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How to deal with the stress of job loss or layoff?


When a person's job ends suddenly without any solid reasons, for example, in the case of pandemics or sudden home emergency, it is normal to feel a sense of loss and the need to take some time to begin to heal. You may have lost many things important to you including your daily work, your work associations, the structure of your days, financial security and status, etc.

Although job losses are due to budget cuts and not because of your fault, it is common to feel some loss of self-esteem, and think that you have failed in one way or another. 

Being laid off is an emotional journey that is especially difficult during times of economic uncertainty. It can be difficult to tell your family and friends. While it is understandable and normal to be upset, it is important to find ways to move forward, paving a new road for yourself. If you have recently been laid off, below are some important things you need to do:

1. Give yourself some time to heal
It has already been a tough journey for you. Take some time off from the thought of finding a new job, and spend some time with yourself. Use this time to explore your hobbies and visit someplace where you can be away from this constant thought of getting and maintaining a job.

2. Observe your financial situation
Once you feel that you are emotionally stable now, check your savings, and other unemployment benefits that the government might be running. There are chances that government has some assistance for unemployment, and that you might stumble upon one if you search on the internet.

3. Tell your family and friends as soon as possible
By opening up to those who care about you, you will immediately gain support from the most important people in your life. They may also be a source of job information.

4. Keep communication channels open
Your wife, parents, and children are also affected by your job loss. Permit them to talk about their reactions and concerns. Have a family meeting to discuss how the family will cope and get everyone's ideas. Explain the economic forces that led to the job loss. Reassure children that the family will work together to get through this time.

5. Think of the job loss as a temporary setback
The way we "think" what happens to us has everything to do with how we cope and move forward. 

Failure is the condiment that enhances the flavor of success

This is quite true. When I lost my job, I was crying for pennies. I worked hard, and never thought that this is permanent. And after 12 months of hard work, I landed a job with a salary of more than $100,000. I had never thought that this will be possible, but it became true just because I didn't give up on searching for a job.

6. Join a job seeker's group
No one can understand what you are going through better than your peers. Often you can share thoughts and feelings in a support group that you cannot share elsewhere. You may also get good advice and decrease your sense of isolation.

Also, you all can start working on a startup if you felt there is an idea that you can work upon together. This will also create an opportunity for the whole group to get involved as per their skills and talents.

7. Use every networking resource available
I have seen people using job portals to apply for jobs. But that's not sufficient. You should be talking to people individually. When I was jobless, I used to message around 300 to 500 HR's on different social media or professional networks to get some opportunities.

This also ensured that all the people that I had messaged, remember me by my name, and whenever they came across an opportunity, they used to send it to me.

8. Not everyone is going to help you
You will come across people who will genuinely try to help you out, but then there will be people who will be just glad to know that you are unemployed. Ignore the latter ones. Don't focus on people who are not of any help to you. Just focus on connecting with people in your network.

This is important because your need a job more than someone's advice.

9. Share your feelings with your family or on online chat groups
You can go ahead and join thewiki Network with any name you want and can write your feelings in the comment section below. Someone who has gone through this will understand and will reply to your queries.

The trick is to keep your communication channels so that you don't get demotivated.

10. Take care of your health
Sleep, exercise, relaxation, and good nutrition are more important than ever during periods of high stress. Use the extra time to set up that exercise program, which you never had time for when you were working so hard. Avoid using drugs and alcohol to deal with stress. Take scheduled breaks from your job search and allow time for fun.