''When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.''
-Alexander Graham Bell
Being laid off or getting fired from your job can be traumatic, to say the least. With the ongoing recession, there are a number of people who are laid off each year - often due to no fault of their own. Whether you have been working somewhere for a short time, or for twenty long years, losing your job is hard. For some, it can be one of the most devastating personal crises of a lifetime. Apart from the fact that your finances hit a new rock bottom and your bills keep piling, losing your job can wreak havoc on your ego and self-worth. The loss of your daily routine, income, sense of security, and purposeful activity can lead to anger, shock, denial, fear, and panic.
Like any traumatic event, a loss of job leads to grief and depression. Unfortunately, when these emotions hit you, it can make your job search extremely difficult, especially in a bleak market. It is hard to face job interviews without the feelings of anger and resentment cropping up. The depression and stress can also lead to a number of health problems, like headaches and exhaustion. A study just published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology
tracked the health and emotional functioning of 756 unemployed job-seekers. The study, conducted by the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, found that after two years, even though seventy-one percent of the participants were employed, they still reported side effects of the job loss, which included common illnesses and improper functioning. Dealing with depression is important to re-enter the workplace with a positive frame of mind. Here are some ways in which you can do that.
Dealing with Depression After Job Loss
Acknowledge your Feelings
The initial reaction to getting fired from your job includes/involves pain, fear, fear, and lowered self-esteem. Instead of denying your feelings and repressing them, it is important to acknowledge these feeling. Although denial of the feelings of hurt and helplessness may help in providing temporary relief, in the long term, the feelings can resurface later in the form of depression and anxiety. To cope better, recognize the problems and take efforts to address them.
Don't Beat Yourself Up
While acknowledging your feelings are important, it is vital not to criticize or blame yourself when you have lost your job and are unemployed. If you have been laid off without any fault of yours, instead of wallowing in self-pity and mulling over the reasons that led to you being fired, dispel any negative thought that comes to your mind. Every time any such thought crops up, challenge yourself to remove it from your mind.
Venting Your Anger
Screaming your head off in front of your boss, after being laid off, is no way to vent your anger and frustration. Although letting go of the frustration and anger is important to move on, you can do this in many constructive ways. Volunteering in community activities, and engaging in rigorous physical activity like running, jogging, and swimming can help in diverting your mind. Reading positive books, and watching inspiring movies can also help.
Seeking Professional Help and Support
After losing your job, if you observe the signs of depression or suffer from any physical ailments, then seek the help of a doctor or psychological counselor. Keep in touch with family, friends, and co-workers (if you have found a new job), who can help you cope with this difficult situation by boosting your mood and elevating your self-esteem.
Finding a New Job
Finding a Job is a Job
After losing your job, it is easy to lose track of your goals. Get into a familiar routine which coincides with a normal job routine and hours. During this time make calls, send emails, go to meetings with prospective employers. It is important to get in touch with professional contacts, and learn new skills that can help you find a good job. The entire focus should now be on finding the best employment opportunities. Prioritize and structure your day accordingly.
Maintain a Job-search Journal
Finding a new job is not a walk in the park. You can make numerous calls, send resumes everywhere, and meet numerous people at networking events, and yet find that you are not making any progress. Keep a job-search journal to keep a record of the calls you make, the emails you send and the people you meet.
Connect with your Professional Network
Most jobs never make it to the classifieds. It is your network and contacts that work. Reach out to people you know and enlist their help in finding these word-of-mouth jobs. They can also introduce you to professional connections.
Maintaining Financial Stability
Financial stability is a major problem for people who lose their jobs. Here are some pointers that can help you manage your finances.
- Find out about severance pay and other benefits to which you may be entitled.
- Inform your creditors of your current situation, and try to arrange a flexible payment schedule.
- Apply for unemployment benefits. This can be availed if you lost a job through no fault of your own. Your local jurisdiction can tell you more about this.
Living your Life
While searching for a job and coping with the depression, it is also important to maintain a work-life balance. Do not let your search consume so much of your time that you have no time for living your life. Make time for fun and relaxation. It is also important to:
- Make time for regular exercise. This can help you beat stress and enhance your mood.
- Get lots of sleep to boost your mood and productivity, and keep the depression and stress levels in check.
- Relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation is another great way to beat the stress and stay calm.
The key to dealing with depression after losing your job is by taking care of yourself and believing in your abilities. It is only with a positive outlook that you can move on after a setback and get a great job.