7 Tips for Dealing With the Loss of a Job
Updated: Oct 7
Perhaps you lost a job well before the COVID-19 pandemic or due to the recession that has followed. And if you haven’t, it is likely that at some point in your life you will face a job loss. It’s an uncomfortable feeling and often hard to come to terms with. A job takes the majority of our weekly hours up, therefore being left without often makes us feel empty and vulnerable to mental illnesses. In this post, we explore some tips for dealing with the loss of a job.
1) Make meaning
Try your best to make sense of the situation but not dwell on it. Whether you are facing redundancy, a layoff or dismissal make sure you understand why. Understanding the why will make it easier to accept and not question it in the years to come. This may be particularly challenging in the case of dismissal but don’t be afraid to get your previous employer to clarify if you are unsure. Once you’ve come to terms with why you have lost your job try to move forwards and not dwell on it. Dwelling on it will only make you feel down and trap you in a negative frame of mind. It can leave you feeling as though the world is against you, so let’s try to focus on the positive.
2) Don’t overdo the job search
While searching for a new job is important, they may be scare during the COVID-19 pandemic. Set yourself time once a day where you look and apply for jobs but try not to overdo it. Constantly hitting the refresh on a job search page will only stress you out more. Remember being a day late to apply for a job won’t mean you will miss out. It’ll also give you time to submit a well thought out application. Keep searching, but again, don’t dwell on it.
3) Evaluate or retrain
This could be a good time to do some soul searching. Ask yourself were you truly happy in your previous career? Was it really in line with your authentic self? If the answer to these is a hard no it could be time to evaluate other career options and potentially retrain in another field. There are many free online courses in different fields that you could try out before committing to a new degree. If you don’t know what you’d love to do for a career have a window shop around the other job listings. Don’t limit yourself to your previous career if you weren’t happy before.
Volunteering is another option if you are struggling on the job hunt and need some more stimulation. You could volunteer in a field you have experience with or try something completely new. It is a great way to get back your routine while doing something good as well. Who knows, you might even find your new passion.
5) Find a new passion
As the previous points mentioned it could be a time to find a new passion or hobby. This doesn’t have to be work-related at all. It could be some art, reading, learning a new language, a new sport. Finding this new passion will take your mind off the stress of not having a job and hopefully spark some motivation and inspiration.
6) Keep a routine
Keeping a daily routine is important. This will keep the structure in your life that a job once provided. It could be a morning yoga class, an online course or a walk with a friend that gets you out of bed each day. Creating a solid routine and setting yourself small achievable tasks each day will leave you feeling accomplished. As tempting as it may be, try your best not to spend the day lounging around in pajamas. This will likely only leave you feeling unmotivated. Read about regaining a routine after lock-down.
7) Seek help
Of course, being out of a job isn’t all sunshine and relaxation. It comes with financial strain and unpaid bills. If you are in need of financial help explore what government benefit you can apply for. This will take away some of the financial strain. The extra stresses that come with no job could cause you to experience anxiety or depression, potentially for the first time. If you are feeling this way, don’t be afraid to reach out for help through a helpline or visit a therapist.
With all this in mind, it’s important to take it easy on yourself. Losing a job is emotionally draining and it’s normal to feel down about it. You will get back on your feet again and with the tips above you can hopefully learn more about yourself along the way. You might like to read about tips to stop worrying about the uncertainty with COVID.