If you’re one of the thousands of people whose professional lives have been dramatically altered by the pandemic, know that you’re not alone. More than 200,000 individuals have been laid off this year, and business closures have risen to 5.2% in the past year. We’re also facing significant decisions regarding the return to the office and childcare, not to mention that some of us simply need a change.

If you’ve experienced loss or even lost your professional identity due to these changes, you’re likely grappling with a surge of emotions. For many of us, our careers or businesses are a substantial, if not the primary, part of our identities both in and out of the office. When our current journeys take an unexpected turn or come to a halt, it can shake the very core of our identity.

In this article, we’ll delve into the seven R’s to help navigate life after experiencing professional loss and how to chart a course toward resilience.


This one’s like the age-old adage, “In an emergency, put your own oxygen mask on first before helping those around you.” Make self-care your top priority right now. You’ve probably been putting yourself last for far too long. Embracing self-care and putting yourself first isn’t an act of selfishness but a strategic choice to prepare yourself for the road ahead.


Now is the ideal moment to reflect and evaluate what you possess, what sparks joy within you, and your aspirations for the future. Create lists, maintain a journal, and deeply explore the journey that led you here. Your past is a treasure trove of lessons and can double as a guiding star for your forthcoming expedition. The skills, experiences, and unique perspectives you’ve carefully nurtured are the invaluable instruments that will light up the way forward.


Now that you’ve dedicated some time to review, it’s time to determine your next steps. Take a moment to create a list (yes, more writing) that encompasses: what you bring to the table, your distinct value proposition, your requirements and the needs you can address, your non-negotiables, and your bottom lines.


Shift your thinking up a gear – we’re diving into mindset here. Picture where you’d like to see yourself in a year and even five years from now, both in your personal life and career. Once you’ve painted this mental image of your future, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and outline those all-important stepping stones that will get you to your goals. No need to hold back; jot down every little detail that pops into your head. Remember, when your destination is crystal clear in your mind’s eye, your subconscious is on board too, supercharging your chances of getting there. Plus, that clarity can rev up your motivation and excitement levels. So, where do you see yourself?


Ask for help. Remember, the answer is always “no” if you don’t ask. So, ask for specific, strategic support. Think deeply about what you really need, who in your network can support you, and what outcomes you expect from their support. Craft a very direct ask, such as, “Can you help me flesh out my financials so that I can apply for a grant that focuses on how the money will be utilized?” Also, research people and events of interest that can help you take the next step, and then ask for a warm introduction. The more people you know who can champion you, the greater your chances of success. Build a healthy community to support your endeavors.


As you embark on this journey of rediscovery and resilience, remember that refining your plan is an ongoing process. Life is dynamic, and so are your goals. Periodically revisit and adjust your strategies and aspirations as you gain new insights and experiences. Keep honing your skills, nurturing your network, and adapting to the changing landscape. This constant refinement will ensure that you stay on course and continue to thrive in the face of challenges.


If you fall down or get off course, dust yourself off, my friend! You can always try again, start over, or change course. This too shall pass. Seriously, this is probably not the first time you’ve been in this position, and it probably won’t be the last. Get up and go for it again and again.

In the face of adversity, the journey continues, and your destination is waiting.