Over this article and the next we’ll look at how you can handle the stress of losing a job and how to stay positive while looking for a new job.
It is completely normal to feel vulnerable and hurt – or even angry after losing a job, but the good news is that despite the stress involved there are things you can do to lift your spirits and take some control over the situation. It is possible to get through this tough time by reaching out to friends and family, by taking good care of yourself and by considering this an *opportunity* to re-think your career goals, is it time for a career change? Or are you happy to look for work in the same field?
Losing a job is a stressful time; many of us see our working lives as more than just a way to make a living, and jobs give us structure, meaning and purpose. They influence how we see ourselves and how others see us. This is why being unemployed or losing your job is a stressful time. Apart from the loss of income for some it can mean a feeling of losing your self esteem and confidence, losing your professional identity and daily routine and your sense of security.
A feeling like grief is normal following the loss of your job, you may also feel hurt, rejected, angry, scared and you feel suddenly everything has changed. You have every right to feel this way, but accept those feelings for what they are and try not to be too hard on yourself. Try and remember that many successful people have also experienced failures throughout their careers, but they have learnt from these experiences. They have picked themselves up, learnt from the experience and tried again. When bad things like losing your job, happens you can grow stronger and more resilient – learn from the mistakes and carry on.
One of the first steps you need to conquer is to face your fears. Depression, anxiety and fear just make it harder for you to get back into the job market, so you need to face your feelings and find a way to put the job loss behind you so you can focus with moving on.
Try writing about your feelings – write down how you feel about being laid off or unemployed and include things such as what you would have liked to have said to your boss.
Accept what has happened – while job loss and unemployment is difficult it’s better not to wallow in self pity. Rather than dwelling on what has happened just accept it for what it is. The sooner you come to terms with everything the sooner you can move on. Don’t beat yourself up over it – it is so easy to blame yourself for what has happened so try to never put yourself down. You need all the confidence you have to start looking for that new job. Try and learn from the experience, maybe this has given you the kick to try for a new and better job or career, losing your job will make you a stronger person if you can take what has happened and learn from it.
Be careful not to fall into some of the traps – while taking refuge in your *cave* is fine for a little while make sure you spend your time constructively. Surround yourself with positive and supportive friends and family to help keep your self esteem high. Drinking is only a temporary relief, the problem will still be there the next day, and try and avoid venting your anger – your friends and family had nothing to do with you losing your job.
Have you been fired from a job? How did you come to terms with that happening? And how did you handle the stress?