What to do when you lose your job in Nigeria

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When you lose your job, It is very likely that you would go through the different stages of grief, denial, anger bargaining, depression and then acceptance. This is in addition to the stress stemming from the lack of financial security and possible debts arising.

It is especially harder for West Africans most especially in Nigeria because there are no unemployment checks and most jobs do not offer employment benefits, and the ones that do, once the job is terminated It ceases. A job loss can be a very serious problem to deal with it.

  • The first thing to do is to try to recover from the pain or shock. While doing this, it is important to ensure that there is a good relationship between you and your former employers. Do not become violent or insulting as it is always best to leave your old job in good terms with your former employers. The recovery process would involve various steps from person to person but the most important thing to do first is to talk to loved ones and friends, communicate your feelings, actions, reactions and receive encouragement and advice from your loved ones. What this does is that it communicates to them exactly how you feel. It reduces the emotional burden a bit and you are very likely to be offered some sort of assistance from them.
  • The second thing to do is to try to get a routine to fit your new status. There would be a great temptation to stay at home and not be productive but this could end up being a problem as staying at home all day and being unproductive can get addictive and may prevent you from moving ahead, so a routine is needed. It is best to go to start the day with some sort of physical activity, maybe start the day with workout, yoga, walks, and then spend the next hours doing a hobby. It could be writing that book you’ve been putting away, finishing that painting, being more active on your social media or even finishing the lyrics to the song you think would be a hit.
  • The third thing to do would be to connect with friends outside work, especially those who work remotely or run businesses that you hardly had time to engage with. It is better to meet outside your environment of comfort, talk to them and get an insight on what they do and how they do it. What this does is that it helps you explore other options. You had a 9-5 job and you lost it with no fallback, talking to your friends who work in sectors where they control their time and hours can help you build a plan B even if you’re looking to go back to the 9-5 life. It also helps you to consider investing some of your savings, having these discussions might inspire you to either invest in a business or buy gadgets needed for remote work. Either way, you’re being productive.
  • The fourth thing to do is to make yourself more visible. You can do this by being more active on your LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media platforms of your choice. Post your skills, any milestone you’ve achieved and anything you can show that you think would attract the attention of prospective employers. Update your Curriculum Vitae, indicate on your LinkedIn and other professional applications that you’re looking to be employed, indicate the sector you are interested in.
  • The fifth thing to do is to apply to as many jobs as you can regardless of how unqualified you think you may be. If it interests you and you like it, apply. What’s the worst that can happen? In addition to job application, it is important to set up a remote work profile. There are several platforms for remote work now. Pick any one of your choice,  set up an account, build a portfolio,  upload it to any of the platforms you’ve chosen and be active on the platforms. In order to respond quickly to any requests, you would get and build a reputation for being available and responsive.
  • The sixth step is to get certifications. As many courses you can apply for, apply for them. There are several online learning platforms that offer several programs, that offer several professional courses and certifications. The best part is they don’t take so much time and have a very good effect on your CV and give you a better chance of being employed. Some of these platforms offer the courses for free, for others you are required to pay but they’re often not too expensive. These courses can either give you a greater chance at being employed, help you earn higher or be the beginning of a new career for you.

A  job loss doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. It can create room for growth, expansion and self-improvement. Even if it takes away financial security,  working on yourself and improving yourself can help reinstate you to your former position or take you even higher.

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