Getting let go from a position is a common, albeit traumatic, experience. You work so hard in one position, only to hear you’re “no longer a fit” or we are “downsizing.” When it comes down to it, you can’t help but ask yourself, am I bad at my job? It’s the worst feeling to have, especially if you are an ambitious, hard-working gal, trust me. In my early 20s, I was on an upward career climb and moved across the country for a job. Shortly after, I was let go. I had always identified as the girl who was crushing it career-wise, so naturally I was devastated. And if you are in this position currently, know it does get better.
Fast-forward to present day, I’ve sold a company, launched a much-buzzed-about new one, bought my first home, found the love of my life and had a million ups and downs in between. So how’d I get past being let go? Here are a few tips on how to bounce back when you finally reach the “now what?” moment.
Take a personal minute.
Getting let go is a punch in the gut. Take a time out and let yourself sulk in the moment because it’s OK to feel down when someone’s basically said “you’re not good enough.” For me, this meant lots of pizza orders, ugly crying in the mirror and staying in my pjs past noon. But give it a timeline and know when and how you are going to snap out of it.
Work your network.
Once you’re, somewhat, past the heartbreak. Work your network and let them know you’re available for work. I begrudgingly did this about three weeks post Pizza Cry-Fest 2009. Once you’re ready to get back out there, email your contacts and let them know you’re available for work. Any career-driven woman knows the sinking feeling I had sending that email. Once I did, everyone would know I failed. But the reality is most of the time people aren’t thinking about you. We women are hard on ourselves at moments of weakness, even though setbacks happen to us all. Once your email is out into the void, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to make an introduction.
Perfect your elevator pitch.
Once you are ready to bounce back, you have to get your personal business pitch down. Your elevator pitch is a concise, 2-3 minute pitch on your business or your services as a professional. Whether you’re looking for a new position within a company, or going out to start your own, have your elevator pitch memorized and be able to deliver it with ease. Then tell it to everyone you meet. The more you practice and perfect you pitch, the more confident you will be about giving it. Confidence begets confidence and sooner or later you’ll be past your setback and back on the road to success.
Turn your heartache into hard work.
There’s no better motivation than someone telling you ‘no.’ Use that heartache to fuel your passion to succeed. Admittedly, I have an unnerving amount of drive that allows me to take chances on ideas I have. Create & Cultivate started as a 25-person event. Now, it’s thousands of women in a room
and a community of 500,000 women interacting daily. Being let go was a blessing in disguise for me. It’s what led me down the path to building Create & Cultivate and meeting so many incredible women along the way. And for that, I’m grateful.
Want to learn more? The ride doesn’t stop here, follow us along at @WorkParty for all the latest news. You can get your copy of WorkParty here!
Jaclyn Johnson is the founder and CEO of Create & Cultivate, the fastest-growing online platform and conference for millennial women in business, and author of new book, WorkParty. WorkParty offers a rallying cry for a new generation of women who are redefining the meaning of work on their own terms: WorkParty. Women who want it all and more, and guess what? They can have it. In WorkParty, Jaclyn shows how she turned distrust into determination, frustration into fuel, and heartache into hard work—and how you can, too. With stories from leading female entrepreneurs including Christene Barberich (co-founder of Refinery29), Alli Webb, (creator of Drybar), Morgan Debaun (founder of Blavity), Jen Gotch of Ban.do, Rebecca Minkoff, and Kendra Scott, you will learn the tips and tricks from the best in the business while cultivating the passion and happiness you need to succeed. By embracing failure and reconciling your femininity with being a boss, you’ll join the movement that is WorkParty—and have fun along the way.
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