Leadership | 12.08.20
Navigating Job Loss as an MSP
There is no doubt that 2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for everyone. MSPs have certainly not been immune to this and have had to deal with challenges such as temporary privileges, working remotely, juggling regulatory and legal waivers, understanding telemedicine, and myriad other considerations that the global pandemic brought to the table. MSPs are resilient people by nature and can quickly adapt to change. One change that may have caught several MSPs by surprise, though, is job loss. Whether that job loss was directly related to COVID-19 or not, it’s a major life event that is sure to take its toll on even the most resilient MSP. There is light at the end of the tunnel, however. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you should find yourself in this situation.
Keep Your Emotions in Check
Losing a job has a profound psychological effect and is often as devastating as a death or divorce. Whether you were laid off temporarily, your position was eliminated, the organization was unable to stay in business, or you were discharged, the emotional toll is the same. It can be very easy to allow yourself to wallow in self-pity and to suffer a severe blow to your self esteem after a job loss. An important tactic to preserve your mental health during this difficult time is to try to keep your emotions in check. You will likely go through all of the stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Allow yourself to go through these stages in your own way and in your own time. Try to remember, though, that you are not defined by a job. Remember also that this setback in life does not mean that you are not intelligent, that you do not have valuable skills, or that you will never have professional fulfillment again.
Be Willing to “Get Real” With Yourself
This is especially true if you were discharged. Being let go is a painful experience, and it is human nature to feel angry and defensive. You may not be able to do it right away, but once you have some distance from the sting of the event, consider the reasons you were given for being discharged. Although you may not agree with them, try to be objective. Often the greatest triumphs in life come from tragedy or loss. What can you learn from this experience? Can you take some of that feedback and use it to improve? No one is a perfect employee. While it’s true that sometimes, a person is simply not a good fit for the role, the team, or the organization, we all have room for improvement. Take this opportunity to do just that. It’s not often in life that one can obtain the unfiltered, painfully true feedback as when they are discharged from a job. You will likely be asked to explain why you left at a job interview someday, so this introspection will come in handy there, and being willing to be accountable and learn from mistakes displays emotional intelligence to prospective employers.
Put Yourself Out There
After your self esteem has taken such a tremendous blow, it may be tempting to crawl under the covers and hide from the world. Perhaps you make a personal decision to not actively seek work right away. However, if you do decide to start searching for your next career, especially if the budget insists that you get back to work soon, don’t waste time in putting yourself into the job market. Update your resume as soon as possible, update your LinkedIn profile, and get registered with the multiple job-seeking sites available. Searching for a job can be exciting — it will give you something to focus your attention on, and the sooner you get started, the less likely you will be to miss out on a wonderful opportunity.
Accept the Gift You’ve Been Given
How many times when you were working as a busy MSP did you think, “I sure wish I had time to take a vacation,” or “I would organize that hall closet if I wasn’t so exhausted and overworked”? Once you do get back into the working world, you will become very busy again quickly, so accept the gift you’ve been given — the gift of time. Maybe you’ll finally be able to read that book that’s been sitting on your dresser for months. Perhaps you can learn a new hobby. Revel in being able to play with your children or grandchildren. Continuing your education is a great way to accept the gift of time, make you more marketable to future employers, and bring you a sense of personal fulfillment.
Utilize the Network You Created as an MSP
It’s highly likely that you created a network as an MSP. Between colleagues at work and those you may have met at a professional conference, don’t be afraid to reach out! Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals will help you feel supported, and they may have leads for employment opportunities.
Be Open to New Things
In today’s rapidly changing landscape, one thing you may have to accept after a job loss is that you may not be able to find the exact kind of work you were doing before. Perhaps you find that in order to do so, you may need to relocate. If you and your family are open to this, seek out open positions nationwide and prepare to embark on a new adventure! If a relocation is not in the cards for you, consider doing work that may still be under the umbrella of the medical services profession, but perhaps different than what you have experience in. Perhaps your experience was in credentialing and privileging at a hospital, but there is an opportunity available in managed care. Perhaps you used to work at a CVO and now have an opportunity to work in an acute care setting. Being open to new possibilities will allow you to create a well-rounded wealth of experience and knowledge. You also may find yourself having to consider the possibility of accepting work in a new type of role. You have gained valuable experience and knowledge as an MSP that will make you a great fit for many other types of roles.
Regardless of the reason you lost your job, try to see this as a new opportunity. Often, the situations that seem the worst at the time lead to some of the most amazing and rewarding changes in your life. Embrace that change. You are, after all, an MSP, it’s what we do best!
Christie Low, CPCS, has worked as a credentialing coordinator, supervisor of medical staff services, and manager of medical staff services within a large health system and is currently seeking her next career adventure. She is a member of NAMSS, IAMSS, a proud volunteer for the NAMSS PASS task force, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science, business — healthcare management, degree.