Bouncing Back from Job Loss

In the last few months, millions of people found themselves without a job—through no fault of their own.

Fortunately, governments have stepped in to offer some financial support. But these measures are only temporary and, in most cases, do not cover lost wages fully.

I am not minimizing the impact of job loss. But like all challenges we face in life, success is measured by how we respond to those challenges. It is what will set you apart from others when looking for a new job.

Here are some thoughts to keep in mind if you have lost your job recently:

You are not your job.

Who you are as a person is not what you do as a job. You have a life, family, friends, interests, hobbies, and a career. You have lost your job due to economic forces beyond your control and it should not be construed as a sign of personal weakness or failure on your part.

Even though this may be the first time in your life you are unemployed and it feels foreign to you, think about how you can grow from this situation. Think of it as a time to learn new skills, reconnect with old friends, develop new hobbies, and re-evaluate priorities. That positivity will come across in future job interviews.

Stay in touch with your network.

Your network is likely much larger than you realize. Make a list of all your personal connections and relationships. That includes friends, relatives, former employers, colleagues, business associates, association members, community leaders, former professors—just about everyone you know. They will appreciate you reaching out to see how they are. This is not the time to hibernate.

Surround yourself with positive people.

Many people draw their energy from other people. If you are surrounded by negative, pessimistic people, you will feel down. If you are surrounded by people who view the world with optimism and confidence, you will feel better. At the same time, read uplifting books and watch inspiring shows. You will feel stronger and wiser for it.

Focus on self-care.

Staying fit is now more difficult with gyms closed and team sports on hold. It’s way too easy to just sit on the couch—watching TV and eating too much. Don’t fall into that trap. If you feel strong and fit, you will handle stress better and adopt a more positive attitude toward your job search. Remember the adage: health body equals healthy mind.

One last thing: Remember, first and foremost, this is a health crisis that has caused an economic crisis. And the sooner we fix the health crisis, the sooner we can get on with life. No one knows when this will happen, but we do know it won’t last forever. I want to encourage you to stay focused on the future. I am hoping that some day you will look back on this time and think of how much you learned about yourself.

Stay home. Stay safe.