becoming extremely dissatisfied with what she thought was her life’s calling. Unexpectedly, she felt called to do something radically different. After some research and time spent in prayer, she applied for a job working on a farm. Two months later, she packed up her belongings and moved across the country.

Not every job change needs to be as radical as that, but consider being as open as possible to what you might be called to do, even in your free time. Having an impact on the world can be done through both success and service.

Ask for help

If you were let go from your last position, it could be hard to feel confident during your job search. Don’t be shy to ask your friends, family, or even a therapist what they think you have a knack for. Your talents are not limited to your work experience, and asking for help is not a sign of weakness!

Actually, a lot of successful people used getting fired as an opportunity to completely change the direction they were headed in.

It’s possible that between jobs is exactly where you are meant to be right now. Getting discouraged is tempting — but the surest method to finding your way again is to look inward at what makes you feel fulfilled and outward at the needs you see. Don’t be afraid to talk to others about what you’re going through, but definitely spend some time thinking about what you really want.

Take time to think

Even when you don’t know where you’re headed, don’t get down about trying to figure things out.

Thomas Merton’s vocation prayer begins, “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.” It’s okay to be honest with God and yourself — the humility it takes to admit that is exactly what you need to figure things out and step confidently through the door that opens for you.

Are you between jobs right now? How are you trying to find your next calling?

Grotto quote graphic that reads, "It's possible that between jobs is exactly where you are meant to be right now."

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