How to Get Back in the Game After Losing a Job

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Despite the nearing end of the Coronavirus pandemic, there are still major obstacles left in the wake- unemployment being one of the most devastating among them.

Whether you were fired, laid off, furloughed, lost benefits, transitioned to part-time, took a pay cut or overall household income was affected, the past year has surely been tough. However, there is hope for returning to the ranks of the happily employed, and soon.

The right mindset

Bouncing back after losing a job is no easy task. Immediately following a job change, there may be a period of grief, especially if you found fulfillment in your job or had strong bonds with coworkers.

You may need some time to recover from the loss of a job, but getting back out there and taking initiative could be the confidence boost you need.

When you’re ready to get back in the game and start looking for a new career, it’s important to have a positive outlook. Optimism will serve you well, especially when you’re faced with the challenge of what feels like starting over.

There’s no shame in struggling after a job loss, but getting back on track requires a vision focused on the future, not dwelling in the past.

Reevaluate priorities

Sometimes we stay at jobs, not because we love them, but because we’re comfortable in a groove. Although job loss is a rude awakening, it’s an awakening nonetheless. Transitioning between jobs gives you the chance to reevaluate what you’re looking for in an employer and reestablish priorities- maybe for the first time in decades.

Perhaps the job you were working didn’t offer you enough time with your family, or you were dissatisfied with the company culture. Consider what you liked and disliked about your last position and take the time to write out a list of wants and non-negotiables.

Reinvent yourself

No one would volunteer to lose income, but there are some benefits to being in your position. First, there’s no time like the present to consider a transition in your career. Use this opportunity to look at other companies in your field. You may find something that offers better perks or competitive pay that you would have missed out on otherwise.

You could look into a more drastic career change and switch fields, too. There are surely plenty of roles that didn’t exist when you entered the job market five, 10 or 30 years ago.

Now is also a great time to pursue higher education and take advantage of growing online programs, which both cut costs and offer flexibility. Ever thought about moving? Look into making those dreams a reality.

Keep a schedule

Losing a job means losing daily structure, too. Without a nine to five, the days seem to blur together with fewer limits on your time. One of the best ways to stay on track when you lose your job is to stick to a daily schedule, so you’ll stay productive during the day and the transition back to work will be easier.

A routine might be harder without the structure of a job, but planning the day out can make it more reasonable. Block out a few hours to research for future plans or apply for jobs. Then make time to bake, clean, finish house projects, work out or do whatever activities typically fall to the wayside.

When you are still getting things done during the day, you’ll get a confidence boost, which might just shine through during an interview.

Rediscover meaning

If recovering from a job loss has taken a harder toll than you would have expected, it’s possible your job was more meaningful to you than you thought. No one thinks their job defines them, but sometimes it takes a separation to see clearly.

Bouncing back may require you to spend some time finding new hobbies and passions in between jobs. Take a class, pull out a dusty instrument or cross a few travel destinations off your bucket list (if the budget allows). 

Because jobs come and go, it’s important to find fulfillment elsewhere. Creating a satisfying life for yourself outside of the office can make the ups and downs of a career easier.

Getting back in the game

Numerous Americans lost jobs during the Coronavirus pandemic, but hope is not lost. Use this time to reimagine your future and start taking steps to make it a reality.

If a job loss has impacted your mental health, it’s time to reach out for help. At The Light Program, you can find healing for all of life’s stressors and be supported as you journey forward. The Light Program offers comprehensive mental health services so you can lead a fulfilling life. Call now at 610-644-6464 to set up an appointment.