how-to-cope-with-job-loss

Losing a job especially for no fault of your own is one of life’s most stressful experiences. It is normal to feel angry, hurt, depressed or grieve for all that you have lost.  Or be bogged down with anxiety about what the future holds. Job loss and unemployment involve a lot of change. This can rock your self-esteem and sense of purpose. 

There are no two ways about it, losing a job especially a job that you love is really hard. Whether any of the underlying factors have anything to do with your performance or not, job loss is really hard. However, if you look at job loss like any other setback, more from a  larger perspective you realize that success in life isn’t measured by how we grab each and every opportunity. But it is about how we adapt and cope with life’s many setbacks and challenges and come out a winner in any situation. 

Coping with losing a job you love 

Personally, this is the transition phase that I have seen with a very close friend of mine. He lost his job a little over two months ago. As unexpected as it was and the way with which the entire scenario played out left him devastated. He knew that he had worked very hard and that he never let his performance get affected or questioned by his superiors. But, for the first time in well over five years of him working, losing his job was a huge blow. Even so, to cope with that job loss it wasn’t something that happened overnight. 

This is where things actually come into play. In this situation, the challenge people face is how should they cope with job loss and the many emotions that come with it. These can range from humiliation, resentment, failure and vulnerability, anxiety and self-pity. Your motivation to move on maybe temporarily zapped. There is no doubt that losing a job makes for a big blow to your pocket, but often it’s an even bigger blow to your ego and self-worth.  

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Over the last few years, many people have had to endure job loss, too often through no fault of their own. Whether the reason behind losing your job has to do with your perceived performance or nothing at all. The only aspect that can help you move on is how you respond in the events that transpire over it. 

“When you lose something, don’t think of it as a loss; accept it as the gift that gets you on the path you were meant to travel on.” – Anonymous 

Attitude is Everything 

Attitude is everything while trying to cope with job loss. A proactive and positive mindset will differentiate you from the masses. This will determine if one day you will look back at this loss to feel a sense of gratitude for what you have gained out of it.

It all depends on you whether you take job loss as a lesson, experience or a setback. Taking your job loss as a lesson well learned or an experience that made you a wiser and stronger individual is the best attitude. It is this mindset that will eventually help you look for better employment opportunities as well.  

No matter how devastating losing a job is, no matter how hard it might seem to cope with it, there is always hope.

If you chose to adopt a positive mindset it will be easy to work towards a new chapter in your life. With time and the feeling of enthusiasm for new experiences to come, you can easily come to terms with the stress and anxiety.

“You may not be able to change every situation and it’s outcome, but you can control your attitude and how you deal with it.”   

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7 Ways To Bounce Back from Job Loss Effectively

1. Be gentle with yourself 

There is no need to suppress or fight the feelings of defeat and disappointment that you will likely have after losing your job. Don’t repress these thoughts only to have them come back later. That’s not to say one must dwell on them but give yourself some time to heal. Think of this as a setback that will turn into an experience and a lesson.

You are not the only one in this world to go through career setbacks. Things turn around in the end and come out as massive success stories, so why can’t you? 

If you want to cry it out, don’t stop yourself. Let those tears flow out. Tears aren’t a sign of weakness but of strength. A sign of strength helping you to let go of this job loss and preparing you to be strong for your next phase in life. 

“What defines us is how well we rise after falling.”

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2. Don’t Walk alone – it could be Lonely

It is important that you find moments of solitude while coping with job loss, however, don’t isolate yourself. Friends and family can make a big difference in how you overcome the stress of losing your job. Being around supportive, positive and motivating people can help you be hopeful, focused and driven to find your next job.

Isolating yourself will add more stress, anxiety, sadness, guilt, and resentment. Be around those who motivate you. Watch and read motivating stories of people who have learned the art of coping with job loss. Read about famous people who have coped with failure after failure only to become a big name only by persevering. Don’t lose sight of your goals ever.

“If you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always got.” Tony Robbins 

3. Find your Passion

The fact is that you have more experience in your field than when you did the first time you applied for the job. Therefore, update your resume and apply for positions that you may have felt you don’t deserve. 

The next step in the process is to look back and ask yourself “Was I happy at the job?”

Do you see yourself shifting careers paths and doing something different? Think about what and where your interests lie and if your current work experience, education, and life experience serve those passions and interests. 

Spend some time with yourself and re-evaluate your options. Maybe this is the time you do the things you love or that make you happy professionally. Create a job for yourself out of things or activities that you are passionate about.

“Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou

4. Scale Yourself Up

If you want to switch gears and change your field, this could be the right time to get that certification you haven’t been able to work on because of your earlier commitments. Or, if you want you can dive into a higher degree of education. Many fields such as marketing, accounting and so on require continuous professional development, so this could be the right time to take up the said course.

You can also take a break from working for some time, and take up higher studies. With the new age technology, you can do so many e-courses by just sitting at home on your computer. Rebuild your skills and knowledge in the field you would like to get into.

“You are the designer of your destiny, you are the author of your story.” – Lisa Nichols

5. Balance it

The stress of unemployment and losing your job can take a toll on your health. It can be easier to slip into a sedentary lifestyle and poor dietary habits while coping with your job loss. Hence, exercise can improve your physical and mental health. Your coping up with job search would be so much easier if you are mentally, emotionally and physically at your best. 

Getting plenty of sleep can also influence your mood and productivity. Try to get between 7-8 hours of shut-eye every night. It will help reduce your stress levels and keep you fresh, which will help keep your focus levels on a high.

6. Don’t give up hope

Unemployment may stretch out for longer than you would have wanted or expected it to. It is important to teach yourself to stay as optimistic as possible. If you remain pessimistic in your attitude that can slowly transcend into full-blown depression especially if the job market is down. It is a tough time to be looking for a job, no doubt.

People who can stay optimistic in such a market are always able to find a way to bounce back. Try to find people within your own circle or outside who are under the same circumstances. Keeping in touch and learning from them can also help you out.

7. Looking for Job to Become your New Job

Nearly all job vacancies are now online, which makes searching for them a lot easier compared to 10 years ago. Websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and many others keep post vacancies almost on a daily basis. Although it might seem like nobody is hiring, you should still keep your eye open.

Jobs can be available suddenly as people retire or companies change their focus or approach. Of course, keeping an eye open for the profession of your interest, it is a good idea to apply to professions outside of your zone, just to see what else might be available. 

Take Away

To summarize, losing your job does not define who you are as an individual. Job loss is not a judgment on your abilities or skill set or experience. 

And remember, losing a job that you love and coping with job loss is a difficult transition to get through. But, if you work towards rebuilding yourself and take the steps in coping with job loss in a positive manner, it can turn in to a process where you end up changing your life for the better. 

“Remember this is only temporary!”

Recommended Book: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

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