5 top tips for dealing with job loss

Cup of coffeee, notebook and pen on wooden desk. Text: "dealing with job loss"

If you lose your job it’s easy to panic.

Then think “why me?”

Then go into mental freefall about how you’ll end up eating dust and wearing rags for the rest of your life.

(just me?)

But job loss is rarely the end of the world. As a great believer in fate (it means I don’t have to take responsibility for myself), there are ways to approach the situation that will hopefully help you to deal with it and feel much more positive.

1 – Look at it as an opportunity

If you absolutely loved your job and it’s been ripped away from you then I genuinely feel for you. But, honestly, how many people out there are in that lucky position? Most people go to work for the money first. Perhaps you really like the people. Maybe it’s an easy commute, or the work isn’t taxing and you’re able to just coast by. A lot of people stay in a job for the wrong reason – namely that they’re comfortable and sacred to jump ship. What if you left a stable and ok job and ended up somewhere that you didn’t like? When that decision is taken away from you and your hand is forced you have no choice but to try somewhere new, and it might just be really great!

2 – Don’t take it personally

Business is business, and sometimes things don’t work out. Whether the company is cutting back to save money, or your face just doesn’t fit there’s no point beating yourself up. The decision is made and the job is gone, so you need to look forward. Don’t dwell on what might have been and whether you could have changed anything.

3 – Stay dignified

This is easier said than done for some people, especially if you’re one of those rare breeds who really REALLY loved your job. But when you get the news, try and resist the urge to react emotionally. Sometimes we can’t help ourselves, especially if the news comes as a shock, but you’ll feel so much better later if you’ve reacted calmly and professionally.

If you need to cry, shout or punch a wall, wait until you’re alone, or at least away from the person delivering the news. Emotions are completely natural, and it would be crazy not to feel anything when work is such a big part of our lives. But it’s much better to deal with them at such point that you can process them properly. And don’t beg for a change of decision or to keep your job. If the news is being communicated to you, the decision has been made. You won’t change it. Be gracious and don’t be rude about your (previous) employer to their face or behind their back.

4 – Try to keep a routine

With no job to go to, whether you’re on garden leave or between roles, it can be tempting to say “fuck it”, sleep in til midday and stay up ’til all hours watching films and cat videos on YouTube. After all, it doesn’t matter, right? Maybe not, until you have to get back into a work routine and your body clock is all over the place. Plus, if you live with parents, housemates or a partner, the disruption isn’t really fair on them either. I’ve been getting up as normal with the husband and going to bed at the same time. I’m not saying I haven’t had the odd nap once he’s gone to work! But for the most part my routine hasn’t changed.

5 – Set yourself some goals or a to do list

Without the sense of achievement that completing work tasks can give, it’s easy to feel a bit surplus to requirements. Before you know it you’ve spent most of your day playing stupid games on your mobile phone and then berating yourself for being a waste of space with no enthusiasm or get up and go. I made a list which you can read here – some are fun, some are more serious. I’ve definitely noticed I feel better on days where I’ve actually done something. Even if it is only watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban!

A final note, remember that work isn’t everything and you’re not defined by your job. Take some time to evaluate your situation and, if you want to move in a different direction, take steps towards it while you have the chance.

Have you ever been in a jobless situation? What are your top tips?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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