(Stock Photo)

We currently are living in an environment where a number of us have been faced with unemployment or job loss. People lose jobs for several reasons ranging from the economic constraints facing the organisation to losing a job due to performance. For some, we see it coming. In other situations, there may be hints but we are still not sure and in other instances we had no idea. When one experiences job loss, for whatever reason it may be, this can be very emotional or debilitating as one struggles to grapple with what happened.

How Job Loss Affects Us

Job loss affects us all differently. For some, they may see it as something that happens in life and can easily move on. For others, it is hard to cope and there are some who experience something in between. We may experience anger, betrayal, confusion, or sadness to the point that we actually cry or “bawl”. 

We may experience grief, helplessness, emptiness, disappointment, shame, embarrassment, desolation among other emotions and there may even be some who experience relief.

The impact will be different based on the support system we have, the number of financial commitments that are present, other stressors occurring in our lives, our resilience, how optimistic we are, among other factors.

What We Can Do to Cope

To help us get through this ordeal here are a few tips to help us cope.

  1. Give yourself time to grieve – Grief or loss can present itself in many forms not just the loss of a person but it can present itself in the loss of a job, a home, animals etc. Experiencing grief due to the loss of a job is normal and should not be belittled. If you must cry, by all means cry.

2. Reframe your perspective on the situation – As you adjust do not beat yourself up. Do not be unkind to yourself because according to Smith, Segal and Robinson (2021) we need to have self-confidence as we search for new jobs. Therefore, we must challenge the negative thoughts that go through our minds, those negative things we say to ourselves such as “I will never get out of this mess,”.  I also liked what Smith, Segal and Robinson (2021) had to say as they sought to reframe job loss. They said, “think of your job loss as a temporary setback.

3. Networking – Here you talk to professionals, employers, supervisors, lecturers, family members, neighbours, church members or friends to learn more about them and their work. You talk to them so they learn more about you and become aware of your employment situation. You can talk to them to learn more about various careers, the current job market and to gain career tips.

For some persons, job loss can be an extremely difficult time. They may experience anger, betrayal, confusion, sadness, grief, helplessness, emptiness, disappointment, shame, embarrassment, and desolation among other emotions. (Stock Photo)

4. Volunteer – If possible, identify a charity or an organisation that offers a service you are interested in, a service you may be passionate about and inquire about the opportunity to volunteer there. Apply! This is an opportunity for you to engage in something meaningful, to occupy your time, to gain some work experience, to help others and to network.

5. Take care of yourself – Losing a job can be very stressful impacting ones mental and physical health. To get into another job we need to maintain our overall health and our sense of self. Make sure you are eating healthy foods and you are exercising daily. We need at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Exercise is not only advantageous for its physical benefits, but it plays a role in reducing our stress hormones (e.g., cortisol and adrenaline) and triggering the release of endorphins.

6. Give yourself time to grieve – Grief or loss can present itself in many forms not just the loss of a person but it can present itself in the loss of a job, a home, animals etc. Experiencing grief due to the loss of a job is normal and should not be belittled. If you must cry, by all means cry.

7. Reframe your perspective on the situation – As you adjust do not beat yourself up. Do not be unkind to yourself because according to Smith, Segal and Robinson (2021) we need to have self-confidence as we search for new jobs. Therefore, we must challenge the negative thoughts that go through our minds, those negative things we say to ourselves such as “I will never get out of this mess,”.  I also liked what Smith, Segal and Robinson (2021) had to say as they sought to reframe job loss. They said, “think of your job loss as a temporary setback.

8. Networking – Here you talk to professionals, employers, supervisors, lecturers, family members, neighbours, church members or friends to learn more about them and their work. You talk to them so they learn more about you and become aware of your employment situation. You can talk to them to learn more about various careers, the current job market and to gain career tips.

Losing a job can be an opportunity to learn a new skill. This way you can make yourself more marketable and widen career opportunities. (Stock Photo)

9. Volunteer – If possible, identify a charity or an organisation that offers a service you are interested in, a service you may be passionate about and inquire about the opportunity to volunteer there. Apply! This is an opportunity for you to engage in something meaningful, to occupy your time, to gain some work experience, to help others and to network.

10. Take care of yourself – Losing a job can be very stressful impacting ones mental and physical health. To get into another job we need to maintain our overall health and our sense of self. Make sure you are eating healthy foods and you are exercising daily. We need at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Exercise is not only advantageous for its physical benefits, but it plays a role in reducing our stress hormones (e.g., cortisol and adrenaline) and triggering the release of endorphins.

The National Council on Substance Abuse can be reached at 535-6272 (Office), and 832-9120 or 9121 (Counsellor).

National Council on Substance Abuse

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