Whether it’s through termination or a layoff, losing a job can result in grief, stress, and a significant loss of confidence. With the amount of time some of us spend at work, our professions might start to define who we are over time. So, when that identity is taken away, it can result in a feeling of inadequacy and a self-worth struggle.
Job loss might come as a complete surprise or something that’s expected. Either way, it’s important to have a plan in place to help regain your confidence and overall sense of self after losing your job.
Address Emotions – Depending on how surprised you are when you receive that pink slip, this step could come easier or harder to some. However you feel after a layoff or termination, give yourself time to grieve the loss. This means juggling the feelings of anger, sadness, resentment, or inadequacy and addressing them however is best for you. Don’t get caught up in the negativity that some of these emotions can drag into your life.
Stay Structured – Having a particular work schedule helps to keep your days structured. You tend to follow a certain routine instead of just existing or proceeding aimlessly through each day. As hard as it might be, especially when the job loss is still raw, try to go about the day as you would previously. Wake up at the same time, and fill what was your work time with productive things, whether that’s job searching or professional / personal development. Hold yourself accountable and be useful.
Remain Social – It might be hard to stay connected with others during a job loss because you don’t necessarily feel great about sharing that information. You might feel embarrassed, distraught, or flat-out annoyed. Don’t isolate yourself, though, because doing so can throw you into a state of depression.
Broaden Horizons – There’s probably a passion project or interest you have that you haven’t been able to act on because you didn’t have the time. When experiencing a job loss, you are given the gift of time. And with that comes the opportunity to expand your skillset. Push aside the negative feelings that termination or layoff comes with and use the extra time to learn something new or take up a hobby you’ve wanted to.
Find a Release – Losing a job can result in an emotional rollercoaster ride that includes a journey from anger to acceptance. It might not necessarily be a short, easy trip getting there, so you need to figure out what it is that helps you decompress. For some, it might be getting a good workout in, for others, it might be opening up a good book. Whatever your release, find it, and embrace it when suffering a job loss. It won’t eliminate the negative feelings surrounding the situation, but it will help you deal best with them.
Remember to be Kind – This is probably the hardest of the tips to abide by, but don’t underestimate its importance. It might be easy to slide into the habit of talking down to yourself, especially when something happens that makes you feel less-than, but don’t give in to negative self-talk. Surround yourself with people who build you up because you will need it when you lose your job. Positive influences will help you realize how valuable you are and that many great opportunities are out there waiting for you.