Losing a job can be incredibly stressful. Whether you were fired, let go as the business downsizes, or your contracts have simply stopped coming in, the situation can be devastating.
Unemployment can seriously impact your finances and many other areas of life, including your relationships, mood, and mental health. Even if you didn’t love your job, losing it can also mean saying goodbye to your daily routine, structure, and purpose.
Coping with job loss and moving forward
While you might not be able to control losing your job, you can manage how you deal with the event and what you do next.
Face your feelings
It’s perfectly natural to grieve if you have lost a job. Our work is often a large part of our life, and when it is gone, we can struggle to understand who we are without it.
Understand that you may need to take some time to accept this loss and may have to feel confused. You must spend some time coming to terms with what happened to you. Many people find it helpful to write down or talk through their emotions after a major loss.
You might feel overwhelmed but try not to criticise yourself for your feelings and remember that this is a temporary situation.
Spend time with your family and friends
Take the opportunity to enjoy the company of your friends and family. You will find that socialising has numerous benefits, both on how you feel and what you want to do next.
Those close to us can provide much-needed support. Even if we can’t solve the problem, it is still good to talk things through, and you may think of new solutions. In addition, engaging with loved ones helps take your mind off what has happened and provides a space for decompression.
You may even find that someone in or connected to your social network may know of alternative job opportunities. You’ll find out if you are willing to be open about losing your employment.
Work out your finances
Start budgeting if you don’t already. Unemployment can cause monetary worries and can cause further feelings of anxiety, and managing your money can help alleviate these fears. There are tonnes of simple and effective smartphone budgeting apps that will help, both while you aren’t earning and beyond.
Take care of your physical health
Try and exercise regularly. You don’t have to do a lot, 30 minutes a day will leave you feeling a lot better, and even 5 or 10 minutes of exercise are better than nothing. Invest in your body with exercise and healthy eating, and you will find your mood improves and you have more energy.
Look after your mental and emotional wellbeing
Unemployment, especially with the loss of your normal routine, can seriously impact mental and emotional health. However, simple things like meditating or getting enough sleep every night can significantly improve how you feel and increase your chances of a successful job hunt.
Seek out other purposes
We spend so much time working that our jobs become an intrinsic part of our identity. Taking time to do activities you enjoy will provide you with an alternative purpose. Consider joining a club or volunteering. Cultivating new interests will help prevent feeling lost while you aren’t working.
Try and stay positive
Unemployment can be very upsetting. Today’s high living costs don’t help, especially as estimates suggest they will continue to rise by 6% in 2022. With costs like this, it’s no wonder that those facing unemployment feel enormous pressure and struggle to stay positive.
The good news is that the job market is strong. Employment rates reached a peak in 2020. After that, rates fell slightly but rose again, from 74.7% to 75.7% from 2021 to 2022. It is a worker’s market, so your chances of finding work are good.
Try to find the bright side of your situation. You may not have chosen to lose your job, but this could be a great opportunity to find something better.
Assess your skills
Make a list of all the different skills you have. Then, think about what makes you marketable and which job opportunities would appreciate your strengths. Your list should include soft skills, such as problem-solving or time management, and hard skills that you have trained to gain, for example, a degree or the ability to code.
Ask for help
If you feel like you are struggling to stay positive after losing your job or perhaps have a history of depression or anxiety, then it’s time to seek professional guidance. Specialists like counsellors can offer great advice for managing your feelings, coping with the loss, and continuing forward.
You must make a plan of action to help keep you on task. Creating a comprehensive strategy might seem overwhelming when you’ve first lost a job, so remember that you can take your time to approach this. It might be more manageable to break down what you need to do next so that you can focus on one thing at a time.
You might also want to think about saving plans. Thinking ahead and choosing the right accounts can help reduce financial stresses, particularly in the case of unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances like job losses.
While you might think this doesn’t matter right now, it is a good step to protect your finances and future. First, spend a little time understanding different savings accounts to find one that suits your needs. Then, even if you can’t put money in right now, you have started to build a safety net.
Life after losing a job
Unemployment can seriously affect our financial, mental, emotional, and even physical health. You might need to take some time to come to terms with the loss and to find new purposes and routines. The steps above will help you manage the situation and your feelings towards it so that you are in the best position to move on to better things.