5 Tips on how to manage and deal with job loss

1. Don’t listen to the ‘noise’

Everyone has an opinion and many will provide that opinion to you when it comes to what you ‘need to do’ now that you’ve lost your job. Some of the guidance and advice you can receive from other’s may be very well intentioned and even highly useful, but keep in mind that you are your own person with your own wants and needs. Be selective with who you listen to and what information is valuable and relatable to YOU, your personality, needs, and goals, in particular.

2. Be consistent

Being mindful of ‘overdoing it’ when feeling panicked about finding new employment isn’t easy, but is something that is very beneficial in the weeks following job loss. Many people scramble to find new employment and this is very understandable for a multitude of reasons (E.g., financial stability, feeling judged for being unemployed, craving the value and pride having a job brings, etc.), but frantically searching for anysuitable form of employment can lad down a road of frustration, disappointment, and exhaustion. Make a promise to yourself that, for two hours, max, each day, 5 days per week, you will keep job search activities (resume and cover letter writing, online job search, networking, etc.) to that time only. I guarantee you that, if you push past this set timeframe, consistently, you will be no further in making your job search successful and will only be detrimental to your mental health.

3. Take significant breaks, even if it doesn’t feel ‘right’ to do so

I have heard from many clients who have recently become unemployed that, despite knowing that they are working hard to find new employment, they feel ‘guilty’ taking a break and having any sort of relax-time or fun when they haven’t ‘earned it’ by working each day. While some people, generally younger adults, may feel pressure from older people in their lives that they must be persistent with their job search and be cautious with the time and money they spend on fun activities, finding a balance with self-care and time away from job search activities is vital to staying inspired and motivated when job searching. One should not ‘punish’ themselves for the things that were/are out of their control, such as being laid off from a job. Life must continue to be lived despite job loss. You only get one life, live it.

 4. Network, network, network

Possibly the most overlooked, disregarded, and underrated activity related to job search is networking, particularly in-person. Relying almost solely on online job searches and applications often leads to frustrations, hopelessness, and burnout. By actually getting out there and connecting with others in you career field of choice, you not only significantly increase your chances of forming relationships that lead to employment, you are taking part in many of the ‘ingredients of happiness,’ including a sense of community, connecting with other’s socially, and a gaining a sense of ability and worth.

5. Practice self-compassion

Most of those who lose their job will, unfortunately, encounter times where they feel the ‘system is stacked against them,’ that they don’t have the ‘connections’ in the job market that other’s they know may have, that there is no appropriate job out there for them right now, etc. This is very understandable and it is normal to feel these ways, but when one does, the most important thing one can do is recognize how long they have been spending sitting with and ruminating on these thoughts. By sitting with and ruminating on these thoughts for longer than is needed, we only feel more stressed, defeated, anxious, and hopeless. Taking action and, as mentioned above, doing things ‘outside of the box,’ like focusing more on networking and getting out into the community more, especially when feeling low, we consistently feel more of a sense of control and ability to find new employment while continuing to live life as it should be lived! Be kind to yourself and know that, the effort has been put in and that is truly good enough.