Losing a job is like the death of good friend. I’ve watched as a number of friends and associates have been riffed from their positions due to the economic downturn. It’s difficult for everyone because it’s a profound loss of an activity, a purpose, colleagues, and a culture. As in any case of loss, the person goes through the stages of grief, outlined by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, who wrote eloquently about the loss of a significant other (and a job is a significant other) The stages of loss (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and finally—Acceptance) are necessary to the process of moving forward.
So, what can you do after you finally accept the loss? Regardless of your ultimate goal, consider what kind of company you would start. This thinking makes you contemplate the kind of skills that you think people would pay you to provide—whether you decide to work for a company or for yourself. So, even if you don’t eventually start your own company, the process of discovering what value you bring to the employment table is paramount. Ultimately, YOU are the PRODUCT that you’re selling.