Losing your job is not an easy thing to deal with. While grief is usually attributed to losing a person or a pet, it can also be applied to losing a job. For some people their work is just a job and nothing more, but for others it’s an identity and provides a sense of purpose. Whether you have a formal education or not, tech skills take years to develop, so it’s normal for you to question yourself and your abilities. Along with this damage to identity, there is also the financial worries that come with losing your source of income.
To help during this difficult time, here are our top tips for dealing with job loss:
Take Time to Grieve
It is natural to feel grief when you’ve lost a job, so it is important you take the time to grieve. You may experience emotions like disbelief, anger, and sadness, so you need to take the time to feel these emotions and work through them. Although they are often presented as stages, your individual experience is unique and you may experience them in a different order, experience multiple at the same time, or go back and forth between different stages.
If possible, you should take time to deal with these feelings, as finding another job will be much easier and feel less stressful once you have the reached the acceptance stage.
Establish a Healthy Routine
To maintain motivation and a positive outlook, you need to establish a healthy routine. This means eating well, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, spending time with loved ones, and going outside every day. By maintaining both physical and mental health, you limit the stressors you’ll face while searching for your next job. This will also help you maintain a positive and clear mindset when you get your next interview.
Assess Your Marketable Skills
Now is a good time to assess your skillsets and what you can offer an employer. This will depend on where you are working in the technology sector but asking questions about what you can do, how much experience do you have, what do you like to do, etc. By reflecting on what you can do and what you want to do, you come closer to developing an idea of which direction you want to take your career in next.
Develop New Skills
Now that you’ve assessed what you can do and what you want to do, it’s time to decide where you want to go next. Do you want to continue developing your current skillset or do you want to learn a new skillset? By developing your skills, you are focusing on what you can control, which is good for your mental health as self-efficacy has been linked to more positive mental health. Explore all your options before deciding as there may be new career pathways out-there in emerging tech that surprise you.
Take a Break
Losing a job and job searching are both difficult experiences individually, so it is okay to take a break every now and then. When focusing on one task for too long there is the tendency to develop tunnel vision, this can lead to spiralling feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, and worthlessness. Give yourself permission to relax and use this time to do something you enjoy to feed your positivity.
Meditation and mindfulness are both encouraged when going through stressful times, and an app like Headspace or Calm may help you to manage your mindset while job-searching.
Spend Time with Supportive People
Losing your job is devastating, so you need to surround yourself with people who will cheer you up, not drag you down. During this time you may choose to take a break from social media as it has been linked to feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, and depression. It’s easier said than done, but limiting the amount of negativity in your life is one of the best ways to protect your mental health during times of change.
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