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How to Turn a Job Loss into an Amazing Career Opportunity

By Sarah Davies

No matter how or why you lost your job, loss never feels good. What can feel good is the amount of potential and the endless possibilities that follow that loss. Only one door has closed. Almost any other door is open or can easily be opened if you're willing to put forth the effort. You've reached a turning point, and this turning point has the potential to change your life for the better. What career awaits you next?

Did You Even Like Your Old Job?

The first step to turning any obstacle into an opportunity is to reflect on the situation. Did you like the work you were doing before? Were you really happy in that industry? Were you sticking with that job because you loved it, or because it paid the bills?

Reflecting on your former job can help you learn a lot about yourself. You'll understand your passions and your strengths better, and you can use that to help you develop a plan to move forward. Think about the knowledge that you've gained in the job that you've lost.

Where Do You See Yourself in the Future?

After you've processed the situation, it's time to build yourself a road map. What position do you see yourself in that will allow you to utilize your strengths while doing work you feel good about? What kind of company culture is important to you? If you've been flirting with the idea of completely changing your professional aspirations, now is the best time you'll find to set that plan in motion. If you have a long list of possibilities, weigh them out with pros and cons to help you find your target direction.

Investigate Education Options

Do you need anything more to get where you're going? If you're used to working lower level positions and you'd like to advance your professional skills, you might want to become certified for management. If you would rather work a trade or a specialty job, it's best to start your education. If you attend online classes, you might be able to find a position in your field that you can work as you learn. Potential employers might see this as ambitious, feeling more apt to put you on a career path with more advancement opportunities.

Use Your Free Time to Network

Despite the popular expression, it's about both what you know and who you know. Having both aspects working in your favor can drastically improve your prospects. Make some professional social media accounts for networking. Have some business cards made up, and attend industry events. If the kind of work you do could accurately be displayed in an online portfolio, make one. This gives you the perfect opportunity to make a great first impression. When you start sending out your resume on job boards, you can include this portfolio to strengthen yourself as a candidate.

Consider Becoming Independent

If you've ever wanted to start a business or work for yourself, this is the best time to do it. If you can offer your career skills as a private consultant, even if it's only until you find a company you'd like to work for, you only stand to gain from doing so. If you're motivated enough to achieve lofty goals, use the gap in your career history to make significant progress. Show the world what you have to offer.

Adopting a positive attitude can take you nearly anywhere. It's okay to mourn the loss of your former position, but don't mourn it so long that you miss out on the world of opportunities ahead of you.

About the author

Sarah Davies is a careers and business blogger who enjoys sharing her tips and strategies with business owners and job seekers alike. As a staunch supporter of constant self-improvement, Sarah might often be found with an educational or motivational book in her hands. Feel free to follow her on her Twitter: @sarah_davies_au.

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