8 Ways to Cope with Job Loss
There is no getting round it, job loss is tough. If you just lost your job, there are probably a lot of thoughts going through your mind. You may be angry at your boss, or whoever else you think could be responsible for your situation. Sadness is not uncommon either. Most of all, you are probably anxious about what will happen next—will you get a job and how will you pay the bills until that happens. We have created a list of 8 ways to cope with job loss below.
First things first
The most important thing to do after you lose you job is to:
- Acknowledge that you are in a very stressful situation and your feelings are entirely a normal reaction to loss. It is not uncommon to be upset or angry.
- Take a short break to evaluate your situation. You don’t have to start looking for a new job the day after you get fired but do not wallow in self-pity for very long.
- Try to figure out what happened so you can learn from this experience. But don’t be too hard on yourself.
- Find out if you are eligible for any Government unemployment benefits.
- Start figuring out how long your financial resources will last and perhaps create a budget.
If you find yourself having difficulty coming to terms with job loss, there are a lot of resources out there to help you including some great helplines worth investigating.
After giving yourself a few days to grieve, its time to get going on your future plan. Here are 8 ways to help you cope with job loss and bounce back:
1. Re-evaluate your career choice
Losing your job provides the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate your career choice and determine whether a change is in order. One thing to consider is whether you enjoyed what you were doing. Another is the health of your field. Did you lose your job because of layoffs? Whether you think you would be happier or have more stability in another occupation, make sure to do your homework first. There are a variety of tools to help with career exploration, including several that provide labour market information. Here is a list of 10 free career self assessment tools on the internet.
2. Look to the future
It’s easy to get stuck in the past and what shoulda-woulda-coulda happened, but didn’t. Doing so only perpetuates destructive emotions such as anger, self-pity and/or depression. Focus on the future, and on what you need to do to set yourself up as well as possible on the job front, in how you are budgeting your money, and in your relationship with those who can help you find a new job.
3. You define who you are – not your job status
People who interpret losing their job as a sign of personal inadequacy or failure are less likely to ‘get back on the horse’ in their job hunt than those who interpret it as an unfortunate circumstance that provided a valuable opportunity to grow in self-awareness, re-evaluate priorities and build resilience. You define who you are, not your job or a company’s decision whether or not to employ you. Don’t take it as a personal rejection against you. It may well be due to economic forces far beyond your control that you found yourself out of work. Potential employers will be more attracted to people who have proven their ability to stay positive and confident despite a setback/job loss.
4. Prioritize self-care.
When you’ve lost your job it is all too easy plant yourself on the couch, remote in one hand, beer or bag of chips in the other, and wallow in self-pity. But mental and emotional resilience requires physical resilience. So be intentional about taking care of YOU and doing whatever it takes to feel strong and fit. Get outdoors, go for a run, do some gardening, or just do something that lifts your spirits – whether building your kids a cubby house or taking your dog to the beach – and helps to shift the negative emotions that have the potential to keep you from being proactive in your job hunt.
5. Keep your routine
If you feel the need, and can afford to do it, give yourself a break for a few days or week or two. But don’t take too long before returning to your familiar routine. Create structure in your day. Sure you have more time on your hands than you had before, but you will be amazed at how quickly you can waste a day when you don’t set out to achieve anything. Create a job search plan with goals and small manageable steps.
6. Surround yourself with positivity.
The people around you impact how you see yourself, your situation and what you do to improve it. Be intentional about who you hang out with and don’t get sucked into the vortex of those who want a marathon pity party. It wastes precious time and energy far better spent getting back into the workforce. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, avoid those who don’t, read positive books and watch inspiring movies.
7. Work on your CV
Working on your CV should be one of your key priorities after you lose your job. It actually can be quite therapeutic and improve your confidence as you list out your experience and skills.
It is important you tailor your CV to the job or jobs you are seeking. If you haven’t created a CV before, then a good way to start is by Google searching for templates in an industry or asking your friends and former colleagues for their CVs or advice.
We have written a helpful guide on how to write your CV:
It is also important to ensure you write a great Cover Letter. Here are a few tips – click here
8. Tap and broaden your network.
The more people who know what you want, the more who can help you get it. The vast majority of jobs are never advertised. So the adage “Your network is your net worth” is particularly relevant when it comes to finding those jobs that are filled via word of mouth. Reach out to people you know and enlist their support in making any introductions or connections that could help you. Whatever you do, never underestimate the power of your network to open up opportunities and land you that “lucky break” you were hoping for.
We have written some articles on how to network – click here.
If you look at job loss, you realise that success in life is measured far less by our opportunities than by how we respond to life’s setbacks and challenges. We hope you found the above 8 ways to cope with job loss helpful and prepare you for your next life adventure.
Finding a mentor is a really helpful way to navigate through coping with job loss and finding the next job. We understand that times are tough right now and MentorSelector stands ready to help. If we can help you find a good mentor and receive advice that you need but your budget doesn’t quite stretch that far, please let us know and we will do what we can to help – email us on email@example.com