A man in a black shirt sitting on a chair trying to find a way of coping after a job loss.

How to Cope After a Job Loss

Achieving a balance in your life and being content with all its areas is the ultimate goal. However, it’s natural to stumble upon some obstacles on our journey to get there. Losing your job can be a tough one to bounce back from. Nevertheless, it would be best if you tried to look at this experience as an opportunity to learn and grow as a person. Here are some tips and tricks on how to cope after a job loss.

Become aware of your feelings

Losing a job is a hard pill to swallow – especially if you loved what you did, made a good income, or viewed it as a stepping stone to your dream job. So, this will inevitably feel like a huge step back. Becoming aware of how you’re feeling is the first step to coping with it.

A man standing near a clear glass windowpane looking into the distance.

A loss of a job is still a loss of some kind which means you should allow yourself some time to grieve, even though it might feel strange initially. It’s normal to go through all or only some of the five stages of grief:

  • Denial. After the initial shock of losing a job wears off, it’s natural for your brain to try to mask the fact that you’re hurt-it’s its way of coping after a job loss.
  • Anger. After a while, the shock will wear off, and you’ll likely start to feel anger and resentment toward the situation. Be careful; if you don’t realize that this is happening, you could end up lashing out at the people closest to you.
  • Depression. Unfortunately, sadness will probably need to have its spotlight in your journey to acceptance.
  • Withdrawal. During this period, you might prefer to take a break from everyone and deal with your feelings independently.
  • Acceptance. Finally, you’re ready to deal with the loss and move on to greater ventures.

Let’s dive into what acceptance has in store for you.

Accept the reality of the situation to cope after a job loss

Make sure that you’re looking at your job loss objectively. Don’t try to sugarcoat it, but don’t fall into a pit of despair and lose yourself in the negative thoughts.

The best thing you can do for yourself at this stage is to become aware of the things that are within and out of your control.

The fact that you’re currently out of work is a done deal, it’s behind you, and you can’t do anything about it. Why not focus on the things that you do have control over?

Get into planning the next stage of your life

One of the most productive ways to cope after a job loss is to find another way of making an income. If you have other ways of making your rent and you’ve saved up, that’s great. However, jumping into a new venture and working will do much more than merely impact your finances; it’ll keep you sane.

Making drastic, life-altering decisions isn’t the answer. However, life has a funny way of testing us, so this is precisely what’ll feel natural and right. Selling your prized possessions or even your home could feel like a good idea in the beginning since you’ll have more time to think about finances, for example. Resist the urge.

To avoid making drastic lifestyle decisions:

  • Plan a budget
  • Seek financial advice either from your competent friends or creditors
  • Take control of your financial situation

By going through these steps, you’ll avoid making rash decisions that you might regret later.

Take care of yourself

Although this looks different for everyone and typical pampering routines might not be your thing, find out what is. In whatever form it comes, self-care is a great way to find your footing, give yourself time to think and adjust to the new situation and recognize any potential self-harming behaviors.

A woman in a black tank top and black pants running in the park during the daytime.

Here are some self-care tips that’ll help you cope after a job loss:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Find something to spend your time on
  • Nurture your body and give it all the nutrients it needs
  • Spend time outside and exercise 

Change of scenery

Once the dust has settled and you’re ready to take on some new challenges, you might find that a change of scenery would do you some good. This doesn’t have to be anything drastic, of course.

If there’s ever been a time to find a job in a nearby place and get away for a bit, it’s now. You can view it as an adventure and an opportunity to grow. Relocating locally isn’t as big of an undertaking as bigger relocations, but you should plan it out so that everything goes as smoothly as possible. For the best results, reach out to experts who will take care of all the boring parts of relocation with zero fuss.

Surround yourself with the right people

Taking the time to be alone with your thoughts, meditate, and think about the next step is essential. However, you shouldn’t entirely alienate yourself. 

A sound support system can help us overcome even the toughest of times. Having someone by your side who can objectively and kindly advise you and who’s able to listen to you is crucial.

Three female friends hugging each other and laughing.

These can be:

  • Friends. Friends, especially those in similar life stages as you, have a grasp of what you’re going through more than anyone else. Ask them about what they’d do if they were in your shoes.
  • Family. Your family has known you from the get-go. They know how you think and operate and are very likely to know what’s best for you in this situation. Hear them out.
  • Therapists. Finally, no one can deduct and understand your thoughts related to a job loss better than a professional. If you need to talk to someone and get an expert opinion, go for it.

Stay positive

You won’t be able to cope after a job loss if all your thoughts are just streams of negativity. Look at the situation as you would if you weren’t in it. What would you advise your friend to do? Despair and never leave their bed? Definitely not; you’d tell them to look at all the wonderful things that still surround them and to understand that this is a temporary setback that might prove to be more fruitful than they’d ever imagined. It would help if you told yourself the exact same thing.