How Losing Your Job Can Improve Your Life
Losing your job is not the end of the world. Your first response to the news will be fear and panic. You may even feel a bit embarrassed and uncertain of yourself. However, these emotions of dread may be accompanied by feelings of relief. Getting fired releases you from the day-to-day grind of having to endure everything you hated about your job. Whether it is the uppity but incompetent colleagues you’ve had to work with or the weak and indecisive boss you’ve had to work for, your sudden unemployment sets you free from the misery of spending time in a place that only half-satisfies you.
Do not ignore this sensation. Build on it. Use it to make a new start and forge a new future for yourself. Freedom from institutional structures and obligations gives you an opportunity to significantly improve your life.
You should start by repairing damaged relationships. Working in a job that demanded much of you, but rewarded you very little no doubt made you grumpy and hostile—in ways that you probably didn’t notice. Your first order of business should be making up to your significant other. She has had to put up with your mood swings and general asininity. A little vacation is a good move in this direction. It is, however, not sufficient. A thorough rapprochement can only be attained by closing the distance that has grown between you—sexually, emotionally, and spiritually. You will need her help as you start this new phase of your life, and so you should seek to enlist it by sealing the psychological cracks in your relationship.
Getting your love life—and any friendships you may have strained—back on track will help you gather the support you need to make further improvements. One of the first things you should consider doing is going back to school. Pursuing graduate studies in business or some other subject of interest is a great way to enhance your mind. It will make you more marketable if you decide to work for another company. It will also give you a chance to network with other upwardly mobile professionals if you decide to enter a completely different profession or strike out on your own as an entrepreneur.
One other thing that losing your job will enable you to do is read. This vital activity is not one that a busy schedule always allows for. Now that you no longer have to fight against a strong and constant stream of emails and text messages every minute of every day, you should take some time to read books. Not the latest pop culture productions, but serious books of literature, history, politics, and science. Doing so will improve your mind. It may even help you get some clarity and perspective on what you’re going through.
Losing your job will also instill in you a greater sense of financial discipline. Despite its frustrations, your former employer may have allowed you to live a comfortable lifestyle. You’ve been living high on the hog as they say, but now that’s all over. The reality of not having a steady paycheck will compel you to adopt more modest spending habits. A benefit of such austerity is finding out just how much you can do without. This will make you a sterner accountant in general—even when good times return.
Finally, unemployment will make you more willing to take risks. When you have a steady job that pays well, it is hard to leave it and gamble on a new venture. You may decide to start your own business. However, you need not limit yourself to continuing as a businessman. Perhaps at one point you were interested in the arts, and put it aside to do something more ‘practical’. Well, now that the ‘practical’ plan has failed you should look again at writing, painting, music making, or some other creative enterprise. Getting involved in work that you’re good at and have genuine interest in will make you much happier. It will help you to grow and develop as a person, and it will make you much easier to be around.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.